Restrictions reimposed during Fourth of July weekend

File artwork by Metro Creative Connection

Beaches, bars closed; fireworks displays prohibited

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is ordering L.A. County beaches closed from July 3 through July 5 to prevent dangerous crowding that results in the spread of deadly COVID-19.

For that same reason, the department is also prohibiting fireworks displays in the county this July 4th holiday weekend. A modified health officer order was expected to be issued Wednesday (past our deadline).

During the holiday weekend, beaches will be totally closed to all recreational activities. Beach parking lots will be closed as well. During a press conference on Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said any state beaches adjacent to closed local beaches would also close in compliance with local closures.

“We will meet and match that request,” Newsom said.

Key metrics continue to show steep increases in community spread of COVID-19. Today the department announced more than 2,900 new cases of COVID-19, the single largest one-day case count since the pandemic began. Data show increases in people testing positive for the virus and increases in hospitalizations as a result. Projections by the Department of Health Services show a marked increase in hospitalizations in the coming weeks, which could cause a surge in our healthcare system.

“Closing the beaches and prohibiting fireworks displays during this important summer holiday weekend was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but it’s the responsible decision to protect public health and protect our residents from a deadly virus. The Fourth of July holiday weekend typically means large crowds and gatherings to celebrate, a recipe for increased transmission of COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, director of public health. “We all need to take this virus more seriously and residents and business owners must do their part. Physical distancing isn’t optional, wearing a face covering isn’t optional, spending time only with those you live with isn’t optional — these are requirements in the health officer order and are the tools we have to protect each other, our families and those most vulnerable in our communities.”

All public beaches, piers, public beach parking lots, beach bike paths that traverse that sanded portion of the beach, and beach access points will be temporarily closed to the public as of 12:01 a.m. on July 3 until 5 a.m. on July 6.

Prior to Wednesday’s statement from the Governor, many restaurants had begun to voluntarily close in response to spikes in Coronavirus cases. Bluewater Grill announced it would voluntarily reclose in response to more potential infections.

“We are confident in the multitude of sanitation and safety steps we put in place to comply with the Centers for Disease Control, State and Health department regulations, but have found it challenging to control the public’s use of masks and compliance with social distancing which puts us all at risk. It is with a profound sense of regret we are compelled to take this action but feel it is best to make the safest choice for our employees, vendors and guests,” Bluewater Grill announced on its website.

Newsom also used part of his press conference to reiterate the importance to measures such as masks and social distancing stop the spread of COVID-19. He also noted that many of the restrictions being put back into place were about limiting social gatherings.

“If we want to be independent from COVID-19, we have to be much more vigilant,” Newsom said.

Close Indoor Operations

(for three weeks)

• Restaurants

• Wineries and tasting rooms

• Movie theaters

• Family entertainment cents

• Zoos and museums

• cardrooms

Sectors to close all operations

• Bars – statewide

Restrictions reimposed during Fourth of July weekend