DEL MAR, Calif. — In a joint statement on Friday, the cities of Del Mar and Solana beach announced they would not reopen their beaches on Monday like other parts of San Diego County.
Del Mar and Solana Beach beaches will remain closed until the two cities "receptively evaluate the necessary staffing, protocols, and logistics in order to reopen the beaches in accordance with the County’s requirements, stated in their yet-to-be-released amended health order, and to protect the health and safety of city personnel and the public."
San Diego County health officials lifting ocean restrictions for swimmers, surfers and those using kayaks or paddleboards.
Piers, boardwalks and parking lots are still closed to the public, and the order does not include boat ramps or watercraft. It also does not apply to state parks and beaches.
It also leaves the decision of beach closures to the cities.
Each municipality can make the call on opening beaches. Any beaches that do open will be subject to the county's "passive use" definition, and visitors must avoid sitting, lying and engaging in group activities -- any open beach can be used for walking, running or as an access point to the ocean.
According to the joint statement, Del Mar and Solana Beach did not approve approve the phased approach referenced by the County of San Diego and City of San Diego.
Both cities reported they had "inadequate time for each respective city to share their unique concerns and needs for a coordinated approach to reopening the beaches."
On Friday, officials also reported 183 new cases of COVID-19 -- the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began -- and two new deaths. This brings the county totals to 2,826 cases and 102 deaths.
The number of cases reported on Friday also played a factor in the decision to keep beaches in Del Mar and Solana Beach closed, though both cities - and the county - agreed to the reopening beaches and implementation of the two-phased approach in accordance with State and Federal guidelines for re-opening based on coronavirus data points for the region.
"The number of confirmed COVID cases reported today [Friday] by the County of San Diego indicates a two-day high to-date rather than a downward or flattening trend," said the statement.
According to San Diego County health officials, testing has increased dramatically in the county, with 3,122 cases coming in Friday, the most daily tests yet. Since March 16, when the number of tests returning positive sat at 8.5%, the percentage has slowly dropped to Friday's rate of just over 6%.
This is one sign the county may have reached its peak in cases, although officials warn against complacency.
Before opening up beaches, Del Mar and Solana Beach acknowledged they will need to evaluate how to implement the limitations on parking and on beach activity such as, walking and running.
In their evaluation, both cities indicated they would have to take into consideration staffing and personal protective equipment for employees in order to monitor and enforce. The associated costs would also have to be taken into consideration.
The county estimates that 1,591 people have recovered from COVID-19, but it does not have an exact, verifiable recovery number.