BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Nothing says the Fourth of July like fireworks. Celebrations in Baton Rouge are back for the second year after having to pause during the peak of the pandemic.

“What’s great about it is it is outside, it is out in the open air so people who feel comfortable to come on down it’s a great place to get out there,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Chief Communication Officer Mark Armstrong.

But according to the Louisiana Department of Health, the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in the state. Armstrong wants to make sure everyone is staying safe.

“COVID-19 is still very much in our community, it’s still very much something we are experiencing and so we all need to take the steps to protect yourself and to protect our family,” Armstrong said.

The Louisiana Department of Health website said there are 2,237 COVID-19 cases in the state, but that number could be much higher. More people are using home testing kits, and those results are not often reported and many others are not testing at all.

“People are still getting very sick, but there is also people who don’t realize they have it,” Armstrong said.

Health officials still say best practices in protecting yourself from the virus include washing your hands, social distancing, wearing a mask, getting vaccinated, and don’t forget to get tested.

“Also keep in mind there are a lot of COVID-19 resources that are available in the community such as free at-home tests,” said Armstrong.

Click here to order your free COVID-19 test.