SAN JOSE, Calif. - The upcoming Labor Day weekend is creating a catch-22 for many Bay Area residents. Warm weather is forecasted, but there are few options along the coast due to COVID-19 closures, as a precaution against spreading the virus.
As if to spite a COVID-weary populous, mother nature is blessing the Bay Area and beyond with beach weather over a holiday weekend, at a time when few beaches will be open.
“Under normal circumstances we’d welcome folk to our community. Very concerned about the spread of COVID-19, especially on beaches that are crowded and people aren’t able to (socially) distance,” said Pacifica Police Dept. Captain Chris Clements.
Believing great weather presents a greater temptation, Pacifica officials announced their beaches, parking lots, and the waterways are off limits for the holiday weekend. But San Mateo County is not closing all its beaches. Alameda and Marin counties, and San Francisco are keeping beaches open. But, officials ask residents to visit parks and trails instead of packing beaches.
Many public health officials say spikes in COVID cases are common, following warm-weather holidays such as the Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day.
“There’s still a lot of COVID in our area. And people are getting infected every day,” said Dr. George Han, the Santa Clara County deputy health officer.
He said people should celebrate the holiday either at home, or in areas where there aren’t crowds.
“Get up early before everyone gets out. Handle my business, and then get back inside closed doors,” said San Jose resident Tyite Williams.
Santa Cruz and Monterey counties have closed all beaches. The exceptions are the Main and Cowell Beaches, both open for four hours Saturday and Sunday.
“The daytime closure itself will be a discouragement for people who are traveling here from long distances,” said Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin. “We believe this exception we’ve carved out on Saturday and Sunday is a good balance.”
Health officials said new COVID-19 cases are on a downward trend the past few weeks. They’re eager extend that streak of success, which is why they advised this Labor Day, limiting outings to family and friends, wear masks, and socially distance from others.