Bay Area heat wave will likely bring droves to beaches as pandemic persists

It's going to be a scorcher this weekend and many Bay Area residents will likely seek relief at the beaches, while the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

The triple-digit heat wave, expected to last through early next week, comes at a time when there were 600,000 coronavirus cases in California as of Thursday. 

In the Bay Area, there has been an average of 1,036 new cases recorded each day — a nearly 27% increase over the daily average of 818 cases in July. In June, the average number of cases was less than 400 a day. 

UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford offered a cautionary tale: In Israel, a May heat wave inspired school officials to let kids remove their masks, and the small country saw a massive surge in cases. 

“People will want to take off their masks when it’s hot,” Rutherford told the Chronicle. “Don’t do it.”

San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman whose district includes Dolores Park, says most park visitors follow the public health orders to stay distant and safe.

"But we also know, pretty much every nice day there are at least some folks that are not following the rules and not sticking to that and this is not a moment for that, there's too much community spread," said Supervisor Mandelman.


In addition to coronavirus, there's also the issue of the ocean patterns this weekend.

"Think extremely aggressive wave patterns," said San Francisco Fire Lt. Jonathan Baxter.

A 14-year-old drowned off Crissy Field beach inside the bay and officials are recommending that people swim with lifeguards on duty.

While San Francisco is famous for its fog, this weekend the city is filled with sunshine. The city is forecasted to be one of the cooler spots around the Bay Area, although temperatures soared to 95 degrees in some parts on Friday. Still, many people headed to Ocean Beach are looking to cool down.

"It's like in the hundreds back home, so this is beautiful," said beach goer Tiffany Ward.

Same story at Baker Beach near the Golden Gate. City residents and visitors flooding the beach looking for relief. "We live in San Jose and it's very very hot over there," said Rechelle Towner. "So we thought we could get a little refreshment at the beach."

"Not much, but a little bit cooler over here," said James Towner.

Christien Kafton contributed to this story.