City of Long Beach to close beaches over Fourth of July weekend

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"Closing the beaches and banning fireworks during this important summer vacation weekend was an incredibly hard decision to make, but it is the responsible decision to protect public health and protect our residents from a deadly virus", said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County Director.

The closure of Los Angeles beaches over July 4 weekend was ordered by county officials Monday "to prevent unsafe crowding", as confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

Garfield, the state's least populous county, remains the only county without a reported case.

Additionally, the county is also banning firework displays for the weekend.

Los Angeles County recorded 47 new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, and Gov. Gavin Newsom warned that new health orders will be announced Wednesday as millions Californians plan Fourth of July celebrations. "With steep increases in cases and hospitalizations, it is important to act now to prevent as many future cases, hospitalizations and deaths as we can", said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. This closure also includes piers, beach parking lots (except for permit holders), beach access ways, bathrooms and beach bike and pedestrian paths. "That's why it is critical we take this step to limit the spread of the virus in the counties that are seeing the biggest increases".

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The county now fails that test.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that officials predicted the county could run out of hospital beds in two to three weeks, and ICU beds sometime in July. That represents a week-over-week jump of 32 percent.

The city's police department will increase monitoring and enforcement at the beach and can issue citations for people who do not comply with the closures, officials said. There are 1,889 people now hospitalized, 27 percent of these people are in the ICU and 18 percent are on ventilators.

The memo noted that the same day, the county had seen "more than 2,900 new cases of COVID-19, the largest one-day case count since the pandemic began".

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