Gov. Newsom scolds beachgoers who didn't heed social distancing guidelines

Gov. Gavin Newsom did not hold back in expressing his disappointment over images of beachgoers in Orange and Ventura counties that surfaced over the weekend that displayed a lack of social distancing, saying “the only thing that will slow down our capacity to begin reopening our economy is our inconsistent behavior.”

Overall, as Californians flocked to beaches due to sizzling temperatures due to a heat wave, Newsom said physical distancing was appropriate at the majority of the state's beaches.

However, he said the images on the beach in Orange and Ventura counties were not what should have happened.

Last Tuesday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to keep the county’s beaches open.


• Heatwave draws 40,000 to Newport Beach

Orange County beaches majorly crowded despite stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19

Newport Beach officials are set to hold a special meeting to discuss shutting down beaches over the next few weeks.

Newsom has yet to provide a timetable as to when he plans to lift the state's stay-at-home order for its 40 million residents, but he frequently referred to "weeks," as opposed to "months," in Monday's briefing. 

RELATED: Overcrowding could soon make one Southern California beach off limits

Newsom said they may enforce guidelines more aggressively with the help of other agencies including California Highway Patrol and California Department of Parks and Recreation officials.

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On Monday, it was also announced that Colorado and Nevada joined California, Washington and Oregon in the Western States Pact.

“COVID-19 doesn’t follow state or national boundaries, and it will take every level of government, working together to get the upper hand on this virus,” Newsom said.

The states will collaborate on easing their state’s stay-at-home orders in the fight against the coronavirus.

RELATED: Stay up to date on all coronavirus-related information

The state’s listed three shared principles as a foundation:

• Our residents’ health comes first. As home to nearly one in five Americans and gateway to the rest of the world, the West Coast has an outsized stake in controlling and ultimately defeating COVID-19.

• Health outcomes and science – not politics – will guide these decisions. Modifications to our states’ stay at home orders must be made based off our understanding of the total health impacts of COVID-19, including: the direct impact of the disease on our communities; the health impact of measures introduced to control the spread in communities —particularly felt by those already experiencing social disadvantage prior to COVID-19; and our health care systems’ ability to ensure care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This effort will be guided by data. We need to see a decline in the rate of spread of the virus before large-scale reopening, and we will be working in coordination to identify the best metrics to guide this.

• Our states will only be effective by working together. Each state will work with its local leaders and communities within its borders to understand what’s happening on the ground and adhere to our agreed upon approach.

As part of the Western States Pact, the Governors commit to working together toward the following four goals: 

•Protecting vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected. This includes a concerted effort to prevent and fight outbreaks in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

•Ensuring an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19 and other conditions. This will require adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment.

• Mitigating the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities.

• Protecting the general public by ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating. The states will work together to share best practices.

Newsom is expected to detail the types of businesses that are set to reopen first on Tuesday.