|Bloom of Anza Borrego State Park (Taken 3.26.2019)|
I meant to post this press release on Wednesday, but I guess I forgot. As you probably know by now, all the counties surrounding San Diego have been put on the state watchlist and had to roll back reopenings of indoor activities. San Diego is on pace to face the same rollbacks by Monday. In the meantime, the County has not put any beach restrictions in place, rather leaving it up to individual jurisdictions. Oceanside has opted to close their beaches, but I haven't seen other coastal cities follow suit. The reality now is that if you don't think the beaches should be open, you just shouldn't go. Yes, we expect them to be full of Zonies and other out-of-towners. It won't be pleasant. There's simply not any evidence that bathrooms can be cleaned with the frequency they would need to with the impacted crowds. While the County says no community outbreaks have occurred from outdoor activity, there's only one way of not getting the virus: stay home with members of your own household. Full state press release after the jump.
State Parks Implements Safety Measures to Reduce Density of Visitors
over the Fourth of July Weekend
Temporary Closures Will Be Implemented in Some Counties
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California State Parks today announced safety measures to reduce the density of visitors over the Fourth of July weekend (July 3-5) in the State Park System. All state beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties will be temporarily fully closed to the public in alignment with county public health orders. State Parks will also be temporarily closing vehicular access at all state beaches in nine counties: Marin, Monterey, Orange, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma. The vehicular closures mean that no parking facilities are available to the public and parking on roadways is prohibited.
“Due to COVID-19, we have to observe Fourth of July differently this year,” stated California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat. “That means avoiding large gatherings and road trips to state parks and beaches. Now more than ever, it’s up to all of us to recreate responsibly to protect our loved ones and our communities.”
While other state park units will remain open, State Parks’ staff will monitor visitation and physical distancing over the weekend. Measures to modify operations, such as limited parking and closure of trails, will be taken where needed to limit overcrowding. Current camping reservations at all state park units over the Fourth of July weekend will be honored.
Below is a breakdown of the safety measures State Parks is implementing over the Fourth of July holiday weekend (July 3-5):
- Fully Closed State Beaches
All vehicular and pedestrian access will be closed during this time.
- Los Angeles County
- Leo Carrillo State Park
- Malibu Lagoon State Beach (SB)
- Malibu Pier
- Point Dume SB
- Robert H. Meyer Memorial SB
- Ventura County
- Emma Wood SB
- Manadalay SB
- McGrath SB
- Point Mugu SB
- San Buenaventura SB
- Vehicular Access Closures
There are no public parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited in all state beaches within the counties listed below. Although beaches are open to local residents that can walk or bike into these public outdoor spaces – provided that they practice physical distance and abide to new visitor guidelines – congregating is not allowed. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination for details.
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Mateo
- Santa Barbara
- Santa Cruz
- Other State Park Units
Measures to modify operations, such as limited parking and closure of trails, will be taken where needed to limit overcrowding at state park units that remain open to the public.
Everyone has the responsibility to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including in the outdoors. The public is reminded to avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet from others who are not from the immediate household members cannot be maintained, and avoid congregating. This means no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance. As a reminder, the use of fireworks is not permitted in the State Park System (year-round).
Below you will find 10 tips to help reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors and tips to stay safe during this Fourth of July holiday and throughout the summer:
- Plan Ahead: Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open, if parking is available, if there are camping opportunities and what new visitor guidelines are in effect.
- Stay Local: Although businesses around the state are opening up, Californians should not travel significant distances for pleasure or recreation and should stay close to home. Parking is very limited or closed at park units across the state. Walk or bike to parks in your local neighborhood. Do not travel if you are sick or if someone in your household has had coronavirus in the last two weeks.
- Stay Safer at 6 feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
- Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
- Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
- Stay Covered: The state now requires you to wear a face covering in the outdoors when you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from others who are not your immediate household members. For details, please read California Department of Public Health’s guidance for the use of face coverings here. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.
- Keep Clean: Be prepared. Not all restrooms are open to the public. In some cases, restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Camping: If you are camping in an RV, please use the restrooms in your own unit. This will help reduce the use of the shared restrooms at campgrounds. View additional camping tips.
- Wear a Life Jacket: Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard-approved and properly fitted. Several public and private entities make life jackets available to the public on a loan basis. View locations.
- Protect Your Loved Ones: Know your limits. Swimming in a lake, ocean or river is different than swimming in a pool. If someone is in distress, seek help from a lifeguard or call 911 if one is not available. Supervise children at all times by appointing a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults. Do not assume that someone is watching them.
- Ocean Rip Currents: If you get caught in one, stay calm and do not fight the current. Swim or float parallel to the shore until you are out of the current and then swim toward the shore.
- Avoid Alcohol: Operating your boat or an off-highway vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more is against the law. Impaired boaters will be stopped and can be arrested even with lower BAC if the conditions are not safe. Your boat can be impounded.
- Share the Road: Observe posted speed limits. Stay in your lane on blind curves and do not cut corners. Do not pass on double-yellow lines and pass only when you have a clear view of oncoming traffic and it is safe to do so. Be prepared for equestrians, pedestrians, joggers, cyclists, wildlife, rocks, tree limbs, etc. on the State Park System’s roadways.
You can find additional safety tips by visiting www.parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
State Parks will continue to monitor visitation and physical distancing across the State Park System and if unsafe conditions develop, park units may close again.
Please visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve for detailed information on how State Parks is mitigating the spread of COVID-19.