East Bay families prep for downsized 4th of July parties to comply with health orders

On Friday, people in the East Bay were busy shopping for 4th of July celebrations. Many families said they are downsizing their party plans this year to comply with health orders.

The Costco parking lot in Richmond was bustling, along with the meat and seafood department.

"It's always busy. It's terribly busy today. I'm scared to go to the gas station because I know it's going to be a long line over there," said Monica Dean, who works at Costco.

Most of the customers had plenty of space to distance themselves in the aisles, including at the checkout lines, and everyone was wearing a mask. Dean says they work hard to keep the store safe.

"Every maybe fifth person that comes through our line, we sanitize the registers, we wipe everything down, make sure everything is clean and try to make sure everybody stays in their place, six feet apart."

"I got some steak to barbecue for tomorrow and I also got wine for the next two weeks," said Robert Snook.

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Snook may have stocked up at Costco, but only members of his household will be at his Independence Day celebration. "I'm continuing to be very careful," he said.

Stephanie Hernandez was buying celebration supplies at the Target in Albany with her family.

"We usually invite friends over, but right now it's just family," she said.

Hernandez says she's taking extra precautions, because she's going back to work as a preschool teacher on Monday. "I know that the numbers are going really high with people having coronavirus. We're not trying to add more numbers to that."

Trader Joe's in Berkeley had a line down the block, but everyone ABC7 spoke to was shopping for personal groceries, not big parties.

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Berkeley resident, Sarah Lebu, was in line to shop for a small group. "Just like a cookout, like 4-5 people, so it's much smaller than we would have."

People were also lined up outside Everett and Jones Barbecue on San Pablo Avenue, waiting for their food including Berkeley resident, Lisa Grey, who ordered beef links, beef brisket, potato salad, and baked beans, for a picnic this weekend with three of her friends.

In non-pandemic times, she celebrates with a much bigger group.

"Like a hundred people. Having a gigantic barbecue, having the kids and everything, but not tomorrow," she said.
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