LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The record-breaking heat is sure to tempt thousands of people to head to our local beaches.
And as the hot holiday weekend begins, local and national officials are pleading with the public to keep their distance and avoid large family gatherings and packing beaches mask-less.
“We don’t want to see a repeat of the surges that we have seen following other holiday weekends,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of NIAID. “We don’t want to see a surge under any circumstances but particularly as we go on the other side of Labor Day and enter into the fall, we want to go into that with a running start in the right direction. We don’t want to go into that with another surge that we have to turn around.”
“Please don’t have parties where people do not have masks on,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, a leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “Just because they are a neighbor, it does not mean they couldn’t be positive.”
Los Angeles County announced that all beaches will be open for the Labor Day weekend, but that could change if people break the rules.
“I’m definitely an advocate for wearing masks in a big group,” said Zacharia Badiila, a beach visitor, in Hermosa Beach, where enforcement officers were handing out tickets and masks Friday. “I’m all for, honestly, maybe shutting down the beaches or maybe even just giving tickets. Whatever the case may be. One life is too many lives to me when it comes to this whole COVID thing.”
In Hermosa and Manhattan beaches, officers were scheduled to be out in force, watching large gatherings carefully.
“This is why we live here, to be able to come to the beach and to be outside and be out in public and stuff,” said Tommy Stark, a beach visitor. “But so far, we’ve proven every time it gets hot like this, everybody goes out. The beaches get packed. And then people continue to get sick. So what are you going to do? How else do you enforce it at this point?”
But locals say they’ve never seen so many visitors in masks at the sand and at the visitor plaza. But they say, this weekend, officers will have their work cut out for them.
“There’s so many people out right now,” said Kendra Koski, a Hermosa Beach visitor. “It is a hard thing to police especially now when people are obviously playing sports.”
Enforcement officers will be out in force all weekend long at Hermosa Beach with fines ranging from $100 – $500 each.