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Canales responds to criticism over weekend's packed beaches

Posted at 8:52 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 01:15:20-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas —

With the statutory stay-at-home order nearing its end, local beaches were packed this weekend with visitors from across the state. Vehicles were parked less than 100 feet apart, violating the mandate set forth by Nueces Co. Judge Barbara Canales in late March to ensure social distancing.

Photographs and videos circulated on social media sites that led to many local residents questioning if the order was being enforced. During Monday's daily COVID-19 briefing with the City of Corpus Christi and the Nueces Co. Health District, Canales addressed those concerns.

"Yes, the beach looked terrible from the visual with all the parked cars, but when I stood on the observation deck, I can also see lots of families doing it right, and it's no different than the ways the stores are doing it," Canales said.

The county judge acknowledged the government's role in keeping everyone safe and ensuring that social distancing continues.

"And what I observed is that we need more access points, and also we haven't had rain, and so everybody was getting stuck," Canales said. "And so you saw all the jam-packed traffic because there was no way to get further down the beach."

Canales said she's formed a beach task force through the Emergency Operations Center to offer guidance on how to amend orders for beaches.