SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County beaches remain open after they were not on the governor’s list of beaches closed on Thursday. After the press conference, both Santa Barbara City and County officials talked about how they will move forward.
Maintaining the status quo means, as of now, the beaches are open and people must continue with physical distancing.
Santa Barbara's Mayor Cathy Murillo, said, “There was a threat of our beaches being closed by the governor, and I am hoping that will permeate into the community, and when they come to the beach, they will realize that this is a fabulous resource. It’s a privilege and keep your distance when you come here. We almost lost this beach access.”
Governor Newsom's beach closure announcement came during his noon press conference on Thursday. In that conference, he said the virus does not take sunny days off, and seeing tens of thousands of people at the beaches in Orange County raised alarm bells.
Late Wednesday night there was concern that Governor Newsom might close all beaches in California. Thursday people went to the beach, despite the marine layer, for what they thought might be one last chance to enjoy the sand for the foreseeable future.
Lynette Ledbetter visited Leadbetter Beach with her daughter. She said she was relieved Santa Barbara's beaches weren't going to close, "Really happy. I think people are respectful about maintaining their distance from one another and so we can continue this as long as they do.”
Laurie Ozanich drove up from Santa Clarita with family. She said, “If the beaches stay open there will be a lot more room for people to spread out and get some sun and be healthy and that’s what we do in California.”
City officials said to maintain the status quo at Santa Barbara beaches, there will be extra lifeguards or firefighters to make sure beaches aren’t too crowded. The key point officials repeated was to keep physical distancing. And if Santa Barbara doesn’t keep physical distancing the risk of spreading the virus or losing access to the beaches will increase similarly to Orange County.