California's springtime heatwave has prompted tens of thousands of people to hit the beach amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to CBS Los Angeles, lifeguards in and around Orange County say more than more than 50,000 people visited beaches on Friday, with more expected in the upcoming days as temperatures near 100 degrees.
"It's hot out, and we're seeing the crowds increase, doubling every day," Newport Beach Lifeguard Battalion Chief Brian O'Rourke told the outlet Saturday. "Yesterday we had about 20,000 people. Today I would expect almost double that."
Though beaches in Los Angeles county have remained close since last month, many beaches in Orange and Ventura counties have remained open to the public with restrictions; these include a ban on sunbathing and access to parking lots—a move that aims to reduce visitation from outside residents.
"We are expecting crowds of up to 30 or 40 thousand in the city of Newport Beach at the beach," O'Rourke told CNN. "People are coming from everywhere. When the crowds get extremely large it's challenging because we are focusing on the water, because we don't want people to drown. There's still some surf and rip currents out there."
California law enforcement have continued to patrol both closed and opened beaches to ensure the public isn't violating lockdown restrictions; but as the crowds get bigger, it has becoming increasingly difficult to enforce the orders. A number of photos and videos have surface on social media, showing crowds of people congregating on the beaches without maintaining a safe physical distance.