Labor Day weekend: Health officials say keep it small, wear face masks

Hot weather combined with a three-day weekend would render thousands of people to Bay Area beaches, but with COVID-19 still a reality, public health officials are urging people to exercise caution. 

They are asking people to keep their outings local and limited to their immediate family members. 

All beaches in Pacifica will be closed over the weekend to discourage crowds. However, hiking trails in the Pacific Trail will remain open. 

In Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, most beaches and state parks are closed with the exception of the Main and Cowell beaches in Santa Cruz. Those beaches will be open from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 

"The daytime closure itself will be a discouragement for people who are traveling here from long distances," an official said. "We believe this exception we carved out Saturday and Sunday is a good balance."

They carved out those evenings to give residents a chance to escape the heat and use social distancing when they go to the beaches. 

Pt. Reyes National Seashore in Marin County and Lake Berryessa in Napa County are still closed due to wildfires and damages to infrastructure. 

But Half Moon Bay, Alameda's Crown Beach, and all beaches in San Francisco will remain open. Mask and social distancing are required. 

Public health officials noticed that over the summer clusters of COVID-19 infections were often traced back to family gatherings like such as picnics and backyard barbecues.They advise people to limit social gatherings to people within your immediate household and if you are going to be hanging out with extended family and friends, be sure to keep those gatherings outdoors.