The cities of Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach will close their shores on Fourth of July, officials announced Wednesday.
The Newport Beach City Council voted in an emergency meeting Wednesday to shutter their shores after two lifeguards employed by the city tested positive for the coronavirus and another 23 were in quarantine, city officials said. The beaches will close at 10 p.m. on July 3 and reopen at 6 a.m. on July 5.
Previously, the city had said it would keep its beaches open for regular hours during the holiday weekend but would not allow professional fireworks displays, street parades or festivals.
The Huntington Beach City Council also held an emergency meeting Wednesday evening and voted 6 to 1 to shut access to their shores, including Huntington, Sunset and Harbor beaches, as well as all parking lots on July 4th.
Both cities gave authority to their city managers to decide whether to close the beaches on July 3 and July 5 as well, if deemed necessary.
Seal Beach shores, the pier, pier restrooms, playgrounds and volleyball courts will also close at 10 p.m. Friday and are set to reopen at sunrise Sunday.
“However, if it is believed the reopening will be detrimental to the health of the community, the City may elect to keep these areas closed until further notice,” the Seal Beach Police Department said in a written statement.
The decisions come after Orange County health officials ordered all bars to close Wednesday, after the county reported its highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases and a spike in hospitalizations. There were 570 new cases and five deaths reported countywide Wednesday, bringing the total to 14,413 reported cases and 345 deaths.
Nearby Laguna Beach announced Tuesday it would close its beaches on July 4th, with the option to extend to July 5th, in an effort to curb spread of the novel coronavirus.
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Orange County and 18 others to close indoor operations at restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, cardrooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums.
Newport Beach reopened its beaches for active recreation in early May, a week after Newsom ordered all Orange County shores to close to the public to prevent the spread of coronavirus.