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Updated Notice Regarding Use of City Parks

On March 31, 2020, the Contra Costa County Health Officer issued a new shelter-in-place ORDER HO-COVID19-03 to supersede the prior Order issued on March 16, 2020. This new Order extends the shelter in place until at least May 3, 2020, and also includes significantly more stringent social distancing requirements in general, and as directly applies to use of Parks and Recreation facilities. County Health prepared an Executive Summary of the new Order, which mandates the following:

  • If you visit a park, beach, or other open space area, you must follow any restrictions that the local authorities or managers have in place for that area. These restrictions might include measures like closing parking areas, restricting car access, limiting the number of visitors, or closing the area to public access entirely.
  • You are not allowed to use recreational areas with high-touch equipment or areas for gathering outside of your residence. This includes playgrounds, picnic and barbecue areas, dog parks, and outdoor gym equipment.
  • Governments and other entities that manage recreational areas must close off public access to gathering areas and areas with high-touch equipment.
  • You are not allowed to use shared recreational facilities outside of your residence, such as golf courses, basketball courts, tennis and pickle ball courts, rock parks, climbing walls, pools, spas, shooting and archery ranges, gyms, and disc golf.
  • Governments and entities that manage shared recreational facilities must close them to public access.
  • You are only allowed to engage in sports or activities that use shared equipment with members of your own household.

In response to numerous reports of non-compliance during the initial period following the issue of the prior Order, the City took action to block off or barricade parking lots to Hidden Lakes Park and Hidden Valley Park, secure playgrounds, close restrooms and water fountains, lock ballfield facilities otherwise open to the public, and secure the Temporary Dog Park. With this new County Order, the City has taken the following additional measures:

  • Locking tennis courts (where possible)
  • Removing basketball hoops
  • Removing soccer goals
  • Removing swing sets (where the City has witnessed or received reports of use)

The public is reminded that violating any provision of the County Order constitutes and imminent threat and menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both, consistent with Health and Safety Code Section 101029 as specified in the County Order. These violations would include tampering with measures the City has taken to lock and/or secure these facilities, which could also be subject to prosecution for vandalism under Penal Code 594.

Passive recreation activities – such as walking, jogging, biking, and relaxing – remain permissible as long as you maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others and do not congregate in groups.

We thank our community for taking these unprecedented restrictions seriously. Ensuring the safety and well-being of our community remains our highest priority and we need the assistance of our entire community to achieve that goal.

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