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Los Angeles County has closed all its parks and beaches for the first time as part of efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus, officials announced Friday.
The closure includes the beach bike path, all beaches in the county, parking lots, public buildings and other Department of Beaches and Harbors offices.
An Earth Day festival and youth sailing camp were canceled. Beach shuttle services were also suspended.
The closures will last through April 19, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Gary Jones, director of the L.A. County Department of Beaches and Harbors, said during a press conference Friday that the decision came after “thousands of people” crowded beaches and paths last weekend, according to the report.
"We cannot afford to see a repeat of crowded beaches this holiday weekend,” Jones said according to the Reporter. “The risk of spreading COVID-19 is too great."
A woman sits alone in front of the ocean along Pacific Coast Highway, Monday, March 23, 2020, in Malibu, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
California has been one of the hardest-hit states during the pandemic, with more than 4,200 cases and 85 deaths as of Friday.
Even with offices closed, county personnel are still working and will be helping enforce the closure, according to the Reporter.
"The coastline is long with lots of access points, so we really need people to follow this order that it is for [everyone's] benefit,” Jones said according to the Reporter.