For Immediate Release
San Mateo County Parks, State Parks and Coastside Cities Announce Steps to Reduce Crowds
Public asked to stay close to home, respect park regulations, and practice social distancing to reduce spread of COVID-19
Redwood City, CA – In a unified effort to reduce crowds at local beaches and parks and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, San Mateo County Parks with California State Parks and the cities of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay are modifying operations, taking additional safety measures, and closing vehicular traffic at some locations to reduce the density of visitors.
Parks and beaches in San Mateo County received record visitation last weekend which made it impossible for the public to adhere to the state and San Mateo County Health Officer shelter-in-place orders and implement appropriate social distancing practices. As a result, San Mateo County Parks with California State Parks and the coastside cities of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay are asking the public to stay close to home, respect park regulations and closures, and practice social distancing.
“We need the public’s help to keep our parks safe” said San Mateo County Parks Director Nicholas Calderon. Consistent with Health Officer’s order, Calderon asks people to use their local parks and trails and avoid driving to other neighborhoods, even if that means forgoing your favorite park.
Calderon stresses that visitors must adhere to park and facility closures and all park rules. “Be respectful of others in the park by practicing social distancing and be respectful of the environment – don’t cross barricades, don’t litter and don’t urinate in parks. If people break the rules, we will be forced to close our parks.”
San Mateo County Parks has closed restrooms, playgrounds, all picnic areas, and visitor centers at all County parks. Flood Park, Friendship Park, Memorial Park, Sanchez Adobe and Woodside Store are completely closed. A full list of guidelines, modifications and parking lot closures are posted at https://parks.smcgov.org/.
Parking lots at State of California beaches and parks closed March 23, 2020. A list of closures can be found online at www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve. If the safety measures implemented are not sufficient to protect public health, additional measures from State Parks may be taken to fully close parks including trails, bathrooms, and other amenities.
State Park Peace Officers, in cooperation with allied law enforcement entities, will continue patrolling all state park units and enforcing all regulations.
Effective today, March 25, 2020, the following beach parking lots in Pacifica and Half Moon Bay are also closed:
- Pacifica State Beach (Linda Mar Beach) north and south lots
- Parking lots in front of and behind the Pacifica Community Center
- Rockaway Beach north and south lots
- Council Chambers lot on Beach Boulevard
- Beach Boulevard parking south of the Council Chambers
- Fisherman’s Lot in the 800 block of Palmetto Avenue
- Poplar Beach, Half Moon Bay
- Redondo Beach, Half Moon Bay
- 1 Miramontes Point Road, Half Moon Bay
Parking laws will be enforced in these areas as well. The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is committed to coordinating with law enforcement partners in enforcing all beach and park access closures and reminding residents to do their part to comply with the Health Officer’s shelter-in-place order and protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19.
“We need to make every possible effort to avoid contact with each other,” said San Mateo County Health Officer Dr. Scott Morrow. “As for outdoor exercise, do this in your own immediate neighborhood, maintaining social distance from other people. Do not go into other neighborhoods, parks, or beaches for recreation. Do not drive except to provide or obtain an essential service. Our world has changed, and we need to adhere to the letter and the spirit of the shelter in place order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our communities. When this is over, you will again be able to enjoy the beautiful and bountiful opportunities to be in the nature that surrounds us.”
Visit https://www.smcgov.org for local information and resources related to COVID-19.