LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As people celebrated Independence Day and gathered together, the nation is still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the Venice boardwalk Monday, people were enjoying the day and some are being cautious.
"We're out and about, outside we feel pretty good," said Michael Crim, who is visiting from Kansas. "Inside, my family and I are here and we wore masks on the plane and in the airport. If it gets a little bit more sparse and we're out in the open air, we don't worry as much, we're all vaccinated."
Eric, a vendor on the Venice boardwalk, lost loved ones to COVID-19.
"I do what I can, as best as I can," he said. "I try to keep sanitizer and wash my hands at all times because I know I'm dealing with money back-and-forth and hand-to-hand."
The number of cases is rising. In L.A. County, 15,413 new cases were reported over the weekend.
Los Angeles County Health Director Barbara Ferrer asked people to be safe when they gather.
"It's also a great idea for everyone to test themselves before getting together, ideally on the day of the gathering. Self tests are widely available," Ferrer said.
Ferrer said the trends are not looking good with the BA.4 and BA.5 variants spreading fast.
The seven day average for hospitalizations is now 109 per day, an increase from the 84 per day just the week before.
It could mean a return to the indoor mask mandate later this summer.
"With a continued increase in cases and now as you're seeing corresponding increase in hospitalizations, it gets more more likely. We really are worried in particular because our case numbers are staying pretty high," Ferrer said.
Officials said if the county moves into the Center for Disease Control designated "high" community level and stays there for two straight weeks, it would bring back the mask mandate.