NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach will close their beaches this Fourth of July, it was announced Wednesday.
In an emergency meeting, Newport Beach City Council members voted 6-1 to close the city’s beaches for the July 4th weekend. The beaches will be closed from 10 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Sunday.
City Councilman Kevin Muldoon was the lone no vote.
Mayor Will O’Neill said he agreed with Muldoon that there hasn’t been an uptick in transmission of the virus due to beach activities and added, “I don’t understand why LA County closed their beaches. I really don’t.”
But since Los Angeles County and Laguna Beach have closed their beaches on Fourth of July and the state has closed parking for beaches in Orange County, Newport Beach will see an already popular holiday draw even more beachgoers than usual, O’Neill said.
Also, two lifeguards have tested positive for COVID-19 and 23 others who were exposed to the ill lifeguards are now in quarantine, O’Neill said. Other lifeguards are showing symptoms, the mayor added.
The mayor said the fastest growing demographic of infected patients are in their 20s and 30s.
“They’re going to bars, going to house parties, not doing a great job of social distancing,” O’Neill said, adding that he hopes they will now “take this seriously” as officials have to retreat on business and beach activity.
“I cannot in good conscious add more onto our lifeguards,” he said. “We just can’t responsibly ask our lifeguards to do more with less.”
O’Neill also implored beachgoers to stay away during the holiday weekend.
“Don’t make our lifeguards and police chase you off,” he said. “This is a hard enough year… This is a time we step up to where we need to be.”
Huntington Beach City Council members voted 6-1 to close the their beaches and parking lots on Saturday, KTLA reported, adding that Seal Beach shores will also be closed.
The Laguna Beach City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to close the city’s beaches on the upcoming holiday.