On April 20, Ventura County opened up their beaches to the public.
This came almost two weeks after the closure of these beaches to help reduce the spread and severity of COVID-19.
According to an article written by ABC 3, Port Hueneme Police Chief Andrew Salinas stated that Port Hueneme opened up its beach so that people would be able to have a place to perform physical activity, such as running and walking.
However, there are still strict guidelines being enforced to ensure that everyone remains safe.
“Congregating in large groups or gatherings is not allowed, as well as plain sitting,” Salinas said. “If you are sitting at the beach and just hanging out, that is not allowed. The intent right now of opening the beaches is to promote physical activity.”
I believe that more counties should start looking into opening up their beaches under the restrictions Ventura County has because it allows people the chance to continue doing physical activity and prevents them from going stir-crazy from being inside all day.
Other Ventura County residents, such as Shay Stelzner, are in favor of reopening the beaches and parks with heavy guidelines.
“I think it’s a good idea, a lot of people are starting to go crazy from staying inside for this long of a time, and regardless of the rules, you’ll always have those small groups of people breaking them regardless if there are soft-closures or not,” Stelzner said.
Staying indoors can make people feel sick and unproductive.
According to an article written by Philadelphia Magazine, “spending too much time indoors can cut off your body’s supply of healthy gut bacteria” and cause people to be more susceptible to getting sick once they do begin to go outside again.
There are many people that are skeptical of the reopening of the beaches and parks to the public because it could increase the spread of COVID-19, but Ventura County officials have said this “reopening” is considered to be closer to switching to a soft-closure, rather than a full reopening.
Law enforcement responsible for enforcing the strict guidelines said that if a city park or beach becomes too overcrowded, “the on-duty watch commander of the Ventura County Police Department can order the park cleared,” according to a Ventura County Star article.
The way that these guidelines work is that the first time this happens, the park or beach will be closed for 24-hours. If it happens a second time, the park or beach will be closed for 48-hours. After that, the park or beach could possibly be closed indefinitely.
Slowly reopening public places will be beneficial to helping our economy and country return back to a more normal reality much safer than just waiting for the numbers of COVID-19 cases to go down and reopening everything all at once.
A main reason for the numbers starting to level out and lower is because almost everyone has been inside and not exposed to each other.
If counties like Ventura, with low numbers in cases of COVID-19, slowly start to open up public places with strict guidelines, it will help people adjust to a more normal lifestyle.
“I don’t think it will increase any spread since there are restrictions,” Stelzner said. “I think people and the officials monitoring the crowds will be putting in the effort of staying away from one another in public spaces because they don’t want the beaches and parks closed again.”
Other counties like Ventura County, which according to Ventura County Public Health has 559 cases as of Sunday May 3, should start lifting complete closures.
Soft closures with strict guidelines allow people to avoid cabin fever, as well as have a place to go out and exercise freely while feeling relaxed.