Americans push coronavirus regulations to the brink on Labor Day weekend

Labor Day get-togethers bring COVID concerns
Labor Day get-togethers bring COVID concerns 02:16

Last Updated Sep 7, 2020 7:05 PM EDT

The global number of coronavirus deaths topped 890,000 on Monday, and the U.S. remains hardest hit with nearly 6.3 million cases and more than 189,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

With the Labor Day holiday coming to a close, there are concerns about possible new spikes in cases after thousands ignored warnings to avoid large gatherings over the long weekend. 

Americans are pushing COVID regulations to the brink this Labor Day holiday. In California alone, hoards of people crammed beaches and parks, looking for relief from record-breaking heat.

A Burning Man-themed party in San Francisco drew more than 1,000 people and was quickly condemned by Mayor London Breed, who wrote on Twitter, "This was absolutely reckless and selfish."

Twenty-six states are reporting more new cases compared to two weeks ago. Hot spots like Florida hit yet another grim milestone, with coronavirus-related deaths now topping 12,000.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb fears holiday gatherings will spark another, more dangerous spike in new cases than the one after Memorial Day weekend.

"We're heading into the fall and winter when we would expect a respiratory pathogen like the coronavirus to start spreading more aggressively than it would in the summertime," said Gottlieb.

This comes as many students return to school this week amid fears of the virus spreading and hope for a vaccine soon.

The three leading drug makers are now reportedly saying they'll pledge to "not release any vaccines that do not follow rigorous efficacy and safety standards," The Wall Street Journal reported.

In Asbury Park, New Jersey, the beach was at capacity. Beach safety supervisor Joe Bongiovanni said they would like people to wear a mask when on the boardwalk and going to the restrooms, but it is not required on the beach.

The beachgoing season here usually ends on Labor Day, but the city will continue to charge for beach access and keep lifeguards on until the end of the month.

Meanwhile, the TSA reports the highest number of air travelers this weekend since March.

  • Nikki Battiste
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    Nikki Battiste is a CBS News correspondent based in New York.