CORONA VIRUS CLOSES OREGON DUNES (UPDATED)

The state and fed have shut it down

The latest from the National Park service is

To support state and local measures directing people to stay home to save lives, we will be temporarily closing all campgrounds, sand camps, and day use areas, including trailheads, OHV staging areas, picnic areas, and boat launches. The closures will be in effect March 24 through May 8 or until such measures are lifted.

We have determined this is an important course of action to address social distancing guidelines provided by the CDC and the State of Oregon to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid putting undue pressure on local communities from increased visitation.

For forest related COVID-19 updates visit: http://go.usa.gov/xdzAE

 

According to the Oregon State Parks All state parks will close March 23. The last night anyone can stay is March 22. 

We’re sorry to interrupt your plans. The previously scheduled April 3 campground closure has been moved up to March 23 and now includes all state parks, including all trails, viewpoints, and picnic areas and all other facilities. This is part of the statewide effort to reduce transmission of COVID-19. Day-use state parks will close at the dusk on March 23 and will not reopen until further notice. At this time, campers may spend the night March 22 and must vacate by 1 p.m. on March 23. 

For campers, please leave before the deadline to avoid congestion, and if the line at the park wastewater dump station is long, drive out of the park and find another station. This closure will last at least until May 8. All cancelled nights will be refunded. 

We made this difficult decision based on four realities: 

  • We serve a lot of people. Maintaining social distance is difficult in busy parks.
  • Staff and volunteers make parks work. We want to protect their health and safety, and we expect fewer will be available as this situation goes on.
  • Park visitors affect the local community. Bringing several thousand people into a local community strains already-stressed grocery stores and health care providers, and search-and-rescue teams.
  • Information is changing fast. Our new state park closure decision is in response to Governor Kate Brown directing Oregonians to maintain social distance in public at all times. The department urges all Oregonians to follow the Governor’s directive and stay home to stay healthy.
    Remember: 

    • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • When in public, maintain a social distance of at least six feet.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow.
    • Clean surfaces you touch regularly.
    • Check the Oregon Health Authority’s website: govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19

At the direction of Governor Kate Brown, and in keeping with the guidance that all Oregonians should stay home and stay healthy, the Oregon State Park system will close at the end of the day Monday, March 23. Day-use areas will be closed starting March 23 at 5 p.m. Campers need to check out no later than 1 p.m. 

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) previously ordered a campground closure that would have started April 3, and advised travelers to avoid day trips to full parks. With new guidance from the Governor, and clear signs that travelers are not following advice to avoid full parks, a statewide state park closure is necessary. Beaches can be closed by OPRD at their discretion and will be closed if social distancing practices are not followed. 

All daytime park services will be closed statewide, including parking areas and restrooms. Campers will be refunded for all cancelled nights. All travelers are advised to follow the guidance to stay home to stay healthy. City and county parks and other public land managers are open at their discretion, with the recommendation they do so only if they can adhere to social distancing practices. 

“We would have preferred an orderly shutdown of the system and to remain open for daytime visits, but our concern for the effects on rural health care systems requires us to move up and expand our plans,” says Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. “We know this will cause a disruption, since we’re suspending service to everyone, even people who live near a park. Reducing contact between people is more important than recreation at the moment.” 

Know before you go: 

  • Travel Oregon travel alerts: https://traveloregon.com/travel-alerts/.
  • State park service reductions and closures: https://bit.ly/OPRD-covid.
  • Oregon Department of Forestry: https://www.oregon.gov/ODF/
  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife: https://myodfw.com/visit-odfw-wildlife-areas
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