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Heat wave adds to concerns, amid pandemic, at president's July 4th celebration

WJLA – Washington D.C. logo WJLA – Washington D.C. 7/4/2020 ANNA-LYSA GAYLE | WJLA Staff
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WASHINGTON (WJLA) — Despite the city’s efforts to keep people away from the National Mall, due to the coronavirus pandemic, some are determined to make the trip.

“I think if you wear a mask, and you social distance, I think it’s the way to go,” said Scott Lovaas.

Amid the pandemic, some things have changed as first responders prepare for President Donald Trump's Salute to America celebration.

“This year, unlike previous years, the park police will open up access at about 1 p.m. In years past, they’ve done that a little bit earlier,” said HSEMA Director Chris Rodriguez.

Flyovers are expected from 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with the fireworks between 9:00 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.

“We are planning with our federal partners and the park police,” said Rodriguez.

“There will be fire personnel out, because of the heat to make sure people have water,” he said. “There will be several buildings, to make sure people can get cool down there.”

a tent in the background © Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

The city has activated its heat emergency plan for the weekend.

“We do expect that there might be some heavy rain and thunderstorms ... so, we also expect folks to watch the weather and be safe out there,” he said.

Click here for the list of cooling centers. 

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