Santa Clarita cancels fireworks show due to rise in COVID-19 cases

Santa Clarita officials announced the city's firework display is canceled after LA County officials banned firework exhibitions for the holiday weekend.

The cancellation follows a rise in COVID-19 cases in LA County and throughout SoCal. The current number of cases is more than 100,000.

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Some residents aren't happy about the decision, but others believe it's important to protect others from COVID-19.

"I think it's heartbreaking. I think that we're breaking a tradition for years and years representing the USA. It's sort of being stolen from us, but we have to be safe," said one resident.  

Another resident said he "understands the fireworks display being canceled because this entire area is filled with thousands of people, and if you want to do everything right and social distance, it's the right thing to do."

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Anne Rimoin, a Professor of Epidemiology for the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health discussed the difference between outdoor transmission of the virus and indoor transmission.

"It's very clear at this point that the virus transmits most efficiently indoors from person to person and so the bigger risk is when you're going into a place where you cannot be socially distant and people are not wearing masks and it's an indoor setting.

Outdoors the virus appears to spread less efficiently, you have airflow, you have sunlight so the UV probably has something to do with it as well and you also have more space to move in principle, but it still transmits outside so the best thing to do is social distance and wear a mask," she said.  

Rimoin talked about the fact that LA County officials closed beaches, piers, and bike paths in the county for the holiday weekend.

" I think the reason that Mayor Garcetti has been focused on closing beaches, piers, places where you're going to have a lot of crowding is even when you are outdoors if you're in very close proximity to people, not socially distanced, and people are not all wearing masks, you do create opportunities for the virus to spread.

We're now having record days of transmission in Los Angeles county. We are at a breaking point, and we are at a point right now that is very crucial for the pandemic," said Rimoin.  

Rimoin believes we could see more closures to curb the spread of Covid-19. On Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom said he may announce more restrictions on Wednesday.

"This is a very delicate balance because we're talking about public health and the economy, but the truth of the matter is, if everybody did what they needed to do, wear a mask, be socially distant, avoid crowds, we would likely be able to do more in terms of opening our economy and not shutting it down.

The reason we're shutting it down is because we did not have everybody wearing masks, everybody doing the very best that they could in terms of social distancing and we're now paying the price for it. I think the key here right now is that we have to do everything we can to keep everybody as safe as we can and so there are going to be tradeoffs," said Rimoin.

Rimoin also believes more efficient, and easy access to testing is needed along with good contact tracing in order to reopen society safely.