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Beach, Strand Now Closed in Manhattan Beach

Mar 27, 2020 01:23PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Friday morning walkers on the Strand in Manhattan Beach.

In an action that would have seemed almost unthinkable just three weeks ago, the Strand, the bike path, and the beach in Manhattan Beach have now been closed by city and county authorities.

On Friday morning, the Manhattan Beach City Council acted to close the beach walking path known as the Strand. The City Council's action came in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, and continued disregard for current social distancing orders by many members of the public.

In a parallel action, the County of Los Angeles announced that it is closing all county beaches and the bike path, effectively immediately. The county’s order includes the beach and bike paths in Manhattan Beach. 

Closures Regretful But Necessary

City Council members expressed regret about having to take the step of closing the Strand. However, the large numbers of people continuing to utilize the Strand in defiance of social distancing orders - as well as similar actions in neighboring cities - appear to leave local officials with no other choice.

(As a refresher, current social distancing orders prohibit "social gatherings" - defined as two or more people who are not in the same household.)

"These are unprecedented times and our city is moving aggressively to slow the spread of COVID-19. Closing the Strand combined with L.A. County shutting down the beaches will reduce the crowds and risks posed to our community," said Mayor Richard Montgomery. “Please spread the word, so we do not spread the virus.”

Residents and visitors are to refrain from entering or occupying the Strand, sandy beach, or using the bike path until further notice. All restrooms will be locked as well. The county and city will be patrolling these areas to enforce the closures.

“The Manhattan Beach Police Department is prepared to enforce these important public health orders to keep our residents safe. I urge everyone to stay home, and not come to the beaches, as it represents a public health risk,” said Manhattan Beach Police Chief Derrick Abell.

The city is urging residents to utilize their local neighborhoods for exercise. However, when exercising, social distancing rules (6 feet apart) need to be maintained. Under the city’s recently-passed urgency ordinance, violators of the six foot requirement may be subject to citations or fines. 

All South Bay Beaches Closed

The beach and the Strand will be closed throughout the rest of the South Bay as well.

In terms of the Strand and the bike path, neighboring jurisdictions in Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach have closed their public walkways and bike paths on or next to the beach.

In terms of the beaches, the Los Angeles County beach closure applies to the other beaches it owns including Redondo Beach, Torrance, and El Segundo. Hermosa Beach, which unique among South Bay cities in owning its own beach, has closed its beach.

San Diego, Laguna Beach and several other Southern California communities have also announced beach closures.

As of Friday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed 1,456 cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in Los Angeles County.

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