Fourth of July celebrations will be less traditional in Los Angeles County this year, following orders from local and state officials to avoid gatherings and prohibit firework displays.
L.A. County has seen the most coronavirus cases in the state — at nearly 107,800 cases.
On June 25, the one-day count for positive cases in L.A. County reached 2,682, the largest daily count the county has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom held press conferences on Wednesday urging residents to follow safeguards during the holiday weekend.
“Everyone should cancel their in-person plans for July Fourth,” Garcetti said in a press conference. “Gatherings with people who do not live in your household are not allowed.”
“I think patriotism, at least in a COVID-19 environment can be expressed a little bit differently,” Newsom said in a press conference. “With consideration of our independence from COVID-19 that needs to come with conditions and considerations on wearing masks and making sure we’re physically distanced.”
Fireworks displays have been prohibited in Los Angeles county, according to a press release from the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
L.A. County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby held a press conference to remind residents that fireworks in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County are illegal. Fines will be imposed on those who use, possess, sell and manufacture illegal fireworks.
“In the last few weeks, the Los Angeles Fire Department is already responding to several incidents of brush fires being started because of fireworks,” Osby said. “Each year, 10,000 people across this country are treated and sent to the hospital because of burns. Fireworks can burn up to 2,000 degrees.”
He suggested local communities contact their local law enforcement to report incidents.
“The public health order also revoked all public firework shows,” Osby said. “Therefore, the Los Angeles County Fire Department retracted all permits that we originally issued for firework shows. There will be no firework shows this year in the county of Los Angeles because of COVID-19.”
Los Angeles County Public Health officials ordered the closure of beaches, piers, parking lots and trails from Friday to Monday to prevent crowds from forming, which may contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.
Public hiking trails in the city of Los Angeles will remain open with social distancing rules in place, according to the Department of Recreation and Parks. Face masks are required and capacity will be limited.
The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has reopened most of its trails, parking lots and restrooms. The National Park Service advises hikers to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.