Officials in Southern California are stepping up coronavirus closures to enforce social distancing during the Easter holiday.
All public parks in Los Angeles County will be closed Easter Sunday to help contain the coronavirus, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced at a Wednesday evening news conference.
City and county beaches and trailheads have already been closed to visitors, but from Saturday night through Monday morning that closure will be expanded to hundreds of parks encompassing tens of thousands of acres of land in Southern California where Angelenos have traditionally gathered for Easter celebrations.
“I know your heart breaks…. This is such a great tradition for the many families we have,” Garcetti said. “But we can’t afford to have one cluster of even just a few people together spread this disease to more people and kill them.”
In Orange County, where car cruising is an Easter tradition in Santa Ana, police said they will be out in force to prevent such activities to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
“Should people fail to obey the stay at home order and engage in activities associated with cruising, the Santa Ana Police Department will be ready to conduct zero-tolerance enforcement. Road closures, lane restrictions and extra uniformed officers will help the Santa Ana Police Department crack down on the annual tradition of cars cruising on Easter Sunday,” the department said in a statement.
San Bernardino County has urged churches to hold only virtual Easter services and banned drive-through and drive-in services.
“People may not leave their homes for driving parades or drive-up services or to pick up non-essential items such as pre-packaged Easter eggs or bags filled with candy and toys at a drive-thru location,” the county said in a statement.
“We understand that this is an important time for Christians around the world and it is natural to want to worship and celebrate with our families,” Board of Supervisors chairman Curt Hagman said in the statement. “Right now, however, is a critical time for our country and our community — we can still celebrate this time from the safety of our individual homes while we help flatten the curve and save lives.”