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Critical Importance of Social Distancing at Beaches, Parks, and Outdoor Spaces in the City of Huntington Beach

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Importance of Social Distancing

The City of Huntington Beach recognizes that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created anxiety throughout our community. Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order (Click here to read order) issued on March 19 has added a heightened sense of awareness as it directed 40 million Californians to “Stay-at-Home” to slow the spread of COVID-19. As a partner of the State of California, the City of Huntington Beach urges all residents and visitors to abide by this Order and practice social distancing when leaving home for essential services only. This represents our best opportunity to “flatten the curve” of potential COVID-19 transmissions and help bring the pandemic under control.

Beaches & Parks Are Accessible, But Social Distancing Measures Are Important

Please note that the Executive Order did not institute martial law, and it also did not close the State’s public beaches and parks as those State facilities located in Huntington Beach remain open to the public. As Governor Newsom stated this week, “If you need to go outside to get some exercise, do that, but don’t do it in a group setting. If you see a busy street, don’t run down that street. Again, use common sense.” Given this guidance from the State, the City believes it is important for Huntington Beach to keep our beaches, parks, and other public areas open to provide the public with an opportunity to get fresh air and maintain one’s mental and physical health during this challenging time. However, this requires that every individual take personal responsibility to ensure compliance with social distancing measures when leaving your home. Per the Governor’s Executive Order, individuals should keep at least 6 feet away from others when outdoors, and everyone needs to do their part to protect our community by actively engaging in social distancing.

City Efforts to Support Social Distancing

The City has received several calls and emails expressing concerns about the lack of social distancing in our downtown, beaches, and parks. In response, we are closely monitoring these high-visibility outdoor spaces. The Police Department has instituted enhanced patrols in these areas, and our police officers have stepped up educational efforts for those retail stores that are currently operating in violation of the Executive Order. Furthermore, our Marine Safety officers and lifeguards have been paying close attention to activity and behavior on the beach, and they will be working to remind everyone to practice social distancing. Lastly, the City is also developing enhanced educational outreach and signage to be placed at the beach and other public spaces to remind the community about the need for social distancing at all times.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the City will continually monitor its impacts at our beaches and parks. Should the situation change, the City will certainly adjust our approach and keep you informed. In the meanwhile, City of Huntington Beach encourages everyone to remain calm and follow Governor Newsom’s Stay-at-Home Order as One HB. Your support will save lives.

For updated information on the City’s response to COVID-19, please visit http://www.HBready.com or call our COVID-19 call center at (714) 536-5511.

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