Celebrate the Fourth of July Safely During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Traditionally the Fourth of July is known for fireworks, food, and celebrating with friends. This year, families and local communities are taking a different approach to how they are celebrating the 4th due to implications brought upon the COVID-19 pandemic.
Avoid Large Gatherings
COVID-19 may have thrown a curveball in your travel plans - whether it be family gatherings, traveling, camping, or watching fireworks. If you choose to still celebrate in some fashion, remember to practice safe social distancing measures.
- Opt for a smaller gathering of friends and family rather than a large group. Also, limit the time frame you are among a large group. The more people you interact with, and the longer the interaction lasts, the higher potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19.
- Choose to celebrate at home instead.
- Watch the fireworks from your vehicle or away from crowds. Maintain a distance of at least six feet between you and others.
- Gather outdoors to decrease your risk of exposure.
This is a friendly reminder to wear a mask in places where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
- Even if you don't have symptoms, if you are infected with COVID-19, you can spread the virus. A mask helps you keep your germs to yourself, protecting others.
- If others around you also wear masks, all of you are better protected.
- Find a mask that fits well and when you put it on, try not to touch your mask except by the straps, and remember it needs to cover both your mouth and nose for it to be effective.
Handle Fireworks Safely
Don't forget that fireworks are considered dangerous for both kids and adults when not handled properly.
Do not let little ones handle fireworks on their own, including sparklers. Rather, try using glows sticks as a safer alternative for young children.
Make sure to keep sparklers away from the face, clothing, and hair - sparklers can reach up to 1,800°F, making it hot enough to melt gold!
Keep an Eye on the Food
Did you know that bacteria thrives in temperatures ranging from 40 to 140°F? Don't leave your food out all afternoon - keep hot food on the grill or in a warmer and keep cold food in the fridge or a cooler. If you think the food has been sitting out for more than an hour, consider throwing it away.
Be Smart When You Grill
For many, grilling on the Fourth of July is a tradition. Remember to practice proper grill safety when you are grilling.
- Grill outside and away from structures - pay attention to where your grill is located. Is anything above your grill like a roof or tree branches?
- Keep your grill clean - removing grease buildup prevents the grill from having flare-ups.
- Avoid using starter fluid if possible - If the fire goes out, do not add starter fluid or any other flammable liquid to the fire.
Having a few alcoholic beverages on the Fourth of July is common for many adults. If you choose to drink while celebrating, stay safe, and use common sense.
- Lighting Fireworks - make sure whoever is in charge of lighting fireworks is sober.
- Pace Yourself - for many, Independence Day calls for all-day celebrating. Remember to stay hydrated, especially if you are out in the heat. Alcohol is not a substitute for water! Try setting a limit for the number of drinks you will consume and make sure to alternate with non-alcoholic drinks in between.
- Don't Drink & Drive - whether you are driving a boat or an automobile, driving drunk is never okay. Make sure that you have a designated sober driver in your group. Arrange for a sober ride home before you begin celebrating.