Newsom warns coronavirus 'doesn't take the weekends off' as crowds flock to beaches

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomREAD: Harris letter resigning from Senate ahead of inauguration Harris resigns Senate seat ahead of swearing in as VP Harris to resign from Senate seat on Monday MORE (D) on Monday scolded the thousands of people in his state who packed beaches in Orange County this past weekend despite social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying, “This virus doesn’t take the weekends off.”

“This virus doesn’t go home because it’s a beautiful, sunny day around our coasts,” Newsom said during a press conference, according to a local ABC station.

He added that viral photos that emerged over the weekend showing people crowding beaches in Southern California as the region weathered a major heat wave were “an example of what not to see.”


“The virus is as transmittable as it's ever been. ... It is ubiquitous, it is invisible, and it remains deadly. Ask the 45 families who lost a loved one in the last 48 hours,” the governor continued.

Beaches in Orange and Ventura counties were recently reopened with modified restrictions intended to prevent overcrowding during the pandemic. However, beaches in Los Angeles and San Diego counties have remained closed amid the outbreak, as well as those run by the state.

During the press conference on Monday, Newsom said he believes the state, which was one of the first in the country to implement a stay-at-home order aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, is weeks away from “making measurable and meaningful changes” to the mandate.

“However, that's driven by data. That's driven by behavior. And as we change our behavior, we can impact the science, the health and the data,” he said.

“The hope and expectation is that we'll be in a position in a number of weeks to make meaningful modifications, but, again, the data will guide that, the indicators will guide that, and the only thing that could disrupt that, to set us back, to slow down our capacity to reopen our economy is behavior that's inconsistent with the statewide guidelines,” he added, reiterating that the length of the lockdown will depend on “individual collective behavior.”

His comments come as governors across the country are facing pressure from some of the public to ease coronavirus restrictions while state and federal leaders continue to work to combat the spread of COVID-19, which data shows has killed more than 55,000 people in the U.S. in a matter of months.