Phased reopenings across the country have led some to believe that the coronavirus is no longer a threat, but this is not the case. In fact, Los Angeles County and several counties in Florida have closed their beaches for Independence Day weekend due to drastic increases in new cases of COVID-19. The pandemic is not contained, so celebrating Independence Day at home with your family is still the safest way to reduce the spread of infection.
Celebrating Independence Day Safely
DC’s Mayor Bowser has encouraged DC residents to celebrate July 4th at home, and to maintain distance if they must go out. Washington.org created a helpful list of ways to celebrate the Fourth of July while abiding by social distancing guidelines. Highlights include virtual events that you can view safely in your home and places to watch the fireworks while staying carefully apart from others. The National Archives’ annual July 4th programming includes a traditional reading of the Declaration of Independence and educational discussions for all ages. The 2020 Salute to America will include multiple flight demonstrations from different branches of the military and will be livestreamed on WhiteHouse.gov as well as other new organizations. The annual “A Capitol Fourth” concert will feature pre-recorded performances from many famous stars and will end with the fireworks display live from the National Mall. The fireworks display will start at 9:07pm and is expected to last 35 minutes. The National Parks Service has released a schedule for events in public areas and public health considerations for those who wish to see the fireworks display in person.
Fireworks for Home Use
The Consumer Product Safety Commission urges consumers to be careful if they intend to purchase their own fireworks for at-home use. There are tragic accidents each year, and this year sales of fireworks are dramatically higher than previous years, so the CPSC expects injuries to be higher as well. For more information about firework safety, read our blog on safety guidelines and firework injury prevention.
Legality of Consumer Fireworks
The laws pertaining to consumer firework use vary by state, but the DMV area largely has the same restrictions. In general, fireworks that explode or launch a projectile are illegal throughout the DMV area; some counties have even harsher restrictions including the ban of all fireworks including sparklers.
Considerations Before the Celebration
While you celebrate our nation’s Independence Day, make sure that you remember to follow precautions to avoid the coronavirus. Always wear a mask and maintain a six foot distance while near others. Avoid crowded areas if you can and limit exposure to people who don’t live in your household.