For Immediate Release: 3/24/2020
California State Parks Announces Steps to Reduce Crowds at State Parks to Help Slow Down the Spread of Coronavirus
California State Parks today announced that it is taking additional safety measures to reduce crowds and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Many state parks and beaches received record visitation over the weekend which made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social distancing practices. As a result, the department is working closely with local county and public health officials to modify park operations by closing vehicular traffic at some park units to reduce the density of visitors. A list of closures can be found online at www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. State Park Peace Officers, in cooperation with allied law enforcement entities, will continue patrolling all state park units and enforcing all regulations
The State of California understands the public’s need to enjoy the benefits of nature during the coronavirus pandemic situation. For those wishing to take a break in the outdoors, public health officials are advising them to walk, run, hike and bike in their local neighborhoods and walk to parks. Most importantly, the public is being asked not to congregate in the outdoors. Everyone has the responsibility to “Flatten the COVID-19 Curve at Parks” by maintaining a social distance of 6 ft. or more when recreating in the outdoors, and staying home if they are sick. If visitors cannot maintain social distancing, they need to leave the park.
In support of the state’s efforts to slow down the spread of the pandemic disease, State Parks has launched a social media campaign titled “Flatten the COVID-19 Curve at Parks.” Through this campaign, the department and partners will be reminding the public about their role in flattening the COVID-19 (coronavirus) curve as they exercise and de-stress in outdoor open spaces.
State Parks will continue to monitor visitation and social distancing at all state park units and if the safety measures implemented today are not sufficient to protect public health, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks including trails, bathrooms, and other amenities.
California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from the coronavirus. The department is monitoring the situation closely and is following guidance provided by the Governor’s Office via the California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.