Will LA County beaches once again close over holiday weekend amid heat wave?

Although no California counties have announced the decision to close beaches for Labor Day due to the pandemic, Los Angeles County officials continue to urge people not to gather with others outside their household.
Although no California counties have announced the decision to close beaches for Labor Day due to the pandemic, Los Angeles County health officials continue to urge people not to gather with others outside their household.

County officials have been hesitant to move too quickly with new business reopenings, fearing a repeat of COVID-19 increases that followed earlier lifting of restrictions.

Many beaches across the area were shut down for the Fourth of July weekend to avoid large gatherings.

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It wasn't immediately clear if the looming Labor Day weekend would impact the county's decision to close beaches.

During the county's weekly coronavirus media briefing Monday, county Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis delivered the first in what is likely to be a week of pleas for residents to adhere to health precautions over the holiday.

"We need to continue to forego our traditional holiday traditions,'' Davis said. "We know for sure that our holiday gatherings and parties can result in increases in transmissions, hospitalizations and deaths. The ability for us to reopen more fully relies on everyone doing their part, being smart of their choices and reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19 every day.''

Asked if the county might consider a more drastic step for the weekend, such as closing the beaches, Davis said only that the county would "continue to watch our data to see what it looks like and see if there's any increased risk.''

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He noted that the weather is expected to be hot over the weekend, and he urged people to stick to the basic infection-control procedures.

"First, only gather with members of your household this holiday weekend,'' Davis said. There is so much more to do together in our beautiful county. Explore a trail or have a picnic at one of our beautiful beaches early in the day. If you're outside of your home and around others, please wear a face covering.

"Always use your own utensils, cups, food and drinks and do not share with others. Avoid crowds and be flexible and willing to change plans or move to a different location if you find yourself in a crowded area. And once again avoid confined spaces, especially places where you can't stay more than three steps away from others. ... And if you're sick and have been exposed to someone who is positive for COVID-19, please stay at home, isolate and quarantine as appropriate. Remember, these actions save lives.''

It is unclear when officials will make the final decision on whether or not to close beaches for the holiday weekend.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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