When asked during her Monday news conference if she had heard of the “disaster” at Malibu beaches over the weekend, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer confirmed that, “We got reports.”
Local Malibu journalist and KBUU radio station manager Hans Laetz, who had asked the question, provided more color.
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“Seventy to ninety percent” of those on Zuma Beach did not have masks, Laetz reported. Local beach gates were “pried open,” parking nightmares abounded and people threw loud parties at night to watch biolumimescene in the waves.
The “common courtesy” of wearing masks on the sand “was widely ignored at Zuma Beach,” said Laetz in a Facebook post.
Some residents said Broad Beach was “more crowded than 4th of Julys in recent years,” according to Laetz.
The photo below seems to substantiate that appraisal.
Pics of Sunday beach scene in Malibu from Broad Beach resident Rodger Grossman. pic.twitter.com/pMiSBojFtC
— eric spillman (@ericspillman) May 18, 2020
“We’re working very closely with Beaches and Harbor,” replied Ferrer, “to make sure that this doesn’t continue to happen.”
She then issued a warning.
“If people are willing to blatantly disregard their obligation to make it safe for others,” said the director, “it’s impossible to continue to move down a path towards recovery, because this is what is going to overwhelm our healthcare system.
“You don’t know when you’re in a public space who the people are who are around you who may have underlying health conditions” and may end up in the hospital, she reminded residents.
Even as the percentage of infections comes down, Ferrer warned on Monday about a potential spike in cases as restrictions free up.
On Facebook, Laetz said there was “Illegal parking everywhere…the parking restrictions designed to thin the crowd were ignored.”
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department had deployed cones to prevent parking along PCH as well as instituted horse patrols on the sand.
— LASD Parks Bureau (@ParksLASD) May 2, 2020
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