'It's gonna be crowded': Sonoma County bracing for swarm of visitors July 4th weekend, amid spike in COVID-19 cases

SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- One North Bay county is bracing for big crowds this July 4th weekend amid a spike of new COVID-19 cases, which could put them on the Governor Newsom's watch list and force some re-opening rollbacks.

"It will be crowded and we won't be here," said Healdsburg resident Alice Burnett.

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Burnett will skip a trip to Memorial Beach on the Russian River this July 4th weekend, where weather will be warm and crowds of people may show up, because state beaches are closed.

"In the water, we're telling people keep your distance, everybody's been good about it," said lifeguard Jim Boyce.

Down the road, Amy's Wicked Slush has expanded its "slush garden" seating area to accommodate more guests.

"I think it's making sure everyone's got masks on, we've been trying to enforce it, we wear masks and do sanitizing," said server Luis Rodriguez

Downtown Healdsburg was getting busy, there were lines for cafes and the Healdsburg Inn on the Plaza had some good news to report.

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"We are full this weekend we're really excited about it, we're working hard," said manager Jennifer Ostrom.

"That's my message this weekend, be safe and social distance, wear your mask," said Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin.

Gorin says Independence Day is colliding with a spike in 38 new Covid cases and six deaths since Sunday. She fears that could put Sonoma County on the governor's watch list and force re-openings to rollback.

"If we are surpassing the governor's criteria, the governor will say to us you need to shut down certain sectors of your economy," Gorin added.

That's something most business owners are trying to avoid.

County officials hope most people will play it safe this holiday weekend and stay home.

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