ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - Orange County officials announced Thursday that all county beaches will be closed over the Fourth of July weekend.
In addition to all county-run beaches, city officials in Seal Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and Huntington Beach issued weekend beach closures as well.
It was unclear if the cities of Dana Point and San Clemente would follow suit and issue beach closures over the Fourth of July weekend as well.
On Wednesday, several cities in Orange County voted to close their beaches ahead of the holiday weekend as coronavirus cases continue to spike around the nation.
In an emergency meeting, Newport Beach City Council members voted 6-1 to close the city's beaches from 10 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Sunday. City Councilman Kevin Muldoon was the lone no vote.
Newport Beach made their decision after two seasonal lifeguards tested positive for COVID-19.
“We were about to see the perfect storm, We were having much higher than normal crowds coming into our city, we were going to have much bigger surf than normal, which means more lifeguard activity, being down in lifeguards means that our Fire Chief called it today being stretched thin, well we cannot walk into a weekend being stretched thin when we know LA County is closed, Laguna beach is closed, the state beaches have closed their parking lots which means we’re going to get a lot more people,” said Newport Beach Mayor Will O'Neill.
Huntington Beach City Council debated their beach closures at an emergency meeting Wednesday evening and voted to close them down.
They cited the reason being a crowd issue, if other local beaches are closed that means more people will flock to Huntington Beach.
“Where are they going to go, They’re going to go to the Orange County beaches, and if Huntington City Beach is open, we just can’t handle the crowds, It’ll be an enforcement issue, it’ll be a crowd issue,” stated Huntington Beach City Councilman Mike Posey.
Seal Beach's City Council voted to close its beaches and parking lots from 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday at sunrise.
Laguna Beach, which had already canceled its planned Fourth of July fireworks display, will close its beach on Saturday. The City Council also left open the possibility of extending the closure throughout the weekend if large crowds begin to gather.
Orange County officials expressed concern that if they did not act, the county would become a magnet for holiday revelers from across Southern California.
Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do said it is likely county officials will follow suit on Thursday.
City News Service contributed to this report.