Coronavirus parks closures in the Bay Area: Five things to know

The first weekend of California’s coronavirus restrictions brought changes concerning public access to parks and trails.

Because of crowds, Marin County shut down all public parks in its boundaries — local, state and federal — and some Southern California cities acted to restrict access to beaches.

With agencies warning of further shutdowns if necessary to enforce social-distancing guidelines, Bay Area residents should check a park’s website or Facebook page before making the trip. Also keep in mind that many have closed restrooms and water fountains and have removed paper maps from kiosks.

Here are the latest headlines on outside exercise. Click each link for the full article:

Marin County has closed all parks. Public health officials on Sunday shut down all parks within the county. The only exception is county-maintained paved paths.

East Bay Regional Parks District warns it could be next. The district’s manager, Bob Doyle, said that crowds over the weekend were “insane,” with visitors packing trails and even using closed-off picnic areas and playgrounds. A few days earlier, he had said, “If in a week we see that the parks are overcrowded . . . the health department may close them down.”

All state campgrounds in California are closed. California State Parks on Wednesday announced the temporary closure of all campgrounds in the state park system. Visitor centers and other public buildings had already been closed. Trails, beaches and other outdoor areas remain open at most state parks, as do restrooms.

San Jose has closed all playgrounds. The city announced Friday that all public playgrounds were closed, with no date given for reopening.

The shelter-in-place order does allow outdoor exercise — but there are restrictions. As of March 23, it remains legal to hike, bicycle or ride horses in most parks and open space preserves in the Bay Area and to travel to those places by car. But, as with most things coronavirus, it’s complicated, and the situation is changing quickly.

Closure lists: Recent updates for parks in the Bay Area, and national parks including Yosemite.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Health


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