San Bernardino County on Saturday joined Ventura and San Diego counties in easing guidelines under the stay-at-home order that closed much of the states’ businesses, parks and other recreational sites on March 19.
County Supervisor Curt Hagman announced the decision to reopen parks, trails and golf courses earlier this week.
That’s despite the still-growing number of COVID-19 cases in the county. As of April 24, officials there have confirmed 80 deaths out of 1,666 cases—up 3.9% from the day before. Nursing homes in the county have been hit especially hard.
In announcing the revised order, officials cited the role played by outdoor activities on overall health. They also emphasized that residents should continue to follow social distancing rules and wear masks outside their home.
Here’s what else you need to know about the updated guidelines:
Parks, trails and lakes owned by the county are open to the public for “passive recreation,” meaning no-contact activities such as walking, hiking and boating. The county is also letting city-owned and private recreational sites, including golf courses, to reopen. Authorities advised checking with individual facilities on their plans to reopen.
Who can visit?
Officials are “strongly discouraging” out-of-county residents from visiting these recreational areas. Notably, the Mt. Baldy Mountain Resort had already reopened for skiers and snowboarders regardless of residence before the county eased the stay-at-home guidelines.
What remains closed?
Pools, spas, amusement parks, campgrounds and boat-rental businesses remain closed. Individuals and members of the same household can only camp in open areas such as federal land.
Restaurants will stay closed for dine-in customers, as well as gyms and hair and nail salons.
What activities are permitted?
Residents can hike, bike, rock climb and skateboard, where it’s allowed.
Non-contact sports such as tennis are also permitted among members of the same household, as well boating (only members of the same household per vessel, which cannot be rented), fishing and going to the dog park. People can also park in parking lots for “passive” recreational activities.
What are the rules on golfing?
Per the county:
- Players must bring their own clubs.
- Players are not allowed to touch flagsticks.
- Practice putting greens and the practice chipping greens will not have holes cut out. They will just have stakes in the ground where players can aim.
- Players who choose to rent a cart will be limited to one person per cart or they can ride with members of their households. Cart keys and carts will be disinfected after each round
- Driving range stations will be a minimum of six feet apart. Range balls must be disinfected before being made available to customers.
What isn’t allowed?
Going to playgrounds, team sports such such as basketball and gathering at picnic and barbecue areas are still banned.
Who’s enforcing the rules?
Each recreational facility’s operator must monitor activities and contact those who are not following safety practices, the county said.
What happens if people don’t adhere to requirements?
According to the county, the facility will be shut down if it doesn’t stay within the limits of the new rules. If noncompliance becomes widespread, officials said they’ll bring back the ban on recreational activities countywide.