City parks remain available to residents during COVID-19 outbreak

Under the state and local public health orders to stay at home except for essential activities, the City of Sacramento’s outdoor spaces in parks remain available for residents to visit. However, park users must comply with the public health orders.  

“Social distancing is essential to help lessen the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Mario Lara, Director of Youth, Parks, & Community Enrichment. “But that doesn’t mean you must stay inside all the time. Walking, exercising or relaxing in your neighborhood park is a great way to unwind during this stressful time period.”  

According to Sacramento County, residents are “… allowed to go outside to take care of pets, go on a walk, exercise outside, and just get outside, so long as you do not congregate in a group and maintain at least six feet of distance between you and other people.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced a “soft closure” of parking lots at many state parks and campgrounds in an effort to discourage people from congregating in groups outdoors. However, state public health officials are “advising the public to walk, run, hike and bike in their local neighborhoods and walk to parks.”

Here are some tips from the National Recreation and Parks Association on observing social distancing minimums at parks or on trails:

  • Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to trails: Wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not use trails if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
  • Always observe CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
  • Warn other park or trail users of your presence and as you pass to allow proper distance and step off jogging paths or trails to allow others to pass, keeping minimum recommended distances at all times. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
  • Note that trail and park users may find public restrooms closed. Be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
  • Bring water or drinks. Public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
  • Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash. Take everything out to protect park workers.
  • The City also recommends avoiding play structures. 

“We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation during this unprecedented disruption to the Youth, Parks, & Community Enrichment’s normal business operations,” Lara said.        

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