LOS ANGELES - Health officials in Los Angeles County report 1 in 140 people are currently infected with COVID-19, sparking concerns as cases continue to rise.
"Over the course of the coming week, it is estimated that [1 out of 140] will fall to 1 out of 100 or even 1 out of 70 residents of LA county," said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Monday marked the largest single-day number of new infections LA County has seen since the pandemic started with more than 100,000 people contracting the virus.
"We have to deal with the truth, COVID-19 never left us. It's still here, and it's still as dangerous today as it was day one when it arrived," said Garcetti.
Governor Gavin Newsom ordered bars to close in LA County and six other counties following the rise in cases, and Garcetti said he agreed with the closure.
"I'd love to see more and more of the economy open up, but we simply cannot endanger people's lives," said Garcetti.
County officials announced Los Angeles County beaches will be closed to the public over the Fourth of July weekend in an effort to prevent large gatherings that could lead to the spread of the coronavirus. Beaches, bike paths, and piers will be closed on July 3 until July 6.
Fireworks displays are also banned.
"I know how much we look forward to this time of year. I know that we love seeing those fireworks exhibitions, but not this year. This year we have to think about saving lives to protect what we have in this country," said Garcetti.
Some people are questioning whether the mass protests contributed to the rise in COVID-19 cases, but Garcetti said there's no conclusive evidence showing protests are responsible.
"We follow the data closely. There's no evidence yet that the protests led to much spread though it's something that Doctor Ferrer has hypothesized, but we haven't seen any conclusive evidence there.
People still can obviously and should exercise their First Amendment rights. This is a critical moment not to let up with that," he said.