Citing coronavirus concerns, Ventura County closes beaches for 4th of July weekend

Alejandra Reyes-Velarde
Ventura County says it will close its beaches for the July 4th holiday weekend.  (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Ventura County beaches will be closed for the 4th of July weekend in response to surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, county health officials said Tuesday.

Beaches, their parking lots and restrooms will close from Friday through Monday to discourage gatherings that could lead to spread on the novel coronavirus, public health officials said in a news release.

“Visiting family and friends still presents a risk of spreading COVID-19," said Public Health Director Rigo Vargas. "We know people are eager to go out, but we need to remind you on the importance of being safe and protecting yourself and others. Please only gather with the people that you live with. Your actions can help save lives.”

The announcement comes a day after the county said it would allow certain brewpubs, breweries, bars, wineries and distilleries to remain open if they complied with state safety guidelines.

According to a Monday news release, businesses that would have been subject to Gov. Gavin Newsom's order to close bars and nightclubs — those that serve alcoholic drinks without serving food at the same time — never reopened in the county.

“Please use extreme caution as COVID-19 is still prevalent in our county," public health officer Robert Levin said. "You are much more likely to run into someone who has no symptoms but is positive if you gather with others."