A combination of factors could make the Fourth of July a "perfect storm" of coronavirus infections, warned one doctor -- but only for those who don't choose to safely navigate the holiday weekend.
Cities opening, people not following preventative guidelines and people traveling could cause a spike in new Covid-19 cases, said Dr. Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease specialist at Boston Medical Center, during a briefing Wednesday by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
But it doesn't have to be that way if you want to have a safer Independence Day weekend, according to Erin Bromage, CNN contributor and biology professor at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
"We need to be vigilant with what we're doing, so keep your distance, keep it outside, wash your hands often, wear a mask when you can't distance," Bromage said.
Host your barbecue outdoors with plenty of social distancing and cancel if it rains, Bromage said. Keep your distance in the pool and at the beach, and if you can't, then turn around and head home. When it comes to firework shows, Bromage said distance is also key.
"If we're jammed into a small backyard watching all of these fireworks because that's the only viewing window that we have, then it's not a great idea," Bromage said. "If you can actually spread out and create distance with your family and other families, then you can do this safely."
You don't need to crowd together to have fun celebrating Independence Day. Here are some safer alternatives.
Virtual tours of historical landmarks
Step into history without having to get off your couch with virtual tours of historical landmarks. Places like the Statue of Liberty and Mount Vernon are offering virtual tours of their famous sites online. Virtual visitors get to learn insider facts about the locations that reveal the story of how America was born.
S’mores buffet line
A barbecue isn't complete without dessert, and this dessert is about as American as you can get. Set up a smorgasbord of s'mores ingredients, including gooey marshmallows and rich chocolate, then take turns roasting marshmallows around the fire.
Pop some confetti
Keep the sparkle in the Fourth of July without the dangers of traditional fireworks with these DIY confetti poppers. All you'll need is some balloons, toilet paper tubes and some confetti to make these kid-friendly crafts.
Raise a glass to freedom, or in this case, the Disney+ release of "Hamilton." The hit Broadway musical is debuting on July 3, which is just in time for the holiday weekend. This version removed some of the swear words to make it more family friendly, according to "Hamilton" playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Hot dog contest
The annual Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest is still on and will air at noon ET on ESPN July 4. This is the perfect opportunity to join in on the fun and have your own hot dog eating contest at home. Load up the grill with savory dogs and enjoy this classic American food.
Hop online and watch Fourth of July celebrations virtually, from Washington DC to Boston.
A Capital Fourth celebration is going to take place virtually from different spots around the country and will be streamed on PBS. Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes will feature performances from past years along with newly recorded virtual ones.
CNN will also be hosting a Fourth of July in America celebration with Don Lemon and Dana Bash. It will air at 8 p.m. ET on July 4.
Backyard water park
Skip the beach and instead create your own water park in the comfort of your backyard. You can purchase special sprinklers or just use the garden hose. For some added family fun, safely pick up some water balloons and squirt guns at the store.