PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Palm Beach County leaders are stressing safety in the midst of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Dave Kerner and other officials held a virtual news conference on Thursday, reminding everyone that all public, municipal, and private beaches in Palm Beach County will be closed from 12:01 a.m. Friday until 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
"It is unfortunate that the beaches had to be closed," Kerner said. "It's not something that I can apologize for because it's in the best interest of the public safety."
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Kerner added that local law enforcement agencies have an operational plan in place to assure compliance with the law.
"Please stay off the beaches," Kerner said. "Our law enforcement resources, our fire rescue resources, those resources are better utilized not having to get people to comply with what is a very basic order."
Fire officials said that while setting off fireworks is allowed in Palm Beach County on Independence Day this year, there are some safety measures you need to take:
- Keep a bucket of water nearby to put used fireworks in, and also fireworks that don't ignite, known as "duds"
- Keep children away from fireworks
- Only competent adults should be lighting fireworks
- Avoid open areas of land where dry brush could ignite
#pbcfr wants EVERYONE to be SAFE this #July4th. WATCH & LEARN these simple safety tips. Remember, fireworks & sparklers ARE NOT toys for young CHILDREN. @PBCFireRescue @pbcgov. pic.twitter.com/K2aQbPvV0A— PBC Fire Rescue (@PBCFR) July 2, 2020
Kerner urged the public to practice social distancing and wear face coverings during Fourth of July celebrations.
"Please be cognizant of obeying the law. It is required to wear a mask," said Kerner.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus
According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 14,859 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Palm Beach County, including 523 deaths.