Orange County

Judge Orders Orange County Beaches Closed

42 miles of the Orange County coast will be off limits this weekend.

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Orange County beaches will remain closed Saturday after a judge rejected bids by Dana Point and Huntington Beach officials to lift Gov. Gavin Newsom's temporary closure.

Last weekend thousands of people enjoyed the beaches but also compromised social distancing. The announcement of Orange County beaches closing caused protests on Friday.

Thousands of protestors waving flags and holding signs demanded beaches and businesses reopen. While police said the crowd was mostly peaceful, video footage shows many of the protestors were not wearing masks or social distancing.

One COVID-19 survivor who lives just blocks away from Huntington Beach says she is fearful of what could happen if beaches re-open too early.

"I use the analogy of taking an antibiotics, if you’re taking antibiotics you want to finish taking the whole bottle," said Yvette Paz. "You don't just throw it out when you feel better and I think that’s what we are trying to do."

A protester said one of his primary reasons of joining the protest was getting the state to reopen.

"I understand wanting to be safe but at the same time I want to go back to work," said Jonathan Craamer.

City Council members in San Clemente took no action when they met Friday to consider joining other Orange County cities in the legal challenge to lift Gov. Newsom's temporary beach closure directive.

The Orange County Board of Supervisors said they are negotiating with state officials on a compromise that would allow for active use only on the beaches. This would be similar to what is allowed on beaches in Ventura and San Diego.

Laguna Beach City Council members voted this week to reopen its beaches from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays for active use only, so that may be the plan implemented in that city, including the county's beaches there, Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett told City News Service.

Newport Beach City Council voted Saturday to support the litigation filed by Huntington Beach, Dana Point and business owners seeking to reopen Orange County beaches.

City News Services contributed to this report.

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