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California's Conflicting Methods of Flattening the Curve

Beachgoers converge under a pier in Huntington Beach, Calif., April 30, 2020.

After a weekend of crowded beaches, California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered all state beaches and parks closed as of Friday. Pushback is expected from residents.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California ranks in the top 5 among U.S. states in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with 46,500. It also has recorded 1,887 deaths.

The state's health department has classified community transmission of the virus as "widespread."

The Los Angeles Times said California's coronavirus cases are predicted to double every 21.7 days, despite the state having kept most parks, beaches and trails closed before Newsom's latest order.

A pier is fenced off in Newport Beach, Calif., April 30, 2020.
A pier is fenced off in Newport Beach, Calif., April 30, 2020.

But various local rules regarding lockdowns have caused confusion, as they conflict with statewide regulations and restrictions.

San Francisco was one of the first cities in the state to enforce a stay-at-home order, but as of Wednesday the San Francisco Bay Area allowed construction, landscaping and various outdoor businesses to resume if social distancing guidelines were followed.

Riverside County reopened hiking, horseback riding and biking trails, but face masks are required.

Local beach orders also differ. Los Angeles beaches have remained closed, while Orange County and San Diego County beaches have reopened.

Though lifeguards at Newport Beach in Orange County said visitors practiced social distancing, and Orange County Supervisor Donald P. Wagner said closing the beaches would be unwise, Newsom still disapproves of thousands of people on the beaches.

State health officials continue to caution against the lessening of social distancing restrictions for fear of a resurgence of coronavirus cases.