In light of Sacramento County Public Health’s new stay-at-home order to help combat the spread of COVID-19, many people are asking: What exactly can I do — and what can’t I do — in City of Sacramento parks?
The question is particularly relevant as the holiday weekend approaches.
County Public Health’s new order prohibits people from gathering in groups of any size other than with members of the same living unit. The order also prohibits the use of “recreational facilities that encourage gathering” including playgrounds, picnic areas, basketball courts and tennis courts. To comply with the new order, the City of Sacramento has temporarily closed these recreational amenities within City parks.
Nevertheless, City of Sacramento parks remain open this weekend, and residents can continue to use them to walk, bike, hike or run while maintaining the required six feet of physical distance, said Mario Lara, Director of Youth, Parks, & Community Enrichment.
“We understand these new restrictions are especially inconvenient leading into the holiday weekend when many people usually enjoy spending time with their loved ones, particularly in parks,” Lara said. “However, we must all do our part to fight this virus by avoiding these types of gatherings.”
According to the Order, “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.” However, the order does not “prohibit members of a single household or living unit from engaging in Essential Travel or Essential Activities together.”
“If your household or living unit decides to visit a park together, the City requests you keep your group small and maintain physical distance between you and other park-goers,” said Lara.
Following the new order, Youth, Parks & Community Enrichment installed signage at City parks to remind visitors to avoid public playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, picnic and barbecue areas, tennis and pickle ball courts, rock walls, climbing walls, pools, spas, shooting and archery ranges, gyms, disc golf and basketball courts, and any other amenity that “encourages gathering.” The City also covered basketball hoops and closed gates around tennis courts and playgrounds.
Sacramento City golf courses remain open with very limited operation during the stay-at-home order. Golf course operators have implemented strict practices to ensure physical distancing, increase cleaning of equipment and facilities, and prohibit customers from sharing equipment.
In the order, Sacramento County Public Health explains that “the Prior Stay at home Order has been generally effective in increasing social distancing, but that at this time additional restrictions are necessary to further mitigate the rate of transmission of COVID-19, to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed, and prevent death.”
“This is an important time for us all to do our part to protect each other,” Lara said. “Please enjoy Sacramento’s beautiful outdoor spaces in a safe way this holiday weekend by not coming together in groups and avoiding park amenities.”