Crowds pack local beaches on Memorial Day

Local

SAN DIEGO — This Memorial Day is the first holiday in more than a year with fewer COVID-19 restrictions, and local beaches looked much different than they did this time last year.

Last Memorial Day weekend came at the height of the pandemic and fears surrounding it. People were walking the beaches, but lifeguards were asking beachgoers not to walk or gather and to keep moving. The 14-day average positive rate in San Diego County was 3.1%.

This holiday weekend, crowds were coming back. Beachgoers were stopping and sitting on the beaches and the roller coaster at Belmont Park was running. The county’s 14-day positive rate now stands below 1%.

“I’ve hardly left my house in the last year and a half so it’s kind of weird to see all these people but it’s not too bad, it’s not bad at all,” Kathy Little said.

“Last year when they closed the beach, this time of year, I was so sad,” said Mike Soltan, owner of Kojack’s Restaurant in Mission Beach. He says this has been their busiest weekend since the pandemic started.

“This weekend kind of puts hope in us — beach is coming back, people coming back,” Soltan said.

Despite the positive trends, county officials are still urging caution, emphasizing that herd immunity has not been reached.

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