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Celebrating the 4th of July During Closures and Social Distancing

July 3rd, 2020

4th of July

Celebrating the 4th will look very different for many people who traditionally enjoy the beach, public bashes and live fireworks.   This year  many firework displays have been canceled and favorite public gathering spots have been closed due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19.  Social distancing also discourages parties and other gatherings. You can still have fun, feel patriotic and enjoy the holiday weekend many ways.

Stream a virtual fireworks show

While some traditional Fourth of July celebrations, including fireworks and parades, have been canceled, you can still watch those colorful explosions on-screen. PBS is broadcasting its annual Capital Fourth concert — ending in fireworks — from the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on July 4, from 8-9:30 p.m. eastern time.  The event will also be live-streamed on Facebook and on YouTube.  You can also tune-in to live-stream “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks”  or tune in to watch “A Boston Pops  Salute to Our Heroes”  airing Saturday at 8 PM.

Spend time with family and make it fun

This year may be more about spending time with family and close friends instead of attending big public gatherings. Nevertheless, there are a lot of ways to celebrate the 4th of July whatever mode of quarantine or social distancing you are practicing. You can still don your patriotic colors, decorate your home or backyard, and  break out the BBQ.  String up lights for a festive effect, or throw some fairy lights in mason jars for that fire fly glow effect, great for hanging or sitting on a table indoors or out.  Don’t forgot to serve healthy, fun patriotic deserts…  Summertime is berry time.

If you are not sure what the latest restrictions are for your state, click here for a list of Corona virus restrictions in every state.

Choose an outdoor activity.

The long Fourth of July weekend is a great time to get outside. With many local, state and national parks open, find a trail for a hike or bike ride.  Skip the beach and enjoy the comfort of your backyard. Buy special sprinklers or safely pick up some water balloons, squirt guns and Frisbees at the store.  If you will be having a backyard BBQ with family or small group of friends, the CDS recommends the following precautions:

CDC TIPS for hosting gatherings or cook-outs safely:

Remind guests to stay home if they are sick

  • Remind invited guests to stay home if they have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last 14 days or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who has had close contact with a person who has COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health. Invited guests who live with those at higher risk should also consider the potential risk to their loved ones.

Encourage social distancing

  • Host your gathering outdoors, when possible. If this is not feasible, make sure the room or space is well-ventilated (for example, open a window).
  • Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. People from the same household can be in groups together and don’t need to be 6 feet apart – just 6 feet away from other families.
  • If planning activities for adults and/or kids, consider those where social distancing can be maintained, like sidewalk chalk art or frisbee.
  • When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact. For example, don’t shake hands, do elbow bumps, or give hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet them.

Wear cloth face coverings

  • Wear  cloth face coverings when less than 6 feet apart from people or indoors.
  • Consider providing face coverings for guests or asking them to bring their own.

Clean hands often

  • Consider providing hand sanitizer in addition to clearly marked hand washing areas.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting social gatherings. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Make sure there is adequate soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol available in the restrooms and encourage guests not to form a line at the door. Consider also providing cleaning supplies that allow guests to wipe down surfaces before they leave.
  • Remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food.
  • Use single-use hand towels or paper towels for drying hands so guests do not share a towel.

Limit the number of people handling or serving food

  • Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
  • Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.
  • If serving any food, consider identifying one person to serve all food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  • Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, and condiments, so that multiple people are not handling the items.

Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items

  • Use touchless garbage cans or pails.
  • Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands after removing gloves.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.
  • If you choose to use any shared items that are reusable (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins), wash, clean, and sanitize them after the event.

Be creative, stay safe and enjoy the 4th.