The top-of-mind story this week can be summed up in one compelling word: beaches.
Encinitas opened our largest beach – Moonlight – last Monday, along with beach openings in some other coastal communities, including San Diego, Oceanside and Coronado. Other coastal cities and agencies (including the state, which controls beaches in Cardiff) have different timetables for opening.
The vast majority of people who have visited Moonlight since it reopened are abiding by the protocols – keep walking, running, surfing or swimming; stay six feet from others; no sitting, lying down or sunbathing.
But unfortunately we’ve had some enforcement problems around the edges, with barriers being pushed over and vandalized, street congestion problems with double-parking and blocking the street, and lack of courtesy or abusiveness toward lifeguards and law enforcement staff. This is regrettable.
After some confusion earlier this week when California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office signaled that he was going to close all California beaches, he instead instituted a “hard closure” of beaches in Orange County only, after too many people appeared to be flaunting the no-congregating order there.
I hope that here in Encinitas we can continue to follow the county’s health orders to maintain access to our vital outdoor resources. When I visited Moonlight on the first day of the reopening (top photo) and this evening (bottom photo), my heart warmed seeing so many people safely exercising with their feet in the sand. Being able to get in the water and walk along the ocean is a so important when it comes to maintaining our mental and physical health.
But remember, there’s still a county prohibition on gathering to hang out with people who aren’t in your family unit. Please try to avoid doing this or letting your kids do it. I know it’s tough now, but things will get better and we’ll have less chance of a COVID-19 resurgence. Soon we’ll be able to socialize with our friends again, safely and with precautions, like face masks.
Speaking of which, as you’ve probably heard, facial coverings are now required in public when you could come within six feet of another person. This seems a small accommodation to protect public health, and I hope it’s broadly observed.
I’m also closely following the governor and our county leaders when it comes to the timetable for reopening local businesses, employing the same precautions that have been applied to essential businesses like grocery stores. I know our small business community is really suffering. The county is putting together guidelines to help businesses so that when the governor says it’s ok everyone will be ready.
Do I know when the governor will re-open businesses? Unfortunately I don’t. As the mayor of a smaller city in a state with close to 600 cities, I watch his press conferences live, as many do. It appears to me that he’s leaning toward some meaningful loosening next week. We’ll all have to wait and see.
The City of Encinitas just unveiled our updated COVID-19 web page that serves as a one-stop center for local updates. We have not had a new case since April 11, holding steady at 34 positive tests. For one day last week it seemed to jump up by one to 35 but then was adjusted down one day later.
Here are some links to media coverage of these events and more:
- Encinitas Advocate: Shark Aggressively Bumps Man South of Moonlight
- L.A. Times: Will Orange County Enforce Newsom Beach Closure?, Officials Vow a Fight
- Coast News: Newsom orders closure of Orange County beaches, avoids statewide mandate
- Coast News: Golf Courses, Parks Open in Limited Fashion, Face Coverings Required in Public
- What do you want to see in our next City Manager? Take this survey to weigh in.
Let’s get together on Facebook Live tomorrow afternoon!
I’ll be doing another Facebook Live tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at 4 p.m. to talk about our beaches, regulations that affect residents, and I’ll answer your important questions. If you have questions please send them in advance by replying to this email so that I can make sure to get to them. We usually go around 30 minutes, which lets you tune in to participate, and then get back to the rest of your life. Plus, you can always watch them later if you don’t catch them live.
Also, I want to sincerely thank all of you who have contributed to my campaign for re-election as your mayor. If you support the work we do together for the betterment of our Encinitas community, please consider making a donation here. Every contribution helps and is very appreciated.
I hope you and your family get a chance to mask up and get out in the fresh air this weekend!
P.S. Signs of kindness in Encinitas
After the disturbing intrusion of protesters outside my house recently, I was so touched to discover these painted rocks, seen above, outside in our front yard the other day. There were also a number of other rocks left around Cardiff School that thanked healthcare providers and essential workers and others.
And our former Mayor Teresa Barth noticed the sign above in someone’s front yard on a recent walk through the neighborhood. This sort of support is priceless, and so encouraging! Plus, free lemons!
- The current number of cases in San Diego County and their locations can be found online at the County Department of Health. The info is updated Monday through Friday by 4 pm. The current number is 3711 positive cases in our county, with 34 of those being from Encinitas, a number that has held since April 11.
- The San Diego Union-Tribune: Live coronavirus updates in San Diego
- City of Encinitas: COVID-19 Updates
- San Diego County’s Coronavirus website (A very useful source for practical local information.)
- State of California: California Coronavirus Response
- Johns Hopkins University & Medicine: Coronavirus Resource Center (Includes frequently updated worldwide maps and statistics.)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- My previous Encinitas coronavirus newsletters