Thursday, April 30, 2020

SECOND UPDATE: Humboldt not Included in Beach Closures

Posted By and on Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 7:42 AM

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SECOND UPDATE:
Beach visits in Humboldt County are back on after Gov. Gavin Newsom limited closures to the more southern reaches of the state after local officials reached out about including the region in the ban.

Sheriff William Honsal, who earlier today said he would not enforce such an order and that Northern California was being punished for the actions of Southern California residents, praised the change of course.

“I’m grateful the governor didn’t move forward with a plan that would have unnecessarily and arbitrarily restricted access to our coastline,” he said in a statement this afternoon. “Closing beaches in areas where people weren’t following social distancing is a more appropriate response than a statewide closure."

Newsom had considered closing down California’s entire coastline after thousands flocked to beaches down south as a heatwave bore down amid shelter-in-place orders.

Honsal and Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich contacted state officials to express their opposition to the proposed order. This afternoon, the governor announced the closure would apply only to areas around Orange County.

“This really is the right move for Humboldt County,” Frankovich said. “The Governor himself pointed out our success at practicing social distancing measures locally. We can continue to build on that success without sacrificing access to our beaches.”

That said, the officials emphasized the county is still under shelter in place and “any crowding of parking areas, beach areas or trails would not be tolerated. “

Read the full release at the bottom of the story.


UPDATE:
Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal just issued a press release announcing his “strong opposition” to the governor’s reported intent to order all beaches in the state to close beginning Friday in an effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“As sheriff, I am the protector of constitutional rights in Humboldt County, and if an order is issued that I believe violates our constitutional rights, I will not enforce it,” he said in the release, detailing how Humboldt County was singled out by the governor Monday as an example of a community that was abiding by his order while using beaches responsibly.

“The governor is a smart man,” the sheriff continued. “I hope he follows sound advice. It’s not OK to punish Northern California for Southern California’s mistakes, and I hope he hears that loud and clear.”

The governor’s speech is scheduled for noon today and can be watched live here. And see the press release copied below our original post.

PREVIOUSLY:
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has reportedly informed all California police chiefs in the state that he will order all California beaches and state parks to be closed effective Friday in a further effort to prevent spread of COVID-19.

The decision reportedly came after the governor watched media coverage of overcrowded Southern California beaches last weekend and was delivered to the state's police chiefs via a memo Wednesday evening. The Associated Press has the story here.

Sheriff signals strong opposition to anticipated beach closure announcement
707-441-5000 ; covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us ; Monday-Friday 8am to 7pm ; Saturday 10am to 5pm
Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal announced this morning firm opposition to an anticipated announcement by Governor Gavin Newsom that would close all beaches in California.

News of the closure leaked last night, prompting an immediate and pointed response from the Sheriff. “As Sheriff, I am the protector of constitutional rights in Humboldt County,” he said, “and if an order is issued that I believe violates our constitutional rights, I will not enforce it.”

The governor’s expected announcement is in response to crowds of people that converged on two Southern California beaches over the weekend. On Monday, Humboldt County was singled out by the governor for having abided by the order and using local beaches responsibly.

“The governor is a smart man,” Honsal said. “I hope he follows sound advice. It is not okay to punish Northern California for Southern California’s mistake, and I hope he hears that loud and clear.”

The governor’s speech is scheduled for noon today.

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.
Sheriff William Honsal expressed appreciation for Governor Newsom’s decision to keep beaches in Humboldt County open and limit closures to parts of Southern California.

Sheriff Honsal said, “I’m grateful the governor didn’t move forward with a plan that would have unnecessarily and arbitrarily restricted access to our coastline,” adding he supports the need to balance public health and safety with the rights of individuals protected under the state and federal constitutions. “Closing beaches in areas where people weren’t following social distancing is a more appropriate response than a statewide closure,” Honsal said.

A state-mandated beach closure order was being considered by the governor as a response to crowds gathering last weekend on two Southern California beaches.

Sheriff Honsal and Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Teresa Frankovich both reached out to state officials to express their opposition to the proposed order. The governor announced at a noon press conference that the closure order would apply only to areas around Orange County.

Dr. Frankovich said, “This really is the right move for Humboldt County. The Governor himself pointed out our success at practicing social distancing measures locally. We can continue to build on that success without sacrificing access to our beaches.”

Officials emphasized that the county’s existing Shelter-in-Place Order would remain in full effect, and any crowding of parking areas, beach areas or trails would not be tolerated.

Sheriff Honsal said, “We will enforce the local order to keep people safe and encourage social distancing, but Humboldt County’s residents shouldn’t pay the price for the irresponsible behavior of people 700 miles away from here.”

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.
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