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Aria Lyle, 1, scopes out her starting position before the Annual Community Easter Egg Hunt at Hermosa Valley Park on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

With public health officials escalating their stay at home orders this week to urge people to avoid even grocery shopping, the City of Hermosa Beach announced it will close City parks on Easter Sunday, April 12, to prevent gatherings that could increase the spread of COVID-19.

The City and County of Los Angeles and some surrounding cities already closed their parks or announced park closures for the Easter holiday. The Hermosa Beach park closures will be in effect all day Sunday. City staff will install signs to inform the public of the closures, and the signs will be removed and the parks re-opened Monday morning.

The greenbelt will remain open to walk or run, but the required minimum of 6 feet of distance between non-household members must be maintained. The City asks residents to return home or choose other places to walk and run if the greenbelt is crowded.

“We know Passover and Easter are times when family, friends and the community have traditionally come together – often with gatherings and celebrations at many of our parks,” said Hermosa Beach City Manager Suja Lowenthal. “This year, we are asking residents to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by celebrating at home with their household members, participating in a service online and connecting with extended family and loved ones virtually.”

In addition to continued patrols at the beach, Hermosa Beach police and City staff will be at the City’s parks on Sunday to inform visitors of the closures. They are asking the community to voluntarily comply with the closures, and they can issue citations, if needed, to people who don’t comply with beach or park closures, tamper with or remove signage or barricades or fail to observe the physical distancing required by the public health orders.

To help the community celebrate at home, the City will sponsor a virtual egg hunt on Facebook and Instagram featuring photos of eggs at various Hermosa Beach locations. Residents will be asked to determine the eggs’ locations by viewing photos and fun clues. The eggs will not be left in any physical location, so please don’t leave home to search for them.

Local churches are offering Good Friday and Easter services online, which can be found by visiting their websites.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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