Lake County, CA (July 1, 2020) — The Fourth of July has always meant large gatherings and events in Lake County. Because of COVID-19, this year will be a little different.
The rates of infection are increasing rapidly right now, probably because of increased activity; especially groups of people from different households mixing together.
We have tracked some of the spread, locally, to weekend parties with multiple families, especially when masks are not worn and people are drinking and eating together.
That sounds a lot like what happens on the Fourth of July, doesn’t it?
After a lot of planning, the firework displays around the lake have been modified this year.
Lakeport is not having a public event, due to a lack of available spots where adequate social distancing can be kept; “Safe and Sane” firework sales will continue, to help support local non-profits and provide people the opportunity to display fireworks in a safe manner at their home.
Konocti Vista Casino is having some fireworks on July 4.
Clearlake will be hosting their public display, but as a, “Socially Distant Fourth of July.” People will drive up and stay in their car, sort of like a drive-in movie. There will be some food vendors there starting at 4pm, with social distancing and masking procedures in place. Folks can get their food and go to their cars to eat. Handwashing stations will be present, and volunteers will be there to help remind people to return to their cars and not congregate.
This type of activity is a bit risky, so we encourage everyone to be particularly mindful of the need to be careful. Vulnerable people (over 65 or with chronic medical conditions) should not come. If we see a surge of cases after this event, it will be much less likely future gatherings will be possible during the pandemic.
With all of the increased activity around the lake this coming weekend, care should be taken to avoid groups, minimize large social gatherings at home, use masks and proper disinfection, and take particular care of vulnerable people.
The last few months have been tough on everyone, but using some caution while celebrating this weekend will make the coming months a lot better.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Gary Pace, MD, MPH
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