Thanks to a resurgence in the number of new cases of COVID-19 and an increased number of people being treated for it in hospitals, the Fourth of July holiday will have a different look in Southern California this year.
Large-scale festivities, from public fireworks shows and concerts, to parties with many family and friends are necessarily on hold in order to limit contact with others and potentially spread the virus.
“This is a big holiday weekend and we’d love to spend it with close family and friends,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday. “I strongly advise against it.”
County officials, late Monday, announced the temporary closure of beaches over the weekend in order to dissuade groups of people from congregating.
The beaches are closed from 12:01 a.m., July 3 though 5 a.m., July 6.
In addition to the beaches themselves, the order closes piers, parking lots, beach bike paths and access points.
The order also prohibits all fireworks displays.
“This is going to be a different summer,” Ferrer said. “This is going to be a different July Fourth celebration for all of us.”
With one in 140 people now walking around with the virus, based on the most current models, “it’s not safe to be in a crowd right now,” she said.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles County Public Health officials reported 2,779 new COVID-19 cases, the third consecutive day with more than 2,100 new cases reported.
“We can’t sustain this rate of increase on positive cases, we just can’t,” Ferrer said Monday, after announcing 2,903 new cases.
As of Tuesday, the county has reported 103,529 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Across the county, 1,783 people were hospitalized on Tuesday for treatment of COVID-19, after several weeks when hospitalized patients numbered between 1,350 and 1,450, public health officials said.
Of these patients, 26% were being treated in intensive care and 18% on ventilators, according to officials.
Also on Tuesday, 45 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 were reported, bringing the countywide total to 3,369. As has been the case for much of the pandemic, 93% of those who died had underlying health conditions.
In the Antelope Valley, new cases increased by 73 on Tuesday, for a total of 2,740.
Lancaster’s cases increased by 28 to a total of 1,109, while Palmdale increased by 35 to 1,283.
In the unincorporated areas of the Valley, Quartz Hill remains the hardest hit, with 62 cases reported Tuesday, an increase of two. Sun Village increased its number by one to 53, and Lake Los Angeles by three to 55.
Littlerock/Pearblossom remained the same at 35 on Tuesday, while Acton increased by two to 24.
The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Antelope Valley remained the same, at 54.