Gov. Gavin Newson announced the closure of beaches in Orange County, but stopped short of closing all beaches in the state.

“The conditions last week, the images we saw on a few of our beaches were disturbing,” Newsom said. “I was very candid about that. We’ve been very consistent about that.”

Speaking during a Thursday afternoon press conference, Newsom said that while the vast majority of beaches in the state adhered to appropriate restrictions and physical distancing, behavior on the beaches in Orange County set off alarm bells.

Calling the closure a temporary pause for state and local beaches, he said the beaches could be reopened quickly if guidelines can be put in place.

“We’ve got to make sure we get this right,” he said. “Why undo the great progress?”

Orange County is one of four Southern California counties, along with Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties, that have been at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. They make up four of the top five counties in state in terms of the number of confirmed cases. Santa Clara County in the Bay Area rounds out the top five.

“My job as governor is to keep you safe,” Newsom said. “When our health folks tell me they can’t promise that if we promote another weekend like we had, then I have to make this adjustment. I hope it’s a very short-term adjustment. I’m confident it will be because the spirit that defines the moment is disproportionately the spirit of cooperation. There’s always exceptions, but they truly are exceptions.”

In Contra Costa County, 13 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, bringing the total in the county to 891. Additionally, two new deaths were reported. The number of fatalities in the county now stands at 27. The number of hospitalized patients ticked up by three to 27, which is the average number of hospitalized patients over the last seven days.

In East County, Brentwood now has 58 confirmed cases. There are 70 cases in Antioch, 33 in Oakley, eight in Discovery Bay and one in Bethel Island.

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