First it was Yosemite National Park. Then it was Point Reyes National Seashore. Now, the County of Sonoma has taken the drastic move to close its parks and open spaces to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus. It’s a growing trend that may continue as California officials attempt to keep people in their homes.
When California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide “shelter-in-place” mandate for all residents, officials emphasized that outdoor activities are allowed if people responsibly practice social distancing. But following the announcement, the parks were packed with weekend warriors looking to get a breath of fresh air and the understaffed parks became worried about problems associated with heavy traffic and the spread of the virus.
“Those young people are still out there on the beaches thinking it’s time to party. It’s time to grow up, time to wake up,” Newsom said. “Time to recognize that it’s not just about the old folks, it’s about your impact on their lives. Don’t be selfish.”
Following the busy weekend, Point Reyes National Seashore closed most of its access, which was preceded by a complete closure of Yosemite National Park. While the California State Park system hasn’t indicated any further closures, its indoor areas and campgrounds have already closed to the public. It’s unclear whether there are anymore plans to close state parks further.
As the spread of the Coronavirus continues to grow in Northern California, we can expect more parks to close in the coming weeks. If you do plan on heading outdoors in the near future, please use the recommended caution to help curb the spread of the virus: