COVID-19 Restrictions Vary for July 4 Weekend
July 6, 2020 -- As Americans head into the July 4 weekend, some state and local leaders have imposed curfews, closed businesses and required face masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus while others have reopened beaches and lifted restrictions.
For the 35 states with a recent surge in cases, the July 4 weekend feels like a “crossroads,” according to The Washington Post. The U.S. recorded a record 55,220 new cases on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, following Wednesday’s record of 52,789 cases.
“Your actions will determine whether our businesses across the state can stay open,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Wednesday. “And your actions will determine, frankly, whether we can open schools in the fall.”
For a large part of California, bars and indoor dining isn’t an option this weekend after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced restrictions for 19 of its 58 counties. California public health officials also warned against group celebrations during the holiday weekend.
“Traditionally, Fourth of July is a time of gathering to celebrate the freedoms this country offers us. This year, however, family gatherings are playing a significant role in the spread of COVID-19,” according to a statement Thursday from the California Department of Public Health.
Florida reported a record-high of more than 10,000 new cases Thursday, the newspaper reported. Several beaches along the Atlantic in South Florida are closed for the weekend, and Miami-Dade County has a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew that starts Friday.
“The curfew is meant to stop people from venturing out and hanging out with friends in groups, which has shown to be spreading the virus rapidly,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrote in a statement.
Georgia also reported a record high of more than 3,400 new cases on Thursday. Gov. Brian Kemp launched a statewide “Wear A Mask” tour and said college football would be a “tall task” this fall if the case numbers continued to increase, according the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster shared similar sentiments.
“Let me make it very clear,” he wrote in a Twitter post on Wednesday. “Wear a mask and social distance now so we can enjoy high school and college football in South Carolina this fall.”