BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This holiday weekend will be unusual; Americans will celebrate the Fourth of July in the middle of a pandemic.

As other states are forced to re-implement restrictions, Maryland leaders are warning residents not to let their guard down.

This weekend, many Maryland State Parks have been at capacity. Even fewer people are allowed in, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

“People are pretty good about their distance for the most part, but other than that, there’s not really much you can do,” said Baltimore County resident Meghan Thomas who visited Sandy Point State Park.

There were lines at Matapeake Beach on Friday, which concerned some local leaders.

“This one has a capacity of 250. One of the holiday weekends, we were having 600 to 700 people here. Cars were parked all the way down this road. It was an absolute nightmare,” said Queen Anne’s County Commissioner Jim Moran.

Queen Anne’s County commissioners recently voted to cut access to its beaches down to just 50 percent.

But, as other states struggle to control an uptick in cases, Maryland is trying to keep its numbers in the right direction.

Hospitalizations dropped Thursday night, and Friday marks one week since the positivity rate has
remained below five percent.

Gov. Larry Hogan said he wants people to continue to take COVID-19 seriously.

“We are particularly concerned about young people who are seemingly ignoring the public health advice,” the governor said.

Nearly 69,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Maryland. The health department wants doctors to order a test for anyone who requests it.

“I think our state is doing outstanding. I think his plan has worked outstanding so far, and that’s why we don’t want to have a flare up in Queen Anne’s County,” Moran said.

If you’re planning to go to some of these state parks, the park system is giving updates on Twitter as to which parks still have space.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Ava-joye Burnett

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