County Leaders Urge Public to be Safer at Home This 4th of July

County Leaders Urge Public to be Safer at Home This 4th of July 1024 512 COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

County Leaders Urge Public to be Safer at Home This 4th of July

County seal superimposed on a photo of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration

Los Angeles County leaders are urging residents to stay home this 4th of July holiday weekend to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the healthcare system is not overwhelmed. They are asking each resident to do their part to keep the County safe and moving ahead toward recovery.

Rather than going forth on the 4th, residents should celebrate with members of their own households, avoid large gatherings, and practice the basic rules that keep everyone safer during the pandemic: cloth face coverings, physical distancing of at least six feet from non-household members, frequent and thorough hand-washing, and resisting the urge to touch your face.

With COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations on the rise, the County moved swiftly to modify its Health Officer Orders this week. To prevent gatherings where the virus can spread, all beaches, beach parking lots, beach bike paths, beach facilities and beach accessways will be closed from 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3, until 5 a.m. Monday, July 6. Public fireworks displays have been cancelled.

In addition, new Health Officer Orders are in place to comply with new state directives mandating the temporary closure of indoor operations at restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, card rooms, zoos, aquariums and museums.

And if you’re hoping to get in a holiday weekend workout, new County directives require all patrons and employees of fitness facilities to wear cloth face coverings masks and gloves at all times while inside the facility.

Although Grand Park in downtown L.A. will be closed to public gatherings and picnics on the holiday, its annual 4th of July Block Party will go on--virtually. Catch the show on ABC7 Saturday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The program can be viewed on the County Channel (92 or 94 on most cable systems) and streamed at july4.grandparkla.org from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“We all wish we could celebrate at the beach or at a fireworks show, but this 4th of July is unlike any other we have experienced. It will take all of us working together to keep our communities safe and maintain our progress to flatten the curve,” said 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “This is an immeasurably difficult and stressful time for every L.A. County resident. We are tasked with balancing the health of our community members and our economic resiliency efforts. There are many businesses making meaningful investments to meet new safety measures to keep their crew and customers healthy. Likewise, many county residents are taking the necessary precautions to keep their families and neighbors safe. These precautions are not optional, but necessary to protect everyone’s well-being. Together, we can carefully continue on our path toward recovery.”

Other members of the Board of Supervisors underscored the need for the public to recognize the seriousness of the public health crisis and the importance of everyone sharing the responsibility for protecting our communities and each other.

“We must continue to take precautions to keep our communities safe. COVID-19 never left and it remains a threat to families, friends, and neighbors with underlying medical conditions,” said 1st District Supervisor  Hilda L. Solis, Chair Pro-Tem. “Stay safe by staying at home this holiday weekend. Let’s ensure our healthcare system can meet the demand from this pandemic, as well as treat patients with cancer, diabetes, and other pre-existing conditions. We are asking everyone to make collective sacrifices for the greater good by avoiding crowds, practicing physical distancing, and wearing a face mask this holiday weekend.”

Like everyone else, I am impatient to reopen the economy, jump-start businesses and help people get their jobs back--but the only way to do it is by keeping each other safe,” said 2nd District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “We cannot simply wish coronavirus away, and ignoring it won’t work either. We need to take precautions, like staying safer at home or wearing a mask outdoors, particularly this Fourth of July Weekend, in order to continue on the path toward recovery.”

“The Fourth of July marks a day in American history when people agreed to come together against a common enemy, in order that they would all be better off in the long run,” added 3rd District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl. “It’s not so different now. This Fourth of July, do the patriotic thing for your family, your community, and for all of Los Angeles: Stay home, and if you really must go out, practice social distancing and wear a face cover.”

“This is not going to be the type of Fourth of July weekend that most of us are used to -- nor should it be,” said 4th District Supervisor Janice Hahn. “The spike we have seen in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across our County should alarm all of us. We all have to make personal sacrifices to protect the people we love and our communities from this virus. Our beaches will be closed this weekend and everyone should avoid gatherings with people they don’t live with.”

Other County leaders also stressed that, while things will be different this year, the 4th of July can still be celebrated safely.

“Staying safe at home also means keeping your family’s safety in mind,” Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby said. “Let’s celebrate this national holiday by spending quality time with our loved ones – and avoiding fireworks use and remaining vigilant. Although our Los Angeles County beaches will be closed this weekend to the public, our lifeguards will continue to patrol County shorelines, so everyone remains healthy and safe during this time.”

“Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, please enjoy the birth of American independence responsibly by limiting gatherings, wearing a face cover, and adhering to social distancing protocols,” added Sheriff Alex Villanueva. “The beaches are closed this weekend. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be enforcing vehicle and penal code violations, beach parking lot closures, and street parking restrictions to ensure public safety.  Please have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend.”

Health care leaders said the region is at a critical juncture in the pandemic that has already claimed the lives of more than 3,400 Los Angeles County residents and infected more than 105,000 people here. People of all ages are at risk. Those with underlying health conditions, who are at higher risk for serious illness or death due to COVID-19, should take special precautions and stay at home wherever possible.

“I know that many residents are frustrated and heartbroken that we may be taking steps backwards, but I am confident that with these actions, we have a chance to really prevent as many future cases, hospitalizations and deaths as we can,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Department of Public Health. “Over the holiday weekend, I ask that you avoid the Three C’s: Crowds, Confined Spaces, and Close Contact with people from outside of your household. These actions, as well as practicing physical distancing and wearing a cloth face covering whenever you are around others, do save lives.”

Dr. Christina Ghaly, Director of the Department of Health Services, also emphasized the need for caution in celebration: “The spike in COVID-19 cases and the uptick in hospitalizations we’ve seen in recent days is alarming and an important reminder of the need to aggressively practice prevention measures like face coverings and physical distancing to limit transmission of the virus causing COVID-19. While prepared to care for an increase in patients, we must all take action to prevent excessive strain on hospitals.  The sentinel bell is ringing loudly in every part of our County.  As we commemorate Independence Day and the way of life we celebrate this weekend, including access to healthcare, following simple public health guidance will be key to the continued reopening of society and the preservation of our hospital system and its dedicated workforce.”

Norma E. Garcia, Acting Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, urged the public to enjoy the upcoming weekend safely. "At L.A. County Parks, the Fourth of July is one of our busiest weekends of the year for enjoying our community and regional parks, trails, golf courses, tennis, and campgrounds. We welcome park guests to visit our facilities safely by following COVID-19 health guidelines of physical distancing, keeping your face coverings handy, and other specific restrictions required based on each amenity outlined at parks.lacounty.gov/covid-19."

Gary Jones, Director, Department of Beaches and Harbors, is already looking forward to a brighter future: “We know people look forward to a day at the beach on the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, that won’t happen this year. We encourage everyone to celebrate Independence Day at home, and we’ll see you at the beach next year.”

For more information, please go to COVID19.LACounty.gov.

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