OAKLAND (CBS SF) — East Bay Regional Park District officials on Wednesday announced additional park area closures to address recent overcrowding and public safety issues related to the current coronavirus health emergency.
The issues surfaced over the weekend when a number of park and beach areas in Northern California were overrun by visitors as people sought relief outdoors in the wake of the stay-at-home order imposed on residents to curb the spread of COVID-19. Marin County officials shut down all parks on Sunday after overcrowding on Saturday. Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday announced the temporary closures for vehicular traffic at State parks in Marin, San Mateo and Sonoma counties in Northern California.
A number of East Bay Regional Park District facilities, including all visitor centers and rental facilities were already closed to the public on March 15.
While park district officials hope to keep parks and trails open, unsafe overcrowding remains a concern and some closures were necessary to maintain social distancing. A complete list of parks, developed park areas, parking lots, and entrance points that will be closed beginning Friday, March 27, through the end of April is available on the East Bay Regional Parks website.
Additionally, park picnic areas are closed, and all group gatherings prohibited. Trails will remain accessible on a walk-in, bike-in basis.
“We are all in this together,” said Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “We want to help everyone during this crisis by keeping parks open, but safety of the public and our employees is our top priority.”
“If parks are too crowded, please help us keep people safe by going home,” added Doyle.
East Bay Regional Park officials said visitation and park use will continue to be monitored closely, with additional closures possible.