4th of July comes with concerns, authorities urge personal responsibility

Fourth of July weekend is here and, while many gatherings are canceled, many people are still hoping to get together with family or friends.

Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson said Friday was quiet but authorities are ready for a busy weekend on the water.

With how many people are expected to be out, he said it’s going to be a team effort to keep everyone safe and healthy.

KSTP’s Fourth of July Guide

"We can’t police every single person on the lake, there’s going to be thousands of people out here," Hutchinson said. "So again, I revert back to personal responsibility — we don’t want people to get sick, we don’t want people to get COVID and die. So a lot of that is going to be if you’re not boating with people who are close to you make sure you wash your hands, wear a mask, there’s a lot of things you can still do and have fun."

Hutchinson said authorities will also do their best to educate people and maintain safe social distancing while on the water.

He also stressed the importance of cleaning the waste from your boat responsibly. Hutchinson said to take care of your waste properly and not to dump it in the water – that will be another issue deputies will be watching for.

As for those consuming alcohol, local authorities said they’ll have extra enforcement out to catch the reckless and impaired.

First responders brace for busy holiday weekend

With the high heat expected throughout the weekend, finding shade and drinking plenty of water will be important. With heat indexes expected to be around 100 at times, it’s also important to check on your loved ones to make sure they’re cool and hydrated.

Meanwhile, health officials are sending a reminder that we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. With gatherings comes the opportunity for community spread, and officials are urging people to take some precautions before celebrating.

Some recommendations from health officials include:

  • Have one server so not everyone is touching the same utensils,
  • Get condiments in packages to avoid sharing bottles,
  • Keep your individual area and yourself clean.

Over 4th of July weekend, officials urge caution due to COVID-19 pandemic