HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KRON) – Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s order to close all Orange County beaches over the coronavirus, Huntington Beach officials have voted to challenge the mandate.

The OC Register reports the decision is being challenged because “Orange County has among the lowest per-capita COVID-19 death rates in California,” according to Mayor Lyn Semeta, and the order is “in direct contradiction of the governor’s “stated goal to allow science and facts to guide our response to this horrible global pandemic.”

Governor Newsom’s decision was announced Thursday in response to beach crowds during a heat wave last weekend in Southern California. Massive crowds were apparently spotted in Orange and Ventura counties.

The Huntington Beach City Council voted 5-2 to direct the city attorney to pursue any and all legal actions necessary to challenge the state’s beach closure directive, the Register reports.

According to officials, despite the challenge to the order, the county will still close all beaches beginning May 1.

The closure includes bike paths, boat ramps, parking lots, and restrooms, and will bar activities such as swimming, sunbathing, running, walking and all water sports.

“Our experience locally had been that most people were being responsible and complying with social distancing requirements,” the city statement said, according to the Register.

It was originally stated in a leaked memo that the governor would be shutting down all California state beaches and parks, but Newsom only mentioned Orange County beaches in his directive Thursday.

Many beaches in the Bay Area remain closed due to local mandates.

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