City of Laguna Beach Acts to Close Trailheads and Beaches to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
City of Laguna Beach Acts to Close Trailheads and Beaches to Slow the Spread of COVID-19City of Laguna Beach, March 22, 2020, Media Release
Laguna Beach, CA – The City of Laguna Beach continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and take the appropriate actions to prevent its spread. Over the weekend, a number of people traveled to Laguna Beach to enjoy the nice weather and in the process crowded our beachfront parks and trails. This afternoon, the Laguna Beach City Council met in an emergency closed session to consider the actions necessary to protect the public and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The Council voted to direct City staff to take the actions necessary to close trail access to the County wilderness parks tomorrow morning. The Council further directed staff to close City beaches on Monday night unless the County of Orange or the State of California does so before that time. Finally, the Council also directed the City staff to ask the County of Orange to close its beaches within the City or to grant the City permission to do so. The City beach closures would also include closure of the adjacent parks including Main Beach, Heisler, and Treasure Island Parks.
Governor Newsom’s stay at home order permits outdoor activity as long as a safe social distance of six-feet is maintained from people who are not part of the same household. Although many of our citizens are self-regulating and practicing social distancing, the increased number of people gathering on Laguna Beach trails, beaches and in adjacent parks creates more opportunities for community spread of the virus. These public parks contain benches, railings and structures that are high-touch areas and could potentially be a source of spread of COVID-19. The Council determined that closing these areas is prudent to reduce the potential spread of the virus and protect the public.
These actions are in addition to the City Council’s prior actions to close basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, along with all children’s playgrounds.
In order to enforce the closures, the Laguna Beach Police Department will increase monitoring. Citizens who do not comply with the closure orders will receive citations.
“The safety of the public is our utmost concern, and this decision was not taken lightly by the City Council. We were unanimous that these steps must be taken now in our City to slow the spread of COVID-19. I urge everyone to comply with our actions for the health of everyone in our community and beyond,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen.
The situation is fluid and information provided in this statement is subject to change. For more information on COVID-19, please go to www.lagunabeachcity.net/coronavirus.