Citing coronavirus concerns, Ventura County closes beaches for 4th of July weekend

Santa Monica Sunrise

That beach outing you were planning over the July 4th weekend just got kiboshed.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) said on Monday that it "continues to see alarming trends of community spread" as it announced 2,903 new cases and 22 new deaths of COVID-19, the single largest one-day case count since the pandemic began.

Robert Levin tells KCLU News parking areas and beaches will be closed. "We can not risk having crowds at the beach this holiday weekend".

Oddly enough, the LA County Public Health Department did not announce this step toward stopping the spread in an early afternoon news conference, despite being asked about the matter specifically.

"The alarming increases in cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations signals that we, as a community, need to take immediate action to slow the spread of COVID-19".

Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health, said in a statement that closing the beaches and prohibiting fireworks displays during such an "important" summer holiday was an "incredibly hard decision to make". California has a total of almost 217,000 cases and around 6,000 deaths. "The Fourth of July holiday weekend typically means large crowds and gatherings to celebrate, a recipe for increased transmission of COVID-19".

Los Angeles police officers patrol Venice Beach during the coronavirus outbreak in Los Angeles on May 13, 2020.

The announcement comes a day after the county said it would allow certain brewpubs, breweries, bars, wineries and distilleries to remain open if they complied with state safety guidelines.

Los Angeles remains the county with the most cases and hospitalizations in all of California.

In a statement to Fox Los Angeles reporter Bill Melugin, Villanueva revealed that his office was not consulted regarding the decision.

Villanueva said in a statement to Fox 11 Los Angeles, "We were not consulted on the beach closure and will only assist our beach cities in closing parking lots and traffic enforcement on [the Pacific Coast Highway]".

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