Los Angeles beaches close for holiday weekend as virus spikes
Los Angeles beaches will be closed for the July 4 holiday weekend, officials said, as a surge took the county past 100,000 confirmed coronavirus cases Monday.
The bid to prevent masses of sunbathers, surfers and revelers packing onto the Californian city’s sandy beaches comes as Los Angeles county reported a single-day record of 2,903 new cases.
“We cannot risk having crowds at the beach this holiday weekend,” tweeted county supervisor Janice Hahn.
The temporary re-closure will last Friday through Monday.
COVID-19 is still rampaging across the US, which has recorded more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases — both around a quarter of the global totals.
The hardest-hit US states are currently in the south and west, including California.
Densely populated Los Angeles county has suffered 3,326 deaths from coronavirus — more than half of the state’s fatalities.
Beaches were initially closed as the coronavirus pandemic reared up in mid-March, and only reopened for passive activities including sunbathing on June 11.
Bars in Los Angeles were also ordered to close again on Sunday, barely a week after being given permission to reopen.
Closing the beaches and banning fireworks displays was an “incredibly difficult decision,” county public health director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
But the large crowds typically associated with the US Independence Day are a “recipe for increased transmission of COVID-19,” she added. (AFP)