Newsom Says State Is a ‘Few Weeks Away’ From Easing Shelter-in-Place Restrictions, Chides Beachgoers

April 27, 2020
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in an April 27 press briefing that the state’s indefinite shelter-in-place order could start to be lifted in a few weeks, and criticized those who crowded Orange County beaches over the weekend.

He said, “The reality is we are just a few weeks away, not months away, from making measurable and meaningful changes to our stay-at-home order. However, that’s driven by data, it’s driven by behavior, and as we change our behavior, we can impact the science, the health and the data.”

However, Newsom said the timeline could be delayed if Californians don’t follow social distancing measures. He took aim at those who congregated at Southern California beaches over the weekend. “Those images are an example of what not to see, what not to do, if we’re going to make the meaningful progress that we’ve made in the last few weeks extend into the next number of weeks,” Newsom said.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer similarly chided the beachgoers, telling FOX11, “We don’t need you to go out and get infected in another county and then bring yourself, infected, back here to L.A County.”

Around 40,000 people visited Orange County beaches over the weekend; some of them reportedly followed social distancing guidelines and wore masks. People also went to beaches in Ventura County over the weekend, but Ventura County officials say those people followed social distancing guidelines.

Newsom has outlined six benchmarks the state needs to reach to start easing the shelter-in-place order, including widespread testing and buildings having the capacity to keep people six feet apart.

As of this writing, there are 43,464 confirmed COVID-19 cases in California and 1,755 deaths from the coronavirus. In Los Angeles County, those numbers are 19,528 and 913, respectively.

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