California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration has approved a plan to reopen Newport Beach less than a week after he shut down the Orange County coast to prevent the spread of coronavirus, officials said on Wednesday.
Newport Beach will reopen its beaches for active recreational use including walking, jogging and surfing. Sunbathing, for example, will not be allowed, the city said in a statement.
“While the active recreation model was not the preferred choice by the City Council after discussions with our public safety personnel, we are confident that City staff will manage the beaches effectively under the approved plan,” Mayor Will O’Neill said in the statement.
State beaches in Orange County will also start reopening Wednesday with measures to protect the public health, the California’s Natural Resources Agency said in a statement.
The moves comes after the state allowed Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and others to reopen their beaches for active recreation only.
Newsom announced on April 30 that he was ordering all Orange County beaches to close after a spring heat spell prompted thousands of people to head to the coast.
Huntington Beach filed a lawsuit trying to get its beach reopened, but a judge refused to immediately block the order. Newport Beach supported that suit.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.