O.C. Judge Decides Not to Block Newsom’s Closure of County Beaches

May 1, 2020 by Juliet Bennett Rylah

Despite protestors in the streets, Orange County Superior Judge Nathan Scott today rejected Huntington Beach’s request for a temporary restraining order to block Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order closing the county’s beaches. Scott did schedule a hearing for Monday to consider Huntington Beach and Dana Point’s request for an injunction, according to the Los Angeles Times.

It’s been a week of battling over the beaches of Orange County. It all started over the weekend, during which the Orange County Register reported some 40,000 people enjoyed the sunny coasts of Newport Beach on Friday and Saturday. Many photos depicted crowds of beachgoers not staying six feet apart. That’d typically be fine, but in the middle of a pandemic that requires people to practice physical distancing, it was not fine.


On Tuesday, Newport Beach City Council members discussed possibly shutting the beaches down for three weekends or closing roadways to popular areas. They ultimately voted 5-2 against the proposal.

On Thursday—and despite Newport Beach’s claims that it wasn’t as crowded as some images might lead you to believe—Newsom ordered Orange County’s beaches to temporarily close. This order followed earlier reports that indicated Newsom might close beaches across the state.

In response, protestors in Huntington Beach defied the Stay at Home orders today. Earlier today, reports indicated the group consisted of about 300 people. More recently, KTLA reports that the group swelled to around 2,500 protestors. This is despite the fact that crowds have only led to more cancelations and closures, and according to city officials, will only prolong the very orders they’re fighting against.

Meanwhile, the state provided a long list of activities a person could engage in outside that would be totally okay, including solo sports, gardening alone, and taking your dog for a socially distanced walk.

And here is a relaxing 360 video of a beach in Malibu that you can enjoy indoors: