Local police in Los Angeles are cautioning against any public gatherings as the city braces up for a significant increase in heat levels in the coming days. The warning is coming at a time when more people are getting restless and agitated from the forced lockdown.
Wrong Period to Visit the Beach
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore explained that the authorities understand how the heat could make people want to flock to beaches and get out more. However, with the coronavirus still ravaging life in the city, it would be better if everyone stayed indoors.
“We like to be outdoors. And yet… we’ve needed to close trailheads. We’ve needed to close the beaches. There are areas of Los Angeles we’re asking people not to congregate. We’re asking people to exercise social distancing so that we can cut down this threat of the COVID-19,” he explained.
Moore also pointed out the progress that his department and the people of Los Angeles have made so far, especially with the forced lockdowns.
In his speech, he pointed out that his police officers have focused on educating people that they see outside on why they should be indoors. As Moore explained, this will be much more effective than instituting one punishment or the other.
As for the people, they’ve also been cooperative. As he pointed out, most people have complied and stayed home, while a majority of the people that police officers have approached and told to leave public area shave complied as well.
However, the current weather conditions provide a bit of a conundrum for law enforcement. Weather forecasts estimate that Los Angeles could see its first 90-degree temperature of the year this weekend, after the city started the week at the upper 60s.
Historically, Los Angeles witnesses 90-degree temperatures around May. With heat levels soaring soon, local authorities are urging people to stay indoors and practice social distancing.
San Mateo County Police Move to Restrict Beachgoers
As for the effects on the people, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti pointed out that the city’s authorities might be looking into opening cooling centers for people – especially those in hotter areas.
“If we do have triggers that go beyond the normal triggers that we have even in the pre-COVID-19 days, we are looking at cooling centers this weekend,” he said, adding that the cooling centers would also institute social distancing policies for attendants.
Several coastal cities have already started feeling the need for some beach time, especially considering the temperatures.
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week that police in the San Mateo County city of Pacifica had to move swiftly to disperse a crowd that had gathered at the Linda Mar Beach last weekend.
Per the report, police officers had to order up to 275 people to leave the beach from Friday to Sunday after they found that the people had left the 5-mile restriction to come and get some fun in the sun.
Police Captain Chris Clemens expressed his disappointment at the turnout, adding that he would move to restrict parking and access to all local beaches. Like in Los Angeles, he said that he would also be putting police officers to patrol the beaches and educate people who try to violate restrictions.
California is currently battling an unexpected spike in the number of both confirmed cases and deaths, with the former surging for the second straight day on Tuesday. For now, there are almost 36,000 confirmed cases in the state. Governor Gavin Newsom has expressed his desire to quintuple the state’s testing capabilities in the coming weeks.