Alameda beaches remain open for July 4th holiday despite surging coronavirus cases in Alameda County

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- While Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered beaches and/or parking lots up and down the state closed this Fourth of July weekend due to surging COVID19 cases, one of the Bay Area's most popular, in the county with the highest number of cases, is wide open.

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It also comes as Alameda County records its highest number of new cases, 228, in one day.

Unlike Memorial Day weekend, the parking lots at Alameda's Crown Beach are wide open, and East Bay Regional Parks Police will allow people to sit, rather than keep moving, as long as they follow some basic coronavirus safety precautions.

In fact, with the holiday weekend fast approaching, the beaches in Alameda may be the only viable option for many in the Bay Area.

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"It has kept me totally sane and fit," said 77-year-old Lois Jacobs. "I come here every day to swim, but I never sit on the beach. I just get out of the car, go in the water, do my swimming and go home again."

Beachgoers are aware of the ongoing risk, but grateful they still have access to Crown Beach.

For many here, the primary precaution is to stay away from others and take advantage of the relatively light traffic before the expected crowds this weekend.

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"We're out here today because we thought we could still get out here and be far enough away from people before the crowds hit tomorrow," said Daniel Fox, enjoying the sand and surf with his wife and three young children.

As long as people follow the rules -- no alcohol, no fireworks, remain distanced and wear masks when necessary -- East Bay Regional Parks Police will go with the flow.

And so will those who love coming here, especially now.

"It's amazing. The water is terrific and the sun is out and I'm just so grateful to have it here available to me," said Kathleen Cook, who spends most mornings swimming with her friends just off Crown Beach.

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