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Supervisor Greg Cox sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a letter expressing his shock and disappointment after learning of a possible statewide shutdown of beaches and parks effective May 1. Photo via YouTube/KUSI
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County officials respond to possible statewide shutdown of beaches, parks

REGION — Elected officials and candidates across San Diego County are voicing their concerns after learning of reports that Gov. Gavin Newsom will order a statewide closure of beaches and parks effective May 1.

While no official announcement has been made, Newsom is planning to announce the closures during today’s briefing, according to a notification sent to California police chiefs.

Supervisors Greg Cox and Dianne Jacob have both submitted letters to the governor, expressing their shock and disappointment about the order on social media.

“This morning, I sent a letter to the Governor asking him to reconsider his order to close all beaches,” Cox wrote on Twitter. “San Diegans have worked hard to slow the spread of the virus and for the most part have followed our Public Health order and we shouldn’t punish them for actions of others.”

Earlier this week, Cox said that county leaders would make significant announcements about the relaxation of health orders today. However, Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer, said public health orders would be extended indefinitely.

Jacob also took to Twitter, sharing a letter she wrote Gov. Newsom urging to pull back his “unfortunate” order.

“We are all in a difficult situation with the health crisis, and now is not the time to further erode the judgment and authority of our county public health officers and local government leaders,” Jacob’s letter reads.

Democrat candidate for Supervisor District 3 Terra Lawson-Remer took a different view, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the individuals who failed to follow the state’s health restrictions.

“As a surfer, I know that access to open space and nature is essential for physical and mental health, so it is incredibly unfortunate that some members of our community have been irresponsible in their use of public space — refusing to abide by social distancing and mask guidelines — forcing the rest of us to suffer due to antisocial behavior of a few.”

The potential shutdown order comes just days after the county allowed cities to reopen their beaches for limited public use on April 27.

Several cities, including San Diego, Coronado, Imperial Beach and Encinitas, reopened their beaches this week without any major compliance issues, according to law enforcement reports.

Del Mar had planned to reopen its coastline today, but city officials reversed the decision late last night in anticipation of Newsom’s order.

Earlier this week, Newsom blasted the crowds of Californians who flocked to beaches in Orange and Ventura counties, where many coastline areas remained open despite statewide stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19.

“This virus doesn’t take weekends off,” Newsom said. “This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful sunny day around our coasts.”

County public health officials reported 118 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths on Wednesday, raising the county’s totals to 3,432 cases and 120 deaths.

1 comment

Lori Butler April 30, 2020 at 3:42 pm

Our beaches are staffed by some of the most highly trained people in public health and crowd control– lifeguards. Regular FT lifeguards and our seasoned seasonal lifeguards are among the best in the world.

My oldest son, who is also an EMT, is highly trained veteran of 10 years saving lives and was even featured on the Weather Channel.

His job completely taken away by the Governor has now forced him to take a job at Costco — managing crowd control for toilet paper hoarders.

Let’s get these professional life savers back to work and people out in the sunshine and beach air to boost their immunity to the virus.

And, a surfer or swimmer washes more than their hands when the go in the ocean water.

It’s safer there than at a grocery store.

Beaches are the one place people go as a family….and we all have been socially distancing ourselves from others than our families for years.

A bar and a Starbucks are were people go to interact with strangers….not the beach!

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