California State Parks today announced the launch of a new social media campaign titled “Flatten the COVID-19 Curve at Parks” to remind the public to practice social distancing when visiting state parks or any outdoor area. The website www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve includes important social media messages in English and Spanish that highlight safe ways to enjoy parks, such as not congregating in groups, maintaining a social distance of 6 ft. or more when recreating in the outdoors, and staying home if you are sick.
Now more than ever, State Parks understands the public’s need to enjoy the benefits of nature during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic situation. Spending time in the outdoors can lead to a number of overall health and wellness benefits like lessening anxiety, boosting creativity and getting vitamin D. This is why Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Stay at Home” order allows Californians to walk, hike and bike in the outdoors provided that people practice social distancing. If visitors cannot maintain social distancing of 6 ft. or more when recreating in the outdoors, they need to leave the park. During these difficult times, protecting park staff, volunteers, partners and visitors from the exposure to coronavirus is critical.
The department is monitoring the coronavirus 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.
In response, State Parks has proactively taken the following measures:
- High public use indoor facilities — including museums, visitor centers and cafes — have been closed until further notice.
- Campgrounds across the state have been closed until further notice. All current reservation holders affected by the temporary closures have received a notification from ReserveCalifornia of their cancellation and refunds will be provided. State Parks appreciates the patience of the public as it moves along this process.
- State Park staff are reminding the public about the importance of social distancing.
- Cancellations of all events in the state park system until further notice.
- No new event applications or requests to postpone already-approved events will be accepted until further notice.
- Public facing facilities, such as restrooms, are being cleaned more frequently per recommended protocols. Additionally, employee offices and facilities are being disinfected before and after work for use by essential employees.
As of today, non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Day-use restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advised to bring soap for handwashing and to use alcohol-based sanitizers when water is not available.