As the United States heads into the July 4 holiday, public health officials report more than 57,000 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, setting yet another record.
The officials said COVID-19 cases have been rising in 37 states, a significant turn that has now been prompting experts to warn that the outbreak will be out of control if Americans fail to stay at home and follow social distancing this Independence day.
In many states, picnics and parades have been canceled, with local officials discouraging people to have backyard barbeques. The officials have also shut down beaches in Miami, which are usually crowded with tourists.
Nationwide, more than 2.8 million cases have been reported so far, with 132,000 deaths.
Most of the nation’s traditional fireworks displays have been canceled but President Donald Trump will head to Mount Rushmore to watch a fireworks show with a crowd of more than 7,500 people.
Kristi Noem, the governor of South Dakota, said wearing masks and social distancing would not be enforced.
Galveston officials have expressed concerns over crowds coming for a getaway from Houston, where at least 1 in 4 people are testing positive for COVID-19.
Dr. Philip Keiser of the Galveston County Health Department said, “Primarily we’re seeing a surge in young people who really are just not paying any regard to the risk of this.”
State health officials advise people to follow lockdown measures for this holiday because there has been a surge in new cases post-Memorial Day.
The Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission has said that it will have agents out throughout the state this weekend to ensure people follow the governor’s order.
CBS Dallas Fort Worth reported that officials will suspend alcohol license if any bar caught breaking the order.
“The science is clear: wear a mask, practice social distancing, and in general, outdoors is safer than indoors because outdoors there’s improved ventilation,” said CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook.
This Independence day, traditional celebrations might look different due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are among the cities that have canceled fireworks shows, while New York will be doing smaller displays throughout the weekend.