SALEM, OR (KPTV) - Oregon State Parks and Recreation has extended park closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure will now be extended past May 8, with no reopening date in place, and reservations for camping and day-use have been cancelled through May 25.
Refunds are being sent out for reservations that have been canceled.
Currently Oregon State Parks and Recreation is working behind the scenes to come up with a plan on how they may reopen day-use areas and what changes may be made at each park.
“We just want to thank the public for being patient with us, we know this is tough, we miss having visitors in our parks we want people to come out a recreate when it is safe to do so,” said Jo Niehaus with Oregon State Parks and Recreation.
Niehaus says the goal right now is to slow the spread of the virus and keep people healthy and separated. The concern is that opening parks with crowded parking lots and trails may spread the illness.
“Even when they are outdoors, especially at parks, it is hard to avoid other people. Our parking lots get full, our trail access gets crowded and it is difficult to pass people on trails,” Niehaus said.
Parks and Recreation workers are also trying to help rural communities from being inundated by people as well.
Niehaus says those who have a 12 or 24 month day use parking permit will not be losing any days on those passes.
“The months you couldn’t use because of the closure will be added back on automatically, so that they will be honored and you will get the full 12 or 24 months use out of them,” Niehaus said.
If someone is caught inside a closed park they will be asked to leave, citations may also be issued.
For more information on the parks closures, go to oregonstateparks.org.
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