Georgia Cautiously Reopens, Californians Defy Beach Ban As Temperatures Soar

Malibu, L.A., beaches
Malibu on Friday, April 24 AP Images

Even as Georgia became the first state to officially reopen some of its businesses, increasingly restive California residents defied lockdown orders to head to the beaches as temperatures hit the 90s.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom pleaded for social distancing in any gathering. The state had 115 fatalities from Wednesday to Thursday, with the statewide death toll now at 1,597. The state has a mandatory stay-at-home order since March 19.

On Friday, Newsom tweeted out a message. “It’s going to be nice outside this weekend. You might be feeling cooped up. Ready for life to go back to “normal.” But can’t stress this enough: CA can only keep flattening the curve if we stay home and practice physical distancing. You have the power to literally save lives.”

Some 40,000 people were reportedly headed to Newport Beach Friday, and possibly larger crowds may be anticipated for the weekend as temperatures remain high.

Meanwhile, Georgia reopened its gyms, hair salons and tattoo parlors on Friday, with movie theaters and dine-in restaurants set to follow on Monday.

But many businesses remained shuttered, as fears lingered about whether it truly was safe to return to work Georgia’s shelter-in-place order doesn’t officially expire until April 30.

In other cities and states, protests continued demanding reopening of economic activity. Las Vegas, Michigan and Wisconsin are among the most recent states to witness protests. Other cities and states have joined in or plan to protest in the near future.

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