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Social distancing urged as sunny weekend tempts Californians


Californians will be tempted to hit beaches and trails in the midst of a spring heat wave this weekend but authorities are warning people not to swarm them for fear of igniting another deadly coronavirus surge.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, inland temperatures will rise well into the 80’s.

Along the bay and coast, highs will peak anywhere from the 60’s at the immediate coast to upper 70’s along the bayside.

The forecast also calls for temperatures in the 80s and 90s from Sacramento to San Diego.

While most recreational areas remain shuttered for weeks under various stay-at-home orders, officials fear those still open will draw crowds that will ignore social distancing rules.

Those rules are praised for slowing the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. 

“You have the power to literally save lives,” Governor Gavin Newsom said urging Californians to stay home this weekend.

California has more than 41,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,600 deaths, half of them in the Los Angeles area, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

However, the number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Cases continue to grow in California but at a manageable pace that hasn’t overwhelmed hospitals, health authorities have said.

State and local stay-at-home orders have been cited as successfully slowing the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths and recent polls show Californians overwhelmingly support them.

Beaches operated by the state remain closed.

On Friday, the city of San Jose announced it was barring people from using playgrounds, sports areas and exercise equipment at local parks.

Solano County extended its shelter-at-home order through May 17 and San Francisco Mayor London Breed said it was likely the order in her city would be extended by several weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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