Authorities enforce beach closures with warns of fines, jail time for those who don’t comply

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SAN DIEGO — State parks and beaches remain closed this weekend as authorities work on enforcement and warn residents they could face fines and jail time if they don’t comply with the statewide stay-at-home order.

The strict enforcement comes as at least four lifeguards have come down with COVID-19.

“Those employees are being supported by the fire department’s Incident Command,” Chief James Gartland with the San Diego Fire Department told FOX 5. “We have chaplains, we have three doctors on staff that are taking care of our staff, so they’re all under doctors’ care and they’re being supported by the department. We’re taking the proper protocols to make sure they get healthy, make a full recovery and get back.”

Meanwhile, barricades and signage have been posted at local beaches and parks. Unlike the previous weekend, Gartland said most people are following the orders and staying at home, though there have been encounters with some people not complying.

Gartland said it’s likely some citations have already been handed out.

“This is a misdemeanor,” Gartland said. “It carries up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.”

Across San Diego County this week, views of empty beaches and barren parking lots brought a stark contrast to the typical scene this time of the year.

“This is the first day of spring break, so usually we’re fully staffed and all the seasonal towers are staffed,” Gartland said. “We are drastically scaled down. We still have people here to make warnings and to enforce the closure.”

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