County orders all beaches, trailheads to close
By Sam Catanzaro
County officials have closed Venice Beach to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
On Friday afternoon the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health ordered the temporary closure of all public beaches, beach bike paths, public trails, and beach access points to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“The County of Los Angeles and its Department of Public Health observed an unusually high volume of beach and trail users on March 21 and 22, which seriously impeded the beach and trail users’ practice of safe and necessary social distancing measures. This heavy amount of beach and trail use by numerous groups of people does not allow for safe social distancing, and therefore seriously impedes community efforts to stem the local transmission of COVID-19. Accordingly, this Order is necessary to both enforce social distancing measures and stem the spread of COVID-19 within the community,” reads the order.
Under LA County code, “‘Beach’ means a public beach or shoreline area, inclusive of all appurtenant areas such as, by way of illustration and not by limitation, beach facilities, bicycle paths, promenades, service and emergency roads, parking lots, pedestrian stairways and access-ways, landscaping, slopes, jetties, creek beds, revetments, drains, and all navigable waters within one thousand feet from the public beach or shoreline area, bordering the Pacific Ocean owned, controlled, or managed by the County, in incorporated or unincorporated territory.”
The LA County order requires the immediate closure of all beaches and trails, including Venice beach. On Wednesday the City of LA closed Venice Beach Pier.
According to the County order, violation is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment, fine or both. In addition, the order requests the Sheriff and Chiefs of Police in all cities, and lifeguards to ensure compliance.
This order is effective immediately, beginning March 27, 2020 through April 19, 2020.