VISITING SONOMA COUNTY DURING COVID-19?

TRAVEL SAFELY

Parks Access Expanded in New Health Order -
Sonoma Coast beaches with parking areas to reopen.

 

The county is under a shelter in place order that restricts unnecessary travel. While driving to parks for basic exercise is allowed, park users are encouraged to stay close to home, limit their time and interactions with others in public, and if possible, initiate their park visits from their homes by walking, hiking or biking. If crowded parks make social distancing difficult, park managers can close parking areas, limit trail access or close parks.

 

Please respect our beautiful coastal beaches by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and leaving no trash behind. Be patient with the traffic back-ups, be kind to the restaurants adjusting to the new requirements and no overcrowding so they close them again.

 

Limited parking at State coastal beaches now is due to concrete blocks at access to parking lots will not be fully removed until possibly Saturday. Be safe when walking on crumbling cliff edges and when parking along Highway 1.

 

RELEASED ORDER BY COUNTY: SANTA ROSA, CA— Sonoma County’s health officer on Tuesday further eased restrictions on outdoor recreation during the Covid-19 pandemic by issuing an order that allows park agencies to reopen coastal parking lots and restore daytime visiting hours at beaches. The order means residents can drive to Sonoma Coast parks and trails beginning Wednesday, June 3. The order replaces a May 12 order that allowed only walk-in coastal access and closed beaches between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

The amended parks order allows individuals or household groups to drive to coastal parks for lower-risk recreation, including hiking, walking, running, fishing, surfing and other water sports, as well as for sunbathing and relaxing on beaches.

 

“Visiting beaches for our physical and mental health is possible if we stay diligent about social distancing, wearing face coverings when we come near other park users and staying home if we have any Covid-19 symptoms,” Mase said. “We must continue to slow the virus’ spread to protect our vulnerable residents and our healthcare resources.”

The order continues to require that all park visitors practice physical distancing and wear face coverings when they come within 6 feet of people who are not members of their household. Park facilities that encourage social gatherings or that feature frequently touched surfaces remain closed. These include picnic areas, barbecues, playgrounds, dog parks, outdoor gym equipment, drinking fountains and recreational campgrounds. While the order allows driving to parks and beaches within the county, it also urges visitors to limit their time and interactions with others in public.

“We’re so pleased residents can take a break from sheltering near home by visiting the coast for exercise and fresh air,” said Susan Gorin, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “As we enjoy the coast again, let’s continue to do our part to keep each other safe: Carry a face covering, don’t socialize in groups, and avoid busy beaches if social distancing will be challenging.”

 

The health order applies to all parks, trails and recreation areas in Sonoma County, including those managed by private organizations.

 

“Reopening the beaches is a milestone for our community – we know many people have waited patiently for this day,” said Bert Whitaker, director of Sonoma County Regional Parks. “We’re committed to keeping coastal parks open this summer, and we appreciate the public’s support for health guidelines that are meant to protect us all.”

https://socoemergency.org/june-2-amendment-to-health-order…/

 

FAQs
Draft FAQs for 06-02 Parks Order

 

Is the health order allowing limited access to Sonoma County parks?
Sonoma County’s public health officer has amended a parks closure order to allow access to coastal parks beginning June 3, 2020. The order allows residents to drive, bike or walk to all open Sonoma County parks and beaches for basic exercise and recreation. The order is effective until further notice and is the latest modification to a full parks closure ordered at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

How can I access and use the parks?
The parks health order allows you to walk, bike or drive to parks, trails and beaches for basic exercise and outdoor recreation while you continue to shelter near home. You must stay at least 6 feet from other parks users who are not members of your household. You must carry a face covering and wear the covering when you cannot maintain that distance.

 

Park managers may allow for an individual or a household group to use sports courts and playing fields. Playgrounds, picnic areas, dog parks, barbecue areas, drinking fountains, recreational campgrounds and other gathering or high-touch areas remain closed. Check with your local park agency for more information about the status of park amenities.

 

Can I drive to parks outside of my community?
The county is under a shelter in place order that restricts unnecessary travel. While driving to parks for basic exercise is allowed, park users are encouraged to stay close to home, limit their time and interactions with others in public, and if possible, initiate their park visits from their homes by walking, hiking or biking. If crowded parks make social distancing difficult, park managers can close parking areas, limit trail access or close parks.

 

Are park restrooms open?
The parks health order allows park agencies to reopen restrooms. However, some restrooms may remain closed due to maintenance issues. Please check with your parks department to learn about individual park facilities. Some parks might have temporary, portable restrooms available and no hand-washing stations. Please carry your own hand sanitizer.

 

Am I required to wear a face covering in a park?
You must carry a face covering when you are in a park, and you must wear the covering when you come within 6 feet of other visitors (who are not members of your household.) This rule applies all users, whether walking, hiking, jogging, biking or fishing. For more information, see the Sonoma County health officer’s order regarding face coverings.

 

Are Sonoma Coast beaches open?

The amended parks order effective June 3, 2020 allows park agencies to reopen coastal parking lots and restore daytime beach hours. Beach visitors can enjoy active recreation – such as hiking, walking, running, fishing, surfing and other water sports – as well as sedentary activities such as sunbathing and relaxing. Barbecues, picnic areas, campgrounds and other park facilities that encourage gatherings are closed. Beach visitors must follow physical distancing and face covering requirements and not gather with members of multiple households.

 

 

Are Russian River beaches open?
The health order allows Russian River parks and parking lots to open. Please check with the agency managing the river park to learn what type of access is allowed. River parks can be used for hiking, biking, swimming, boating, water sports, fishing and sunbathing. Barbecuing and group picnics are not allowed. Street parking in river neighborhoods is not advised. Parking regulations are strictly enforced.

 

Are sports courts, athletic fields and other shared facilities open?
The parks health order lets park managers open and operate tennis courts, disc golf courses, basketball courts, pickleball courts and other shared sports facilities in compliance with social distancing restrictions. Use must be limited to a single individual or to members of the same household. Players who are not members of the same household cannot share sports facilities at the same time.

Playgrounds, picnic areas, dog parks, barbecue areas, drinking fountains and other gathering or high-touch areas are closed.

 

What type of fishing access is allowed?
Fishing is allowed at parks where permitted. Anglers must comply with social distancing rules and wear face coverings when they are within 6 feet of other park users who are not members of their households. Fishing boat occupants are limited to members of the same household.

 

Are Class 1 trails open to cyclists?
Class 1 multi-use trails like the Joe Rodota, Santa Rosa Creek and West County trails (paved paths separated from roads) are open to cyclists as well as pedestrians.

 

What disabled parking options are available during this period of limited parks access?

Park managers may close or physically limit parking areas to control crowding in parks. If you have a disability and need a reasonable parking accommodation during this period of limited opening, please contact your parks department (or 2-1-1, if not known) to coordinate parking at specific parks. To coordinate disabled access at a Sonoma County Regional Park, call (707) 565-2041.

 

Are equestrians allowed to use park trails?
Please contact your parks department to learn about the status of equestrian access. Sonoma County Regional Parks has restored equestrian access and reopened equestrian parking areas.

 

Are day-use parking fees required?
Parking fees are determined by individual park agencies, so please check with your local parks department. Sonoma County Regional Parks is charging its regular parking fees. (Regional Parks memberships will be extended to cover the two months the parks were closed to vehicles.)

 

Can I exercise on schoolyards and school fields?
Some school campuses might allow public access for exercise. Please comply with any posted rules about public use, as well as all social-distancing and face mask protocols required by the public health officer.

https://socoemergency.org/june-2-amendment-to-health-order-no-c19-13/

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