Newport Beach, California, is one of the redder cities in Orange County. Although the suburban county has trended blue in recent years, the wealthy seaside community remains a conservative bastion in an increasingly liberal state.
With that tradition in mind, the Newport Beach City Council voted to keep their beaches open, in defiance of Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s orders.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson reports:
The council voted 5-2 against the measure and instead advised city officials to enforce social distancing at the beach, FOX 11 in Los Angeles reported.
An estimated 40,000 beachgoers packed Newport Beach both Friday and Saturday as Southern California temperatures soared into the nineties.
“You didn’t see those images at L.A. beaches and San Diego beaches and [in] Northern California,” Newsom said Monday of the Newport Beach crowds, “because we had strong guidelines that were not only adopted but were abided by,” The Los Angeles Times reported.
He called it an example of what “not to do” and promised to increase enforcement of the statewide stay-at-home order if people aren’t social distancing.
Newsom also warned that Newport Beach’s noncompliance would slow California’s planned economic reopening.