How to Stay Safe on the Fourth as COVID-19 Lingers

By: Nayanna Hollins

The Fourth of July is by far one of the most exciting holidays in America, and with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent relaxation of COVID-19 guidelines, many Michiganders are planning fun activities to celebrate locally and beyond.

Whether you’re watching fireworks or firing up the grill for a cookout, here are a few tips for how to remain safe and still have fun on Independence Day:

COVID-19 Safety

The State of Michigan has rescinded the capacity limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings. However, with the new Delta variant of COVID-19, there are still a few recommended guidelines to help protect people from the Coronavirus.

Do:

Wash your hands frequently.
Get vaccinated.
Hold events outdoors, where it’s easier to socially distance.
Wear a mask and socially distance if you are not fully vaccinated.
Self-quarantine if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have experienced COVID-19 symptoms within the last 14 days.
Keep track of who attends your event so you can notify guests of any exposures.
Clean your grills between uses so bears and other animals don’t crash your cookout.

Do not:

Host large gatherings with unvaccinated guests.

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks are usually the main event on the Fourth of July, but they also present a wide range of safety hazards. Michigan’s Fireworks Safety Act outlines many of the state guidelines for handling fireworks.

Do:

Check your local guidelines to make sure you are setting off fireworks at the right time. According to the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, the State of Michigan allows people to set off Fourth of July fireworks from 11 am to 11:45 pm from June 29th through July 4th.
Have adults (18 and older) purchase and handle all fireworks.
Keep a bucket of water ready to dampen fireworks and extinguish flames.
Toss fireworks and sparklers into water before discarding them.
Light fireworks in a safe area away from people, pets, buildings, and flammable materials.
Purchase all fireworks from a state-certified retailer.

Do not:

Light fireworks indoors or in a container.
Point fireworks at people, dry grass, or trees.
Hold or throw lit fireworks.
Attempt to re-ignite dead fireworks.
Allow your children to handle fireworks.
Violate local Firework Ordinances. Breaking these restrictions can result in $1,000 fines.
Ignite fireworks on public property without permission.

The Fourth of July is a lot more fun when everyone is safe and healthy. Make sure to be responsible and protect yourself and others. Enjoy your Independence Day!

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