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Tens of thousands swarm California beaches despite governor's stay-at-home orders


Large crowds packed beaches despite California experiencing its deadliest day of the COVID-19 outbreak this week.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

This week, tens of thousands of people flocked to beaches in California despite the state's stay-at-home orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Warm weather enticed Californians to swarm beaches in Orange County that were still open during the COVID-19 outbreak. Surfers, joggers, and sunbathers were seen gathering at the California coastline over the past few days, many not following social distancing guidelines.

Thousands went to Huntington Beach, where one group played a football game on the sand.

Approximately 40,000 people went to the shoreline of Newport Beach, a California town that has a total population of 85,000.

California has over 41,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,618 deaths. As of Friday, California reported 11,877 new confirmed COVID-19 cases this week compared to 8,012 new cases the prior week. There were 562 deaths this week compared to 456 deaths last week. California also suffered its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday, with 118 deaths in 24 hours.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) instructed people to continue to stay at home, despite the warmer weather.

"It's going to be nice outside this weekend," Newsom tweeted on Friday. "You might be feeling cooped up. Ready for life to go back to 'normal.' But can't stress this enough: CA can only keep flattening the curve if we stay home and practice physical distancing. You have the power to literally save lives."

San Diego County beaches will open on Monday, but initially, it will only allow access to the ocean for swimming, surfing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's most advanced biocontainment lab touted research that the coronavirus was susceptible to sunlight, warmer temperatures, and humid weather.

South Carolina and Georgia opened their beaches this week.

Crowds at Florida beaches during the coronavirus pandemic have been well-documented. It all started in mid-March when crowds assembled on the shores of Clearwater Beach, most of which were spring breakers, and many of them were from outside of Florida. One Miami Herald columnist said that reopened beaches should help "thin the ranks" of President Donald Trump's supporters in Florida.

A few days after the lack of social distancing on the beaches, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) closed all of the beaches in the Sunshine State. On April 17, DeSantis gave municipalities in his state the authority to reopen beaches, but only if it can be done safely while observing social distancing guidelines.

Duval and St. Johns counties immediately reopened their beaches, and thousands of Floridians converged to the shore near Jacksonville.

Photos of the crowds on the beach went viral, and the hashtag #FloridaMorons trended on Twitter. As of yet, the hashtag #CaliforniaMorons has yet to trend.

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