LA County beaches will be closed on 4th of July weekend, officials announce

Los Angeles County beaches will be closed to the public over the Fourth of July weekend in an effort to prevent large gatherings that could lead to the spread of the coronavirus, county officials announced Monday.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors announced the closure of beaches, piers, beach bike paths, and beach access points beginning 7/3/2020 through 7/6/2020.

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"Due to rising COVID-19 cases all (county) beaches will be closing again temporarily this weekend, July 3rd through 6th," County Supervisor Janice Hahn wrote on her Twitter page.

"We had almost 3,000 reported cases just today. We cannot risk having crowds at the beach this holiday weekend,"  Hahn wrote.

The county sheriff's department's Los Hills Station announced on social media that all beaches, piers, beach bike paths and beach access points will be closed Friday through Monday.  

"This new order makes it illegal to trespass at these locations and is punishable by law to include, but not limited to, a $1,000 fine," according to the sheriff's station.  

Fireworks displays will also be banned over the holiday weekend.

LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva sent a statement to FOX 11 reguarding the beach closure:

"We were not consulted on the beach closure, and will only assist our beach cities in closing parking lots and traffic enforcement on PCH.  In regards to enforcing the beach closure, we will not be enforcing it because we are “Care First, Jail Last.”

The county health order also closes all beach parking lots.

Officials urge to please follow the LA County health mandates.

Officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported  2,903 new cases and  22 additional deaths, bringing the county's totals to 100,722 cases and 3,326 deaths.

County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, like many health professionals across the nation, expressed her concern over the rise in COVID-19 cases the county has seen in recent days.

She said the increases were indicative of increased community spread of the virus, likely the result of more people being out of their homes as sectors of the economy reopened, such as restaurants and shopping malls.

RELATED: Dr. Barbara Ferrer says she's concerned about the spike in COVID-19 cases in LA County

“I think one of the reasons why we have an increase in the number of cases is we have a lot more people going back to work and a lot of people taking advantage of the fact that a lot of our sectors have reopened," Ferrer said during a Thursday morning interview on Good Day LA.

Ferrer said that there are ways each individual person can help slow the spread of the virus, such as wearing a face-covering when you're around other people, avoiding crowds and washing your hands frequently to prevent passing along the infection or getting infected yourself.

“We all need to remember that we do get to play a role in preventing there from being spikes and infections… The truth of the matter is, this is actually a virus where we can do a lot to prevent the transmission of ourselves, as individual people and businesses can do a lot,” she said.

Over the weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars to close in Los Angeles County and several additional counties due to the rising spread of COVID-19.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom orders bars to close in several California counties as coronavirus cases rise

Shortly after the governor made his announcement, the county put out their own statement saying all bars, breweries, brewpubs, pubs, wineries and tasting rooms in LA County will be required to close unless they are offering sit-down dine-in meals. Bar areas within restaurants will also be closed. 

“While it’s disappointing to take a step back on our economic recovery journey, it’s critical that we protect the health of our residents and protect the capacity in our healthcare system,” said Ferrer.

Recently, the state Department of Public Health issued new guidelines mandating face coverings in most situations while indoors, but also outside when a person cannot maintain six feet of social distance.

RELATED: California governor orders people to wear masks in most indoor spaces

There are exemptions that include children age two and younger because of the risk of suffocation, and for people with a variety of medical or psychological issues that make mask-wearing a hazard.

The use of face coverings is believed to help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus, without knowing it, from transmitting it to others.

The face coverings can be made at home from common materials at low cost, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has instructions on how to make them listed on its website

Public Health continues to remind the public that while a majority of those who have died from COVID-19 in the county had underlying health conditions, not everyone does. Residents are urged to continue to take the necessary precautions in order to protect themselves from the virus.

Health officials say that social distancing remains our best defense against the virus, and all residents are instructed to abide by current measures in place across the state. Social distancing is not only about preventing the illness itself, but rather, slowing the rate at which people get sick. 

RELATED: Stay up to date on all coronavirus-related information 

The county's health department says that because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of widespread transmission, everyone should always wear a face-covering securely over their nose and mouth and keep six feet apart from others not in their household when out and about.

Health officials say coronavirus infections are being spread by people who have no clear symptoms. In early April, the CDC changed how it was defining risk of infection for Americans, saying anyone may be a considered a carrier, whether they have symptoms or not.

RELATED: Asymptomatic coronavirus cases appear to be on the rise in China, report says

Public Health says that the best protection against COVID-19 is to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, self-isolate if you are sick, practice physical distancing and wear a clean face covering when in contact with others from outside your household.

Click here for a list of locations of confirmed coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County.

RELATED: CoronavirusNOW.com, FOX launches national hub for COVID-19 news and updates. 

FOX 11's Shelly Insheiwat  and CNS contributed