Coastal cities in San Luis Obispo County are preparing for the 4th of July weekend despite spikes in coronavirus cases across the state and county. Governor Gavin Newsom ordered 19 counties to close indoor operations Wednesday ahead of the holiday weekend.
The City of Pismo Beach is prepared for residents and tourists who are looking to spend Independence Day on the coast, but city officials are not encouraging leisure travel as the city is still under state orders.
"We ask that they maintain physical distance, wear face coverings, and that the only thing they should be leaving behind is their footprints in the sand," City of Pismo Beach spokesperson Jorge Garcia said in a statement to KSBY.
Several community members feel the COVID-19 precautions are necessary but are eager to get out and enjoy the summer celebrations.
Rosi De La Mori, says she and her granddaughter, Elianna, wanted to get out of the house but are not sure they will be coming to the beach on Saturday.
"She's been cooped up for a couple of months with her mom," she said. "I escaped today to come and have a great day at the beach before 4th of July because the crowds are coming so to avoid being in the crowd.”
Local officials say they are prepared for an influx of people at the beach and will have full deployment of officers this weekend. Police Chief Jake Miller says this is standard procedure each year to deal with larger crowds.
The biggest change this year, he added, is the absence of a fireworks show at the beach. The police department expects the crowds to look similar to what they have been like for the past six weeks.
“With fireworks every July 4th, that was always fun to look forward to as a young child," Pismo Beach resident Dale Aviss said.
Chief Miller added they do not have any street closures planned in the city.
The Pismo Beach Police Department says beachgoers have been receptive to following social distancing guidelines while still enjoying the beach.
Other coastal communities are also taking precautions with more enforcement this holiday weekend.
Port San Luis Harbor says they anticipate more beachgoers in Avila Beach.
“We’ve been working closely with our local agencies, the Sheriff’s Department, CHP, and the Pismo Beach Police Department, because we do have some overlap in jurisdiction and we have all ended up staffing up for the weekend to continue to provide the highest level of service to all while still meeting the needs of our community," Chief Harbor Officer Matt Ashton said.
Ashton said they also are expecting some swells in the ocean this weekend and warn the public to be cautious of rip currents.