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Several beaches in San Diego County opened today for limited public use. Courtesy photo
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Beaches in city of San Diego, Encinitas reopen today amid COVID-19 pandemic

REGION — Beaches in San Diego and Encinitas will reopen for recreation activities today, but numerous beaches in San Diego County remain closed as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has passed the 3,000 mark.

Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach will open at sunrise today, allowing surfers, swimmers, kayakers and paddleboarders in the ocean, as well as runners and walkers on the sand. Imperial Beach will allow access to the beach, but not the ocean, which is too polluted to allow people in the water because of the ongoing issue of runoff from the Tijuana River.

Moonlight Beach in Encinitas will also reopen today for walking, running and all water activities except for boating, Encinitas city spokesman Patrick Platt said Sunday. Beachgoers must continue to practice social
distancing and are asked to wear face coverings. If those orders are violated, the beach may be re-closed.

Because the county surprised so many beach cities on Friday with the sudden lifting of a ban on ocean activity, not all beaches will be opening today.

Beaches in Carlsbad, Del Mar and Solana Beach will not be open. Officials in those cities will consider opening at a later date.

The total number of cases among San Diego County residents is now at 3,043, the county reported Sunday. The total number of deaths in the county remained at 111.

The number of people requiring hospitalization is 696, or 22.9% of cases, and the number of cases placed in intensive care is 227, or 7.5% of all cases.

Of 1,297 tests reported to the county Saturday, 8% were positive.

Two additional drive-thru testing facilities will open today. However, the sites at the North Inland Live Well Center in Escondido and the Public Health Center in Chula Vista are only available for residents with doctor referrals.

In Encinitas Saturday, three people were arrested and cited during a rally at Moonlight Beach, organized to protest beach closures and stay-at-home orders.

The three were cited for violating the stay-at-home order and congregating on a closed beach, according to Lt. Amber Baggs of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

“Several protesters walked onto the beach and sat as deputies began speaking to them regarding the county public health order,” Baggs said Saturday. “The people were given multiple opportunities to comply with the state and county orders. Three attendees refused and were arrested.”

Health officials announced Friday that starting May 1, facial coverings will be required throughout the county for anyone who goes out in public.

The practice is already mandatory in Chula Vista and National City.

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