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Beaches are back: Orange Beach hosts hundreds of beachgoers on day one of reopen – FOX10 News

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Beaches are back: Orange Beach hosts hundreds of beachgoers on day one of reopen - FOX10 News

Coronavirus live updates: Officials urge social distancing at beaches; over 65K have died in US – USA TODAY

Remdesivir is reportedly showing promise, but there's no guarantee the initial reports will lead to a commercially available treatment for COVID-19. USA TODAY

Officials instates including California andNew Jersey are urging people enjoying recently increased access to parks and beaches to observe social distancing regulations this weekend.

States across the nation are constantly changing their social distancing restrictions, slowlyrelaxing an uneven patchwork of regulations and making moves to reopen ravaged economies. The weekend will again bring challenges as some worry nice weather will cause crowding

Our live blog is being updated throughout the day. Refresh for the latest news, and get updates in your inbox with The Daily Briefing.

Here are the most significant developments to get your weekend started:

What we're talking about today:Should we worry about a meat shortage?

Some good news:Don't feel pressure to exercise too much as you're stuck at home"Whatever your regular exercise routine was, I wouldn't alter it," one expert recommends.

California authorities pleaded for beachgoers to follow social distancing rules over the weekend after Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday temporarily shuttered Orange Countys coastline,a move he said was prompted by overcrowded beaches last weekend.

At least in some places, officials were pleased with results. In San Diego, where people can exercise on the beach but not linger, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer praised residents for heeding safety restrictions that public health officials have credited at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

But even as Newsom and others seek a cautious, phased reopening of the state, protesters dont want to wait.In Huntington Beach, police estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people gathered for May Day on a beachside street. They waved American flags and held signs. Most of them wore no masks and didnt practice social distancing.

In Sacramento, as police lined steps outside the Capitol, protesters waved signs that said Defend Freedom and broke into U-S-A chants.

A similar situation played out in various states on the East Coast on Saturday. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he was pleased with initial reports of social distancing from a beachfront park, state parks and some golf courses that also reopened on Saturday. Meanwhile aReopen Maryland rallydrew a large crowd addressed by Rep. Andy Harris.

--Joel Shannon

More than 30 gravely ill patients who took part in an experimentaltreatment for COVID-19 at Houston Methodist Research Institute have recovered from the illness and have left the hospital, the physician overseeing the therapy said Friday.

"All of these people were very, very sick," Dr. James A. Musser, chairman of the department of pathology and genomic medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital, said in a phone interview. "Many of them were on ventilators. That was the common theme."

It cannot be said with certainty the treatment in which plasma donated by people who had fully recovered from the illness caused by the contagious and sometimes deadly coronavirus is injected into those still sick was responsible for recoveries, Musser said. But it appears to be a hopeful sign, he added.

Experts are still seeking to determine the types of patients who appeared to have benefited from the therapy and thetypes who did not.

John C Moritz

In an effort to limit further coronavirus infections, New York is initiating an intensive projectto identify the population with antibodies and determine the source of new cases.

Newly admitted virus patients into hospitals a majority in the downstate region hover at about 900 daily on a three-day average, including 831 Friday.

In an effort to lower the rate, the state's Department of Health is collecting more detailed demographic data on incoming cases, identifying residence, age, gender, race, underlying conditions, occupation, commuting method and other data to determine patterns in the newly infected and other clues on how new cases are generated.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the aim is to determine if infections, for example, are spread through the homeor limited to front line workers.

In preliminary antibody testing of 15,000 people, up from 3,000 last week, one in five New York City residents tested positive for the virus antibody.

- Jeff Platsky

Spaniards flocked to the streets and parks Saturday to end seven weeks of a strict coronavirus lockdownwhileItaly and France are poised toease rules for businesses on Monday.

Spanish authorities, however, remained cautious, keeping beaches closed and requiring face maskson public transportation. Some small businesses willreopen Monday on a limited basis. In mid-May, each province will begin gradually reopening more broadly every two weeks, as long as individual provinces do not experience a reversal in coronavirus cases.

Italy will begin liftingitsnationwide lockdown Monday by allowing some key businesses primarily construction and manufacturing to reopen under strictsocial distancingrules.Funerals will also be permitted, with participationrestricted to no more than 15 people. Barring a reversal,Italian retail shops will be able to reopen later in May with restaurants, cafes, hair salons and barber shops to follow on June 1. Schools will not reopen until September.

Meannwhile in France, kindergartens and primary and secondary schools will reopen May 11, followed bycafes, restaurants and bars. Germanywill allow hair salons toreopen Monday.

The Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds will fly over parts of the Washington, D.C., area, Baltimore, Atlanta and Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Saturday as a tribute to health care and essential workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

The tribute, which included a flyover Tuesday in New York City, Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey,is part of President Donald Trumps Operation America Strong salute.

Residents within the flight path can expect to hear jet noise as the 12 high-performance aircraft flyin precise formation, and people should be able to view the flyover from their homes.

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Ohio's loosening of stay-at-home orders Friday represents Gov. Mike DeWine's cautious approach, starting with an easing of rules for hospitals, dentists and veterinarians, followed Monday withthe opening of construction and manufacturing. Retail and customer service shops will remain shuttered until May 12.

Meanwhile, to usher in the first ofMay, more than a dozen states like Louisiana and Colorado have allowed restaurants, storesor some other business to reopen, but under tightrestrictionsto keep people apart.Find the latest on your state here.

The coronavirus has left one Chicago neighborhood reeling. Blocks away, residents are living life largely as normal. The difference? Income and race.

USA TODAY took an exclusive look at how the pandemic hasbeen felt inneighborhoods across the nation by collecting the ZIP code-level data from health departments in 12 states.The results paint a grim picture of COVID-19's devastation in places just miles orblocks from communities experiencing far less harm:

Read the report here.

- Grace Hauck, Mark Nichols, Miriam Marini and Andrew Pantazi

For Kentuckians and many across the horse racing industry, the first Saturday in May is a sacred holiday reserved for one thing: The Kentucky Derby.

Today would have marked the 146th running at Churchill Downs, which postponed the race until September due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event annually draws 150,000 people to the Louisville racetrack who come dressed in their best spring attire colorful hats, seersucker suits, linen pants and bow ties all to catch a glimpse of the fastest 2 minutes in sports, drink a Mint Julep and maybe spot a celebrity.

The last time the Derby wasn't held on the first Saturday in May was in 1945, when the U.S. government temporarily banned horse racing because of World War II.

And while racetracks in California, Kentucky and New York are closed,all eyes are on the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park, which rescheduled its race for 3-year-olds fromApril 11 to May 2.

- Rachel Aretakis

Reporters and experts from across the country and the USA TODAY Network talk about America's most urgent questions on disinfection and reinfection. USA TODAY

California has gained praisefor its speed in enactingsocial distancing orders which have helpedkeepthe most populousstate from suffering the kind of runaway outbreaks that have plagued other states. But a USA TODAY Network analysis finds the state is still woefully unprepared to reopenin accordance with public health recommendations.

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently laid out a reopening plan with benchmarks that must be met before he will recommend walking back stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures.He called for California to test between 60,000 and 80,000 people daily.

California is doing just a third of that, as of late April, conducting only about 52 tests per 100,000 people each day, according to a USA TODAY Networkanalysis. Across the nation, Californiafalls slightly into the bottom half of all states.

California is far behind behind the national leaders Rhode Island, North Dakota and New Mexico which are respectively averaging about 260, 209 and 163 tests per 100,000 residents each day. No other states have yet to achievethe recommended testing metric, though New York and Massachusetts are close.

Newsom has saidsome business sectors, such as retail and manufacturing, may be able to open within weeks if the state's testing capability grows and case numbers slow. Butother businesses such as hair salons will take longer.Large gatherings such as concerts still remain out of reach, he said.

Nicole Hayden,Mark Olalde, Jordan Culver and Joel Shannon

The FDAon Friday issued emergency authorization for use of remdesivir for the treatment of hospitalized coronavirus patients. Remdesivir"may be effective in treating COVID-19,"and "there is no adequate, approvedand available alternative,"the FDAs chief scientist Denise Hinton said in a letter.

Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral drug from the American biotech firm Gilead Sciences. It was originally tested as a treatment for Ebola and other coronaviruses including SARS and is now being tested as a possible COVID-19 treatment.

Early data from a global study released Wednesday found patients given remdesivir recovered faster and may be less likely to die. However, another study published the same day in the British medical journal The Lancet found no clinical benefits to the drug.

- Grace Hauck

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has invoked the states Riot Control Act to seal off all roads to nonessential traffic in the city of Gallupto help control a surging coronavirus outbreak in the former trading post on the outskirts of the Navajo Reservation.

Gallup, a city of 70,000,is the seat of McKinley County andhas reported 1,027 coronavirus cases and 19 deaths, the highest for any New Mexico county. Under Lujan Grishams order, which remains in effect until noon Monday, only two people per vehicle are allowed and residents should stay home except for essential trips.

The spread of #COVID19 in McKinley County is frightful. Physical distancing has not occurred & is not occurring, Lujan Grisham tweeted, after enacting the order at the request of Gallups mayor. Stricter measures are necessary to stop the virus.

Statewide, the governor reported eight deaths Friday, bringing the total to133, and 104 cases, raising the total to 3,513.

McKinley County includes part of the Navajo Nation reservation, which spans parts of New Mexico, Arizonaand Utah. The Navajo Nation ordered its own 57-hour weekend curfew starting at 8 p.m.

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Coronavirus live updates: Officials urge social distancing at beaches; over 65K have died in US - USA TODAY

Old Lyme Beaches to Close Indefinitely Starting This Weekend – NBC Connecticut

Public beaches in Old Lyme will be closed indefinitely starting Saturday. The decision was made by the Board of Selectmen earlier this week.

First Selectman Timothy Griswold said the town made the decision after seeing the warm temperatures forecast for this weekend. He said, using history as a guide, large groups of people tend to flock to Sound View beaches and other town beaches when the weather gets nice, making social distancing nearly impossible.

"If we suddenly had 4- or 500 people coming down, the genie would be out of the bottle," said Griswold. "We really would not be able to properly regulate things."

The town has placed electronic message boards along the main roads that lead to the beaches, reminding people that beaches are closed. Griswold said that police officers and rangers will be at Sound View this weekend to inform visitors that the beaches are closed.

According to a press release from the Town of Old Lyme, the town is not regulating the activities of the private beach associations, but they are urging private owners to be vigilant and ensure social distancing procedures are followed.

Restaurants along the beaches are still open. The general manager of Kokomo's at Sound View said that a lot of their business comes from the foot traffic of people visiting the beach.

"I was concerned about the reduction of revenue for us," said Drew McLachlan, general manager of Kokomo's.

While the public beach next door to Kokomo's is closed, the restaurant does have a private beach in its backyard. This weekend, McLachlan said, they are keeping their beach open. They will set up beach chairs, spread out six feet apart, and let people sit in a chair for $20 a visit. The $20 can then be used as a credit for a takeout meal from the restaurant.

"We are hoping to make up for the lost revenue with that," said McLachlan.

Beaches in neighboring towns and state beaches are still open, just encouraging normal social distancing practices.

Griswold said that he hopes the closure will not last long.

"We regret having to do this, but we look forward to the time when we can return to normal," said Griswold.

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Old Lyme Beaches to Close Indefinitely Starting This Weekend - NBC Connecticut

Tampa begins to open its parks, beaches – Tampa Bay Times

TAMPA Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced late Friday that some of the citys parks would open on Monday at sunrise along with the citys beaches.

The mayor made the announcement on her daily Facebook Live update, saying that dog parks, kayak, canoe and boat launches and other amenities were also reopening.

Here is the list of parks:

Restrooms, playgrounds, picnic area and sports fields will remain closed, according to an accompanying news release.

Castor asked residents to exercise in groups no larger than 10 and to maintain social distancing rules.

Code and law enforcement will monitor the spaces, she said.

Ben T. Davis, the beach on the south side of the eastern terminus of the Courtney Campbell Causeway is the citys most popular beach. The others are Picnic Island, Cypress Point and Davis Islands.

Hillsborough County has already announced it will reopen some of its parks as early as Saturday.

On Wednesday, Castor said she would keep the citys parks and beaches closed for the time being, citing her concern that they would attract crowds.

She also told the Tampa Bay Times in that interview that she considered getting the citys service industry back on its feet to be a higher priority.

Were doing all we can to help out our restaurants and our retail locations, she said. Its critically important that our economy get back open but that we do it very thoughtful, she said in her Facebook appearance.

She said the city would be making an announcement about Gov. Ron DeSantis statewide order allowing restaurants to operate at 25 percent capacity very soon.

Other city parks will remain closed, the release said.

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Tampa begins to open its parks, beaches - Tampa Bay Times

San Diego Officials: First beach weekend in 6 weeks will serve as a test – CBS News 8

Keep it classy, San Diego. Don't be like Orange County.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. This weekend will mark the first in six weeks most San Diego County beaches will be open after being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and law enforcement is not taking it lightly.

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer on Friday thanked San Diegans for staying strong in the face of COVID-19 health regulations and encourage them to keep it up ahead of warm weather forecasted for the weekend.

He stressed the importance of this weekend's beach behavior.

Nows the time we really have to redouble our efforts for the weekend. Im going to continue to advocate for you at all levels but we need your help cooperation and patience. we cannot go backwards, Mayor Faulconer said.

Police will heavily patrol beaches, and many beachgogers are hoping to stay out of trouble.

Its almost as if there are as many cop cars as there are regular cars, said one woman watching the view from her car.

San Diego officials did express concerns that residents would descend to the coast all at once.

One area I would like to ask for help is Sunset Cliffs. We're still seeing quite a few people to watch the red tide, but we're inundating the area, said San Diego Police Chief Nisleit

Parking at the beach will be limited in order to discourage the crowds.

Officials in San Diego hope residents comply and not ruin it for the rest like in Orange County where beaches were ordered to close again after last weekend's social distancing disaster.

Well at that time it was allowed there was nobody really there. There were no restrictions. It was just very confusing why there were no rules between the cities and counties, said a San Diego couple who happened to be part of the Newport crowds.

More cities are coming on board with San Diegos beach openings.

The cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, and Solana Beach on Friday announced they would reopen their beaches on Monday. Their beaches, too, will remain restricted to recreation use only.

That means beachgoers can: walk, run, bike, swim, surf, kayak, and boat.

Sitting, lying down on the sand, or gathering in groups is not allowed.

Police said their first attempt is a warning, and a quick lecture on the new rules. Those who reject those orders face six months jail time and a $1,000 fine.

For a full list of OPEN parks, go to: http://www.sandiego.gov/coronavirus

Parks are OPEN for passive use.

Parking lots remain CLOSED.

On Friday, City of San Diego golf courses reopened with physical distancing and face covering mandates.

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San Diego Officials: First beach weekend in 6 weeks will serve as a test - CBS News 8

Hundreds of deputies will be making sure people on Pinellas County beaches are social distancing – ABC Action News

ST.PETERSBURG BEACH, Fla. Hundreds of extra deputies will be on Pinellas County beaches to make sure people are social distancing starting Monday.

Pinellas County beaches open at 7 a.m. on Monday morning.

RECOMMENDED: Pinellas County opening public beaches, pools

The sheriff says 250 extra deputies will be on beaches making sure that people are staying six feet apart and in groups of 10 or less.

Every beach access point will have a uniformed deputy to educate people about the social distancing rules.

"Anyone not following the rules is going to be simply asked to leave the beach. If we see certain areas of the beach that exceed safe distancing and capacity requirements, people will be asked to relocate to open areas," said Bob Gualtieri, Pinellas County Sheriff.

The sheriff says deputies will be patrolling the beaches and making sure people are obeying parking rules until 8 p.m. every night.

Along with Pinellas County, Sarasota County will lift all beach restrictions starting Monday.

Manatee County is opening beaches on Monday for all activities, but they will have a two-hour parking limit.

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Hundreds of deputies will be making sure people on Pinellas County beaches are social distancing - ABC Action News

Indian River County beaches open for exercise, and there’s hope picnics could return soon – TCPalm

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INDIAN RIVER COUNTY Beaches remain open with restrictions on picnics and parties, but officials are hoping that could change soon.

Officials continue to evaluate facilities such as public beaches, County Administrator Jason Brown said Friday. The hope is to lift some restrictions within the next couple of weeks.

"We want to see how the first weekend goes," Brown said.

After closing because of the coronavirus,county beaches re-opened Tuesday to allow activities such as swimming, walking, running and kayaking. Social-distancing ruleskeeping 6 feet apart and limiting groups to less than 10 still apply.

More: Coronavirus in Florida: Indian River County beaches reopen for first day of 'essential activities' only

Indian River County officials re-opened the public beach access points to the community on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Beach activities are limited to "essential activities" only, according to County Administrator Jason Brown. Those include running, walking, surfing and exercise. (Photo: PATRICK DOVE/TCPALM)

Tents, blankets, coolers and chairs remain prohibited items, as sunbathing and "hanging out" activities are not allowed.

While Emergency Services Director Tad Stone said those restrictions couldbe part of the second or third phases of the state's reopening plan,likely two to fourweeks away, Brown said restrictions could be lifted sooner.

Re-opening facilities such as the IG Center could take longer, Brown said.

The county is re-opening a few other facilities, too.

Sandridge Golf Course reopened Friday, and the Indian River County Shooting Range off County Road 512 is expected to open May 8, officials said.

The Indian River County Main Library and North County Library partially opened to "book holds" this week, allowing people to reserve books or DVDs online and then pickthem up outsidethe library. Library materials also can be returned at the libraries.

More: Treasure Coast gears up for business re-opening following Gov. DeSantis' announcement

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Indian River County beaches open for exercise, and there's hope picnics could return soon - TCPalm

First full day of Gulf Shores beaches re-open – FOX10 News

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First full day of Gulf Shores beaches re-open - FOX10 News

Ventnor beaches to reopen May 8, Boardwalk to remain closed – Press of Atlantic City

Ventnor officials announced Friday that the citys beaches will reopen May 8 for passive recreation, but the Boardwalk will remain closed.

Permitted activities on the beach include walking, running or jogging, exercising and dog-walking, according to a post on the citys Facebook page. However, there will be no access to the Boardwalk other than crossing to the beach.

The 14-foot wide Boardwalk does not fit the guidelines for social distancing, according to the post, and will remain closed until further notice.

We believe these measures are in keeping with the spirit of the executive orders and have proven to discourage the surge in population that is counterproductive in reducing the spread of the novel virus Covid -19 in Ventnor, according to the post. We continue to discourage ALL homeowners, full time and seasonal, from unnecessary travel or large gatherings that may contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

14-day trend lines showing appreciable and sustained drop in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and other metrics reflecting decreasing burden of disease;

Hospitals stepping down from functioning under crisis standards of care.

At least double current diagnostic testing capacity;

Prioritize testing for health care workers, essential personnel, and vulnerable populations;

Create a flexible testing plan accessible to all residents;

Expand partnerships with institutions of higher education, private-sector labs, and the federal government;

Ensure that those who test positive are linked to a health care provider.

Recruit and deploy an army of personnel who will identify and follow-up with contacts;

Leverage technological data and innovative solutions to increase efficiency;

Coordinate the approach of local and state health officials, which will have a coordinated county/regional component.

To the greatest extent possible, provide individuals who do test positive in the future with a safe and free place to isolate and protect others from COVID-19;

Ensure that quarantined contacts are provided supportive services, if needed.

Create the Governors Restart and Recovery Commission to advise on the process and recommend responsible and equitable decisions;

Plan for a methodical and strategic return to work based on level of disease transmission risk and essential classification;

Continuation of social distancing measures, requirements for face coverings, and work-from-home directions where feasible and appropriate;

Leverage any available federal funds and programs to support health care, individual, and small business recoveries.

Learn from the lessons of COVID-19 and prepare for the possibility of a resurgence;

Ensure hospitals, health care systems, and other health delivery facilities have inventories of personal protective equipment and ventilators;

Build our own state personal protective equipment and ventilator stockpile;

Create a playbook for future administrations for the next pandemic.

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Ventnor beaches to reopen May 8, Boardwalk to remain closed - Press of Atlantic City

Fort Myers Beach reopens to the public – Fox 4

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. As of Saturday, May 2, Fort Myers Beach is back open to everyone.

Hundreds of people swarmed to the shores.

One person told Fox 4 she believes beaches should have reopened weeks ago.

Im a proponent for herd immunity if we dont get out and we dont get exposed there is no way that we are going to be able to fight this, sais Katie Deleuce.

Some people say they are receiving push back for their decision to go on with life as normal.

I feel like there is a lot of hostility with people that feel like everybody should be staying home, and thats fine stay hometo each its own, but when I can get back out there Im going to get back out there said Felicia Baas.

Douglas Sharf says fresh air is good for the soul and couldnt be happier to be back on the beach.

The way things are going all around the country...its like people kind of anything they can get to uplift their spirits, said Douglas Scharf.

The Fort Myers Beach Town Council voted unanimously to reopen beaches after weeks of apprehension.

I feel more comfortable now because the other beaches have opened up as well, so its not just Fort Myers Beach and were getting bombarded by everyone, its spread out, said Mayor Ray Murphy.

Mayor Murphy encourages everyone to still abide by CDC guidelines.

Play by the rules, come out have fun, but just keep your distance for now, said Mayor Ray Murphy.

K.C. Grosse worries the public may start to get too comfortable, forgetting we are all still in a pandemic.

This isnt over, thats our big fear is we do this much and people see everybody out and they think oh its over, its not over there are just certain places we can be and we still need to have precautions, said K.C. Grosse

The town council voted to reopen restaurants and retail stores at 25% capacity, matching Governor Ron DeSantis guidelines for Phase 1 of reopening the state starting Monday.

More here:

Fort Myers Beach reopens to the public - Fox 4

11 Stunning Photos of Zanzibar’s Beaches and Architecture – Cond Nast Traveler

The Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar is paradise defined: there are powdery white sand beaches, swaying palms, and the brilliant blue waters of the Indian Ocean, begging a dip. But the semi-autonomous region, which has long lured curious travelers, has a depth in its history and culture that are the true reason for repeat visits.

Also known as Spice Island, Zanzibar was once an important trading hub for traders from mainland Africa, India, and the Arab Peninsula, and that unique mix of influences can now be seen in everything from the food served, to the islands religious beliefs and architecture. In recent years, the pairing of that cultural strongholdwhich is so notably different from that of Tanzania properwith a new swath of chic, barefoot resorts has brought the destination even more buzz than in the past. As Zanzibar evolves, a new volume from Assouline celebrates the many reasons to fawn over the archipelago, with vintage photos, a look inside pilgrimage-worthy stays, and dazzling portraits of the Zanzibaris who make it the place that it is. Below are some of the images, pulled from the book, that are inspiring our future trips.

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11 Stunning Photos of Zanzibar's Beaches and Architecture - Cond Nast Traveler

Amid coronavirus, Californians have a right to beaches – Los Angeles Times

Every Californian has an unalienable right to a day at the beach.

Or at least an hour or two.

OK, maybe just a few minutes daydreaming in a car while marveling at the foaming breakers. Of course, most beach parking lots are now closed to you and me.

Going to the beach is our birthright as native Californians and our promise to newcomers. Its our gift from the Creator a trade-off for all the quakes, wildfires, mudslides and smog.

Yeah, I know: Every right has limits. Weve got the right to free speech but shouldnt wade into the surf and yell shark. And we shouldnt be spreading germs to other sunbathers.

So hire some beach patrols and enforce the rule about plopping down no closer than six feet apart. Maybe after a couple of warnings issue a citation for enough bucks to cover the administrative costs.

Although, honestly, I cant envision a young couple adhering to the six-foot rule for more than five minutes.

And forget about wearing masks on the beach. One of the oceans appeals is breathing in that salt air drifting in on a soft breeze.

My parents left Oklahoma and Tennessee in the 1920s searching for the California Dream. They met at a Ventura beach party. I practically grew up on beaches between Ventura and Santa Barbara Hollywood Beach, the Rincon, Carpinteria, East Beach while sheltering in Ojai.

At Ventura College, I often took my reading assignment down to a secluded beach on the Rincon. Later at San Jose State, I immediately noticed how pale most northern students were at summers end compared to Southern California beach worshipers. In Santa Cruz, the sun shined less and the water was colder. But it was still paradise.

Recently, it was reassuring to notice that Ventura politicians still get it. Beaches are the substance of local peoples lives. The City Council decided to open them on the first spectacular weekend of the season in support of balancing residents physical and mental health, it announced.

Yes, a warm sun, calm breeze and a little body surfing will do wonders for the mind, relaxing it and enabling the toleration of all manner of aggravations while sheltering at home. You cant find therapy like that good no matter the fee.

Of course, leaders of my old beach town werent very hospitable to outsiders. They told Angelenos to stay out.

To our L.A. County brothers and sisters, normally we like you to come here, but not right now, county Executive Officer Mike Powers was quoted in the Ventura County Star, which gave me my first daily newspaper job while at VC. If you have to travel, keep it to essential travel where you live.

Guess you cant blame people in Ventura, which has avoided being hard hit by COVID-19, for fearing being overrun by residents in more densely populated L.A., where the coronavirus continues to spread.

L.A. has kept its beaches closed. But they were opened in Orange County. And the Newport Beach City Council rejected a proposal to close down the beach in May after people swarmed there on the hot weekend.

Unfortunately, city parking lots at the beach were closed, so beachgoers invaded nearby neighborhoods.

I think you should reopen them, state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) said Tuesday. Hes a former Orange County supervisor who represents some beach communities. People should have access to facilities.

Moorlach says he understands why people flocked there on a beautiful weekend.

You need to trust people, the senator says. If they exercise proper social distancing, youve got to let people be people. If youre part of a vulnerable group, shame on you for going to the beach. For everyone else whos sheltering in place, the beach may be the best medicine.

We havent seen the surge in virus contagion that was feared, he continues. And Im not seeing a wide band of people in ICUs. I see hospitals in my district struggling because they dont have patients. Somethings amiss. Maybe people are seeing that too.

What Gov. Gavin Newsom saw those crowded beach scenes made him angry.

Those images are an example of what not to seewhat not to do, the governor declared during his Monday virus briefing. You didnt see those images at L.A. beaches and San Diego beaches and [in] Northern California because we had strong guidelines that were not only adopted but were abided by.

So amend the guidelines and loosen up.

Instead, sadly, the governor announced Thursday hes closing Orange County beaches. Thankfully he backed away from closing all beaches in California.

The TV angles were bad and made the beaches look more crowded than they really were, Moorlach says.

Everyone did social distancing. [It] was real cooperative and very respectful. They just wanted to get out and get some sun, which is really healthy.

If its unhealthy, if people are being infected with the virus by being drawn to the ocean as humans always have, show us some data. Do people who go to the beach contract the virus more than people who dont? Show us the numbers.

Until then, heres my declaration of independence from shallow thinking:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Californians are endowed with certain unalienable rights. Among these are sun, surf and a day at the beach.

Newsom could use some beach time.

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Amid coronavirus, Californians have a right to beaches - Los Angeles Times

Whats open outdoors? Parks, trails and beaches to visit during shelter in place – San Francisco Chronicle

Restrictions on outdoor activity were loosened in Bay Area health orders announced on April 29. In San Francisco, for example, its fine under the latest orders, which take effect May 4, to take transit to go to a park, where the city previously asked people to limit recreation to places they could walk or bike to. But its still confusing to know where you can go outside and what you can do there.

The Bay Area has more than 20 agencies and districts that manage more than 150 recreation destinations. Each works with its own county health department to set guidelines independently of other counties, park districts and watersheds. That leads to a patchwork of rules that differ everywhere you go. Heres what you need to know about getting outdoors in Northern California.

Q: Where are the rules the most open?

A: Irrespective of the governors desires, Modoc County, in the remote northeast section of California, relaxed its stay-at-home orders. Modoc has no positive tests for coronavirus in a population of about 9,000 people that spans 4,200 square miles. The only thing not open in Modoc are Forest Service campgrounds, likely to open in mid-May.

Q: Where are the rules the tightest?

A: Yosemite National Park and many other national parks remain shut down to all visitor access because of the potential of clustering and violating the 6-foot rule for social distancing. In recent years with good-weather springs, such as this year, visitor numbers can top 5 million; in Yosemite Valley on any summer day, 20,000 people can crowd in five square miles.

Q: When will campgrounds open?

A: 1,500 campgrounds on 100 Forest Service districts at lakes, streams and trailheads in California, Oregon and Washington will start opening in mid-May through June, based on the county and location. Now is the time to dream and plan. At state and national parks, and other sites where where people may cluster, the dates will likely be delayed until June, or when county health departments clear the activity by site. Size of groups will likely be restricted per site.

Q: As parks open, will there be special rules?

A: Parks will likely phase in openings with special rules that will include restrictions on group size, parking and requirements to carry masks or other face coverings. Sonoma County parks opened in late April, for instance, with rules where visitors are required to walk or bike to parks, and when on trails or fishing from shore (at Spring Lake) are required to carry masks and put them on when encountering others.

Q: When on the trail, what do you do when you come across others?

A: Hike only with people you live with. All trail users should carry a face covering. Put it on when encountering others. When you meet others, mountain bikers give way to horses and hikers, and hikers give way to horses. The one exception is on a hill, where a hiker sailing downhill should always give way to a mountain biker going uphill, grinding it out at 2 mph.

Q: Why are some boat ramps open and others closed?

An earlier version of this article did not specify when the latest health orders become effective. The Bay Area orders take effect May 4.

A: With different agencies and different rules, its been a piecemeal approach where the left hand doesnt know what the right hand is doing. Boat ramps are open at marinas in Berkeley and Richmond. Yet other harbor districts shut down their boat ramps, including Oyster Point in South San Francisco, Coyote Point in San Mateo, Loch Lomond in San Rafael, and Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay. On the Petaluma River, the ramp in Petaluma is open, yet the ramp just downstream at Black Point is closed. The result: same river, different counties and different results.

In the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, public boat ramps are closed and private boat ramps are open. It is likely boat ramp openings will be phased in through mid-June.

Q: What major recreation lakes have the least restrictions?

A: At giant Shasta Lake north of Redding, virtually everything is open that is, other than Forest Service campgrounds, which likely will open after May 15. Sugarloaf Resort, for instance, sold out its cabin rentals in late April. The water temperature is 64 degrees, still cold for water sports, but will likely enter the low 70s by Memorial Day weekend. Others that are open are Lake Amador near Ione, Bullards Bar near Camptonville, Trinity north of Weaverville and Almanor at Chester. Others are likely to reopen soon.

Q: What destinations have the least restrictions?

A: State Wildlife Areas provide access to large areas where you can break free for fitness and nature, and stay safe. The best for this include Grizzly Island Wildlife Area near Suisun City, with a driving tour on a levee road that provides access to trailheads, and the Napa-Sonoma Marshes Wildlife Area with best access by kayak to a matrix of rivers and sloughs at high tides.

Q: Why do I have to stay home in San Mateo when my brother in Walnut Creek says he can go anywhere he wants?

A: In San Mateo County, trails reopened in 13 of 23 parks, but access is restricted to within 10 miles of a persons residence, regardless of whether you live in the county. The countys health department set these rules after rangers observed severe clustering (before the parks were shut down). In the East Bay, guidelines are set by East Bay Parks in concert with the health officers in Contra Costa and Alameda counties; closures have been ordered for parts of 25 of 73 East Bay parks.

Q: What major recreation lakes have the most restrictions?

A: Lake Tahoe, Clear, Berryessa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Don Pedro, New Melones, Folsom, Collins and Jenkinson are closed. Each is managed by a different agency. As a result, each will open according to its own unique set of parameters, in conjunction with the respective health officer for that county. Most are expected to open by Memorial Day weekend or shortly after.

Q: When will I be able to hike and camp in wilderness?

A: The U.S. Forest Service and national parks are not issuing wilderness permits at this time. That will likely change in early June, as trailheads open up, snow melts off and trails clear in the most remote high country wilderness areas, and county health officers give the all-clear. At high-density areas, including Yosemite, Whitney, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, and Desolation at Tahoe, where trailhead quotas are established and where there is a higher chance of clustering, there is no projection when trailheads might open and permits will be issued or honored this summer.

Q: Where is the most remote wilderness with the least chance of seeing others on the trail, even if you write about it?

A: The South Warner Wilderness in eastern Modoc County.

Q: Is RV camping considered safe?

A: Most county health officers are considering it safe to camp in self-contained RVs, trailers, fifth wheels and cab-over campers, where you can park, eat and sleep without breaking the 6-foot bubble with other campers. Some RV parks in the rural north state started opening on May 1. A good summer appears ahead. The one area to stay clear of is Highway 1, where parks and camps get packed, and closures could linger well into summer until county health officials give sites the thumbs up.

Q: When will party boats start fishing trips again?

A: The consensus for fishing operations based out of San Francisco Bay is that trips for salmon, striped bass, halibut or rockfish will start roughly when restaurants start reopening. A group of anglers at the back of a party boat is similar to a group of people in a restaurant.

Q: Can I go surfing at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz?

A: The temporary order that banned out-of-town visitors to Santa Cruz has been partially lifted. Beaches are again open, including at the famous break at Steamer, but only for surfing and similar activities. The county has closed all of its beaches from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in an effort to keep crowds from gathering on the sand and violating social distancing rules. Surfers, swimmer and other people engaged in water activities are allowed to cross the sand to the water but nobody is allowed to loiter or linger. Sitting and sunbathing arent allowed. See http://www.cityofsantacruz.com for more information.

Q: How will officials keep all the city people away from the coast?

A: A lack of recreation outlets at inland parks in the Bay Area on good weather weekends has caused many from cities to drive over to the coast and clog Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, Stinson Beach and Point Reyes Station. Parking and vehicle access is banned at all state beaches, county beaches and at Point Reyes National Seashore. That squeezes visitors into small coastal towns. The best projection is that parking and access to beaches will be phased in over a series of stages, similar to how San Diego County opened its beaches.

Q: When will Bay Area lakes reopen?

A: Water districts, working with county health officers, closed San Pablo, Los Vaqueros, Del Valle, Lafayette and Loch Lomond reservoirs, among others, to all access. These closures came at the height of the spring fishing season, when anglers might cluster on shore. No reopening dates have been set. They may occur after water temperatures warm, trout stocks are done for the year and visitor use is projected to be light.

Q: When will the Eastern Sierra open to fishing?

A: The trout season was postponed in Inyo, Mono and Alpine counties, and parts of Sierra County, through May 31. It will likely be reopened after Memorial Day weekend, when the chance for large crowds and clustering is lessened.

Q: Will state parks be the last to reopen?

A: Yes, along with national parks where visitor use is high and groups tend to cluster. State parks report directly to the governor, who has kept tight wraps on access: All roads, parking, camping and picnic sites are closed at all 280 state parks and beaches. At the 50 state parks in the greater Bay Area, Bean Hollow, Butano, Portola Redwoods and San Gregorio State Beach in San Mateo County, and Castle Rock, Big Basin Redwoods and Santa Cruz Mission in Santa Cruz County are closed 100 percent.

Q: In rural areas, how do people react to out-of-towners?

A: It doesnt matter where you are from. Act like an idiot, you get treated like one. Keep a face mask handy, wear it when you leave your car and keep your distance, just like you would do no matter when you live. Rural people loathe fast city drivers lost in their self-absorbed bubbles.

Tom Stienstra is The Chronicles outdoor writer. Email: tstienstra@sfchronicle.com. Twitter: @StienstraTom.

Excerpt from:

Whats open outdoors? Parks, trails and beaches to visit during shelter in place - San Francisco Chronicle

Newport Beach Officials Release Photos Disputing That Their Beaches Were Overcrowded – CBS Los Angeles

NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) City of Newport Beach officials are disputing allegations that their beaches were overcrowded this past weekend amid news that the governor plans to close all beaches beginning Friday amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The overwhelming majority of Newport Beach residents and visitors were families or practicing social distancing, the Newport Beach police and fire departments said in a joint statement Thursday morning.

Police officers and lifeguards who patrolled the seven-mile stretch of beaches determined that while some clusters of people were not following physical distancing guidelines, the vast majority were, the agencies said.

Furthermore, to try and bolster their point, they released aerial photos from a police helicopter that were taken at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the peak day of attendance.

The Newport Beach City Council voted Tuesday against a proposal to close its beaches for the next three weekends.

However, that vote may not matter. According to a memo obtained by CBS News, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to announce the closure of all beaches and state parks effective Friday.

The order comes after Newsom, earlier this week, scolded the thousands of people who descended on beaches in Orange and Ventura counties during the weekend heat wave.

The images down in Orange County and Ventura County, on our beaches, those images are an example of what not to see, Newsom said Monday.

This virus doesnt take the weekends off, he added. This virus doesnt go home because its a beautiful, sunny day.

While beaches in L.A. County from Malibu to the South Bay were closed and empty over the weekend, the coastline of the cities of Port Hueneme, Huntington Beachand Newport Beach were quite the opposite, drawing thousands of visitors.

Huntington Beach police Sunday echoed Newport Beach police, tweeting that the majority of our beach goers are complying to social distancing.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Laguna Beach City Council Tuesday voted to reopen its beaches on weekday mornings only, from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., beginning May 4.

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Newport Beach Officials Release Photos Disputing That Their Beaches Were Overcrowded - CBS Los Angeles

Deserted Thai Beaches Lure Rare Turtles to Build Most Nests in 20 Years – EcoWatch

"Planet of the Humans" by the end of April had more than 4.7 million views and fairly high scores at the movie critic review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. The documentary has received glowing reviews from numerous climate "deniers" whose names are familiar to those in the climate community, including Steve Milloy, Marc Morano, and James Delingpole. Some environmentalists who have seen the movie are beginning to oppose wind and solar projects that are absolutely necessary to slow climate change.

The film by these two "progressive" filmmakers may succeed where Fox News and right-wing talk radio have failed: to undermine humanity's last best hope for positive change. As energy journalist Ketan Joshi wrote, the film is "selling far-right, climate-denier myths from nearly a decade ago to left-wing environmentalists in the 2020s."

The film follows Gibbs as he visits various green technology sites in the United States and ostensibly learns that each one is just as bad as the fossil fuel infrastructure that it would replace. Unfortunately, the movie is littered with misleading, skewed, and outdated scenes.

"Planet of the Humans"' approach is fundamentally flawed Gibbs focuses almost exclusively on the imperfections of technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, biomass, and electric cars without considering their ability to reduce carbon and other pollutants. The film suggests that because no source of energy is perfect, all are bad, thus implying that the very existence of human civilization is the problem while offering little in the way of alternative solutions.

A Badly Outdated Portrait of Solar and Wind

In an interview with Reuters, Michael Moore summarized the premise of the film: "I assumed solar panels would last forever. I didn't know what went into the making of them."

It's true. Solar panels and wind turbines don't last forever (though they do last several decades), and like every other industrial product, they require mining and manufacturing of raw materials. Sadly, that's about as deep as the film delves into quantifying the environmental impacts of renewable energy versus fossil fuels. In fact, the misinformation in the film is at times much worse than ignorance.

In one scene, author and film co-producer Ozzie Zehner falsely asserts, "You use more fossil fuels [manufacturing renewables infrastructure] than you're getting benefit from. You would have been better off burning the fossil fuels in the first place instead of playing pretend."

That's monumentally wrong. A 2017 study in Nature Energy found that when accounting for manufacturing and construction, the lifetime carbon footprints of solar, wind, and nuclear power are about 20 times smaller than those of coal and natural gas, even when the latter include expensive carbon capture and storage technology. The energy produced during the operation of a solar panel and wind turbine is 26 and 44 times greater than the energy needed to build and install them, respectively. There are many life-cycle assessment studies arriving at similar conclusions.

The film's case is akin to arguing that because fruit contains sugar, eating strawberries is no healthier than eating a cheesecake.

It's true that the carbon footprint of renewable energy is not zero. But the film somehow fails to mention that it's far lower than the fossil fuel alternatives, instead falsely suggesting (with zero supporting evidence) that renewables are just as bad. The closest defense of that argument comes when Zehner claims that wind and solar energy cannot displace coal, and instead retired coal power plants are being replaced by even larger natural gas plants.

In reality, coal power generation in the U.S. has declined by about half (over 1 trillion kilowatt-hours) over the past decade, and it's true that natural gas has picked up about two-thirds of that slack (670 kWh). But growth in renewables has accounted for the other one-third (370 kWh). As a result, power sector carbon emissions in the U.S. have fallen by one-third since 2008 and continue to decline steadily. In fact, electricity is the only major sector in the U.S. that's achieving significant emissions reductions.

It's true that natural gas is a fossil fuel. To reach zero emissions, it must be replaced by renewables with storage and smart grids. But thus far the path to grid decarbonization in the U.S. has been a success story that the film somehow portrays as a failure. Moreover, that decarbonization could be accelerated through policies like pricing carbon pollution, but the film does not once put a single second of thought into policy solutions.

In perhaps its most absurd scene, Gibbs and Zehner visit a former solar facility in Daggett, California, built in the mid-1980s and replaced 30 years later. Gazing upon the sand-covered landscape of the former facility, Gibbs declares in an ominous tone, "It suddenly dawned on me what we were looking at: a solar dead zone."

Daggett is located in the Mojave Desert. Sand is the natural landscape. Solar farms don't create dead zones; in fact, some plants thrive under the shade provided by solar panels.

It suddenly dawned on me how hard the film was trying to portray clean energy in a negative light.

A Shallow Dismissal of Electric Vehicles

In another science, Gibbs travels to a General Motors facility in Lansing, Michigan, circa 2010, as GM showcased its then-new Chevy Volt plug-in electric hybrid vehicle. Gibbs interviews a representative from the local municipal electric utility provider, who notes that they generate 95% of their supply by burning coal, and that the power to charge the GM facility's EVs will not come from renewables in the near future.

That is the full extent of the discussion of EVs in the film. Viewers are left to assume that because these cars are charged by burning coal, they're just greenwashing. In reality, because of the high efficiency of electric motors, an electric car charged entirely by burning coal still produces less carbon pollution than an internal combustion engine car (though more than a hybrid). The U.S. Department of Energy has a useful tool for comparing carbon emissions between EVs, plug-in hybrids, conventional hybrids, and gasoline-powered cars for each state. In Michigan, on average, EVs are the cleanest option of all, as is the case for the national average power grid. In West Virginia, with over 90% electricity generated from coal, hybrids are the cleanest option, but EVs are still cleaner than gasoline cars.

In short, EVs are an improvement over gasoline-powered cars everywhere, and their carbon footprints will continue to shrink as renewables expand to supply more of the power grid.

A Valid Critique of Wood Biomass

The film devotes a half hour to the practice of burning trees for energy. That's one form of biomass, which also includes burning wood waste, garbage, and biofuels. Last year, 1% of U.S. electricity was generated by burning wood, but it accounted for 30% of the film run time.

In fairness, Europe is a different story, where wood biomass accounts for around 5% of electricity generation, and which imports a lot of wood chips from America. It's incentivized because the European Union considers burning wood to be carbon neutral, and it can thus be used to meet climate targets. That's because new trees can be planted to replace those removed, and the EU assumes the wood being burned would have decayed and released its stored carbon anyway.

There are numerous problems with those assumptions, one of which is unavoidable: time. Burning trees is close to carbon neutral once a replacement tree grows to sufficient maturity to recapture the lost carbon, but that takes many decades. In the meantime, the carbon released into the atmosphere accelerates the climate crisis at a time when slashing emissions is increasingly urgent. That's why climate scientists are increasingly calling on policymakers to stop expanding this practice. So has 350.org founder Bill McKibben since 2016, despite his depiction in the film as a villainous proponent of clearcutting forests to burn for energy.

It's complicated, but the carbon footprint of biomass depends on where the wood comes from. Burning waste (including waste wood) as biomass that would decay anyway is justifiable, but also generally only practical at a relatively small scale. A more detailed investigation of the wood biomass industry could make for a worthwhile documentary. It's still a small-time player, but it does need to stay that way.

The Bottom Line

Gibbs asks, "Is it possible for machines made by industrial civilization to save us from industrial civilization?"

Why not? Industrial civilization has a non-zero climate and environmental footprint, but the impact of green technologies like EVs, wind turbines, and solar panels is much smaller than the alternatives. They represent humanity's best chance to avoid a climate catastrophe.

The filmmakers call for an end to limitless economic growth and consumption. It's difficult to envision that goal being achieved anytime soon, but even if it is, human civilization will continue to exist and require energy. To avert a climate crisis, that energy must be supplied by the clean renewable technologies pilloried in the film. To expand on the earlier analogy, the filmmakers seem to believe we should improve nutrition not by eating healthier foods like strawberries, but rather by eating a bit less cheesecake.

Like Fox News and other propaganda vehicles, the film presents one biased perspective via carefully chosen voices, virtually all of whom are comfortable white men. It applies an environmental purity test that can seem convincing for viewers lacking expertise in the topic. Any imperfect technology which is every technology is deemed bad. It's a clear example of the perfect being the enemy of the good. In reality, this movie is the enemy of humanity's last best chance to save itself and countless other species from unchecked climate change through a transition to cleaner technologies.

Related Articles Around the Web

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Deserted Thai Beaches Lure Rare Turtles to Build Most Nests in 20 Years - EcoWatch

Maine’s most popular parks and beaches to remain closed – Press Herald

Maines most popular state parks will remain closed until at least June 1 under a new executive order from Gov. Janet Mills that aims to reopen the states economy in stages while guarding against the spread of the coronavirus.

The parks, mostly located along the states central and southern coasts, are tourist hot spots with some of the largest beaches in northern New England.

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands released a detailed list Wednesday of the coastal state parks. The parks were first closed March 27 because of concerns that visitors were not following guidelines for social distancing as outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overcrowding at those parks when they were open made it increasingly difficult for the public to implement appropriate physical distancing, Jim Britt, a spokesman for the Bureau of Parks and Lands, said Wednesday. As a result, the department closed those select coastal parks and beaches and is monitoring visitation at all state parks.

The closed parks and sites are:Reid State Park,Popham Beach State Park,Fort Popham,Fort Baldwin,Kettle Cove State Park,Two Lights State Park,Crescent Beach State Park,Scarborough Beach State Park,Ferry Beach State Park andMackworth Island.

Several southern Maine municipalities with public beaches have also closed them in response to the pandemic. In March, the towns of Wells, Ogunquit, Kittery and York all announced their beaches would be closed to the public after crowding there fueled concerns that visitors would spread the virus.

Maine has 48 state parks and historic sites, and visitation surged at parks that remained open for day use following the earlier closure of the beach parks.

Mills on Tuesday announced a plan to gradually reopen the state. It includes opening state parks and public lands for day use only, but noted that most of the states coastal parks would remain shuttered until at least June 1 and possibly longer if the number of COVID-19 cases in Maine surges again or the severity of cases becomes worse.

Closing any of our state parks is the last thing we want to do, Britt said. We are keeping as many parks as possible open, and we encourage people to look for ways to take much-needed breaks in the outdoors that allow them to avoid crowded places and maintain physical distancing.

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Maine's most popular parks and beaches to remain closed - Press Herald

Coronavirus live updates: Outdoor access on the rise, virus rates vary between neighborhoods – USA TODAY

These individuals, from six to 95-year-old, fought the coronavirus and won. USA TODAY

Statesacross the country took steps this weekend to relaxsocial distancing,particularly restrictionsthat were keeping people from exercising outdoors.

Access to beaches, parks, golf courses, boat rampsand more is on the rise across the country, even as leaders warn that restrictions could come back if coronavirus cases spike. These hintsof normalcy come alongside grim reminders of the seriousness of the health crisis: the iconicKentucky Derby has been rescheduledfor the first time since World War II, possibletherapies for the virus are still experimental, and the death toll continues to climb.

Our live blog is being updated throughout the day. Refresh for the latest news, and get updates in your inbox with The Daily Briefing.

Here are the most important developments of the day:

In other news: You may have heard about something called a "Murder Hornet" being spotted in the U.S.It's real. You should not panic.

A question you might have: Are researchers working on ultraviolet light 'treatment' for COVID-19? Here's our fact-check on the topic.

California authorities pleaded for beachgoers to follow social distancing rules over the weekend after Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday temporarily shuttered Orange Countys coastline,a move he said was prompted by overcrowded beaches last weekend.

At least in some places, officials were pleased with results. In San Diego, where people can exercise on the beach but not linger, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer praised residents for heeding safety restrictions that public health officials have credited at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

But even as Newsom and others seek a cautious, phased reopening of the state, protesters dont want to wait.In Huntington Beach, police estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people gathered for May Day on a beachside street. They waved American flags and held signs. Most of them wore no masks and didnt practice social distancing.

In Sacramento, as police lined steps outside the Capitol, protesters waved signs that said Defend Freedom and broke into U-S-A chants.

A similar situation played out in various states on the East Coast on Saturday.

State and county parks were allowed to reopen in New Jersey, and park-goer Lisa Hoffman was among those enjoying the reprieve:"I felt like I was let out of prison today," Hoffman said. "If they have to do this slowly, I'm okay with that. But we need to move forward."

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he was pleased with initial reports of social distancing from a beachfront park, state parks and some golf courses that also reopened.

Joel Shannon,Mike Davis

The mayor of an Oklahoma city amended a face mask requirement Friday afterbusinesses reported employees being physically threatened by patrons who didn't want to wear masks.

According to theStillwater News Press, Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce said the order had to be changed after just three hours.

"In the short time beginning on May 1, 2020, that face coverings have been required for entry into stores/restaurants, store employees have been threatened with physical violence and showered with verbal abuse," Joyce said. "In addition, there has been one threat of violence using a firearm. This has occurred in three short hours and in the face of clear medical evidence that face coverings helps contain the spread of COVID-19."

More than30 gravely ill patients who took part in an experimentaltreatment for COVID-19at Houston Methodist Research Institute have recovered from the illness and have left the hospital, the physician overseeing the therapy said Friday.

"All of these people were very, very sick," Dr. James A. Musser, chairman of the department of pathology and genomic medicine at Houston Methodist Hospital, said in a phone interview. "Many of them were on ventilators. That was the common theme."

It cannot be said with certainty the treatment, in whichplasma donated by people who had fully recoveredfrom the illness caused by the coronavirus is injected into those still sick, was responsible for recoveries, Musser said. But it appears to be a hopeful sign, he added.

Experts are still seeking to determine the types of patients who appeared to have benefited from the therapy and thetypes who did not.

John C Moritz

Workers face 'uphill battle' proving firms liable if they catch COVID-19 as economy reopens. Read more.

Ohio's loosening of stay-at-home orders Friday represents Gov. Mike DeWine's cautious approach, starting with an easing of rules for hospitals, dentists and veterinarians, followed Monday withthe opening of construction and manufacturing. Retail and customer service shops will remain shuttered until May 12.

Meanwhile, to usher in the first ofMay, more than a dozen states like Louisiana and Colorado have allowed restaurants, storesor some other business to reopen, but under tightrestrictionsto keep people apart.Find the latest on your state here.

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Coronavirus live updates: Outdoor access on the rise, virus rates vary between neighborhoods - USA TODAY

Marshfield and Duxbury look to shore up beaches with beach nourishment plan – The Patriot Ledger

The towns had planned for a meeting in March, but it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

MARSHFIELD Before the coronavirus pandemic, Marshfield Planning Director Greg Guimond and his Duxbury counterpart planned a public presentation and meeting in March for a plan for beach nourishment by dumping sand on and near beaches to prevent further erosion and protect the seawalls.

The pandemic ended any possibility of an in-person gathering in March. Public hearings will still happen, whether in person or virtually, but first Marshfield and Duxbury are planning an informational meeting, without real-time public input, to clear the way for a public hearing.

The meeting will be streamed online, Monday morning from 9 to 10:15 a.m., on both the Marshfield and Duxbury community television websites, and then made available anytime via either website.

Guimond said the presentation will be lead by Leslie Fields, of the Woods Hole Group.

"It's mostly Leslie with, here's where we are, here are the facts and here are the next steps," Guimond said.

Before and after the presentation, Guimond and Duxbury Town Planner Valerie Massard will answer resident's questions via email.

"It's more of us trying to get info out to the public," Guimond said. "We want to make the public as informed as possible up until the point we have a public hearing."

The grant for the design and permitting of the beach and dune nourishment projects came from the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management, with a deadline in June, and the project has not received an extension. Holding public hearings is one of the requirements.

"When we get to those public hearings, we want them to go smoother," Guimond said.

How those eventual public hearings will happen, and if they will be online, in person, or a combination of the two, is up in the air, but public hearings provide a more rich experience to judge the public's response, he said.

"It's very useful, on our side, because we got immediate reactions and on the public's side, they felt like we heard them," Guimond said. "The Zoom remote hearings, they're difficult to get the true sense of where people are on things. That is a very difficult read."

Holding only digital hearings would pose a very real problem for participation, he said.

"If everyone wants to interact at a hearing, that would probably be 500 people," he said.

Massard and Guimond said beach nourishment is important because it prolongs the life of the seawalls.

"All of it's expensive, but we're trying to make the best use of public money," Massard said.

She said 260 houses are directly impacted because they are protected by the seawall.

Seawalls in Marshfield and Duxbury both failed in 2018 during powerful storms, crumbling into the ocean.

Guimond said the meeting is to help the public understand that beach nourishment is a lengthy and expensive process and it will require easements from property owners.

"A lot of things have gone off people's radars at the moment," he said.

Wheeler Cowperthwaite can be reached at wcowperthwaite@patriotledger.com.

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Marshfield and Duxbury look to shore up beaches with beach nourishment plan - The Patriot Ledger

City parks and state beaches re-open for exercise only – KHON2

Most Honolulu city parks re-opened on Saturday after being shut down by Mayor Kirk Caldwell back on March 21.

At 5 a.m. caution tape and no parking signs were lifted and parking lots re-opened to the public.

However, what you can do at a park and beach park remains limited.

*At 2:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 25, Governor David Ige announced he had re-opened state beaches for exercise use only.

Governor Ige closed all state beaches last week due to the fact people continued to congregate and not follow proper social distancing guidelines. Others continued to sit on the beach, which has not been allowed for over one month.

No one is allowed to sunbathe, read a book, set up a towel, chair, or congregate with others on any beach in the state.

State and county officials emphasized that people must be moving (walking, running, jogging) on the beach or they can be cited by police.

As long as theyre not gathering or standing around, lying on the beach, or sitting on the beach, explained Michele Nekota, Director of Parks and Recreation for City and County of Honolulu. They have to be walking, running or jogging or biking of course on the proper path.

The same rules apply for parks in Honolulu. No one can sit down on a bench or have a picnic. People may only walk through the park to go to the bathroom or get to the ocean.

Honolulu police provides enforcement for the parks and I wouldnt be able to answer exactly what they would be doing, but theyre going to be around and monitoring and enforcing the parks, said Nekota.

KHON2 spoke to Melanie Vanepps, a 12-year-old Honolulu resident, who said she was happy to finally be outside again.

She told KHON2 that she hopes others follow the rules so parks dont have to shut down again.

You have to stay six feet away from people, and you cant stand still on the beach, she said.

If they keep not following it then more cases are going to go up, and we are not going to be allowed to walk in the parks anymore. And Ill be stuck in the house all day again, she said.

With beach parks open once again, Honolulu Ocean Safety are also back in their towers. Theyll be working their normal hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Playgrounds, off-leash dog parks, campgrounds, sporting activities (soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis etc.), gyms, pools, skateparks and recreation buildings remain closed.

Hanauma Bay and Koko Head shooting complex are also closed.

State parks that have re-opened (for exercise purposes only) include but are not limited to, Polihale State Park on Kauai, Makena State Park on Maui, Malaekahana and Kaena State Park on Oahu.

Ocean activities like surfing, swimming and stand-up paddle boarding are allowed.

Everyone is to continue social distancing while on the beach and in parks.

Go here to read the rest:

City parks and state beaches re-open for exercise only - KHON2

San Clemente beaches to reopen for residents this weekend – Los Angeles Times

As a heat wave bears down on Southern California, San Clemente plans to reopen city-owned beaches this weekend.

The beaches, along with coastal waters and trails, had been closed since April 8 in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Orange County public health officials had reported 43 COVID-19 patients in San Clemente as of Thursday.

San Clementes City Council voted Tuesday night to begin the process of reopening the citys beaches, which will be available for active use only, such as walking, running, swimming and surfing, officials said. Sunbathers are not welcome.

You cant bring your beach chair or your umbrella, set up for the day and spend the afternoon there, said Erik Sund, assistant city manager.

Representatives of the city and the Orange County Sheriffs Department will be posted at the beaches to ensure that people follow the rules and maintain social distancing, he said.

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Zuma Beach Closed: Lifeguard towers sit on an empty Zuma Beach in Malibu. (Brian van der Brug/Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

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Broad Beach Closed: Beachgoers walk on Broad Beach in Malibu. To fend off coronavirus contagion, Los Angeles County has kept beaches closed. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

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Zuma Beach Closed: Nets were removed to foil beach volleyball players at Zuma Beach in Malibu. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

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Corral Beach Closed: Los Angeles County lifeguards ask a couple to leave Corral Beach in Malibu. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

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Venice Beach Closed: Beachgoers enjoy the sun and sand along the boardwalk in Venice Beach. Southern California beaches are expected to draw crowds this weekend as an early heat wave hits its peak on Saturday and Sunday, even though much of the shoreline remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

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Venice Beach Closed: The setting sun casts a dark golden hue over everything. Southern California beaches are expected to draw crowds this weekend as an early heat wave hits its peak on Saturday and Sunday, even though much of the shoreline remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

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Venice Beach Closed: Beachgoers never run out of ways to have fun. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

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Manhattan Beach Closed: A lone figure walks onto a closed Manhattan Beach Pier in Manhattan Beach. (Genaro Molina/Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

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Manhattan Beach Closed: Waves are minus surfers next to a closed bike path in Manhattan Beach. Even with the warm weather, the majority of beachgoers and surfers stayed away from beaches that have been closed to stop crowds from gathering to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

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Hermosa Beach Closed: The only one surfing was a statue of surfer Dewey Weber as a visitor walks near The Strand which has been closed to stop people from gathering to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in Hermosa Beach. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

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Huntington Beach Open: Beachgoers enjoying warm summer-like weather appear to be keeping their distance in Huntington Beach. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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Huntington Beach Open: A man sprints across an empty stretch of sand in Huntington Beach. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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Huntington Beach Open: Cailin Healy, right, of Calabasas and a friend take a selfie together in Huntington Beach. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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Huntington Beach Open: Unable to go to the gym, Jeff Spirk, 31, of Huntington Beach does pull-ups on a lifeguard tower. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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San Clemente Open: Aerial view of the previously closed San Clemente pier and beach on April 8. The city is reopening the beach. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

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San Clemente Open: A couple takes in a sunset together near the San Clemente pier. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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Malibu Closed: A jogger and her dog run on a closed Westward Beach Road at Westward Beach in Malibu. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

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Hermosa Beach Closed: Daryl Presley and his son, Indy, 3, of Torrance play in the sand of Noble Park in Hermosa Beach. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

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Hermosa Beach Closed: Holly Martin, right, who works at Snapchat, brought her laptop to Noble Park in Hermosa Beach to get some work done in the sun. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

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Hueneme Beach Open: Sisters Emily, 7, and Hazel Enholm, 4, spent the day at Hueneme Beach, which had a soft opening with restrictions as Ventura County modified its stay-at-home order. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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Hueneme Beach Open: Brian Ledis of Westlake Village gives surfing lessons to his 8-year-old son Rowan at Hueneme Beach. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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Hueneme Beach Open: People enjoy the surf and sand at Hueneme Beach. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

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Point Mugu Closed: Visitors dont seem to be observing social distancing restrictions on April 11 at Point Mugu. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

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Point Mugu Closed: California State Parks Ranger David Gunn warns visitors at Point Mugu that parking is not allowed due to coronavirus and social distancing restrictions. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

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Point Mugu Closed: A surfer flies off his board to end a ride at Point Mugu State Park in Ventura County. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

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Point Mugu Closed: Miriam Burciga enjoys a socially distant perch overlooking Point Mugu State Park in Ventura County. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Officials remain concerned that the reopening could lead to an influx of out-of-town visitors, which contributed to the citys decision to close its beaches in the first place.

After San Diego County elected to shut down its shores, every stretch of sand south of San Clemente to the border of Mexico became off-limits to the public. The nearby cities of Laguna Beach and Seal Beach had also chosen to close their beaches, as did Los Angeles County to the north.

That made San Clementes beaches a magnet for travelers, prompting residents to complain about crowds, Sund said.

Beach closures in neighboring cities and adjacent counties remain in place, although other stretches of Orange Countys shoreline are open.

But San Clemente along with all of Orange County is trying to discourage out-of-town visitors by keeping public parking lots closed, and the City Council also voted to put in place additional parking and beach-access restrictions.

If someone from another city is wanting to come to our beach, it is going to be very difficult for them to find parking, Sund said. And if they come here and think they can spend the day here, theyre quickly going to learn that is not something we are going to allow on the beach currently.

The city could not say exactly when beaches would reopen this weekend because it is still working through the logistics of parking and other restrictions.

Everyones looking at trying to ease back into whatever the new normal will be, as opposed to diving back in, Sund said. Were trying to do it right and not rush.

He said that the city also has been in contact with state officials about possibly reopening San Clemente State Park and San Onofre State Beach and expects a determination to be made on those areas soon.

Obviously, it poses some logistic challenges for [the state] if we open up, he said. One of our boundaries is San Onofre State Beach, and you cant just draw a line in the sand no pun intended.

He said that city officials will monitor the effects of the beach reopening and make adjustments if needed.

At the end of the day, the council is very much wanting to see the curve go down related to COVID-19, he said. But its also recognizing that residents who live in a coastal community choose to live here for the recreational opportunities a coastal community offers and trying to find that balance.

Earlier this week, Orange County officials debated but ultimately decided against closing all of the countys beaches for two weeks over concerns about the possibility of crowds in the wake of a heat wave thats forecast to peak Friday and Saturday.

Continue reading here:

San Clemente beaches to reopen for residents this weekend - Los Angeles Times


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