City parks to remain closed to vehicles through virus crisis |

City parks to remain closed to vehicles through virus crisis

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — City parks, already closed for the season, will remain closed to vehicles during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city in a press release said it will be removing all portable toilets from Bijou Park, Lakeview Commons, the golf course and Regan Beach while the closure is in effect.

The dog park at Bijou Park will remain open only for walk-in traffic and the entrances have been blocked off.

“We aren’t discouraging public access to the parks, we want our residents to get outside during this crisis,” said Public Works Director Ray Jarvis in a release. “We are going to keep the parks closed to vehicle access though to discourage large gatherings and to continue to encourage people to follow state and federal guidelines.”

The National Recreation and Parks Association issued recommendations last week asking people not to use public parks and facilities if they are experiencing symptoms and maintain social distancing while outdoors.

“We live in the most beautiful place on earth, and for our mental health it’s important we all get outside and take in South Lake Tahoe,” said Jarvis, “It’s also important to remember these times come with special safety issues that we all need to be aware of to keep Tahoe safe.”

Jarvis said playgrounds and play structures are also off limits. Yellow caution tape is wrapped around the play structure at Bijou.

“Given the current situation and the guidance from public health officials on physical distancing, limiting in-person social interactions, avoiding spaces where people congregate in close quarters, and the concerns around transmission of the virus being spread through surfaces, the best course of action is to close these facilities for the time being,” Jarvis said.

“We know most residents who walk into city parks and other open spaces will use them safely,” said Interim City Manager Brad Kilger. “We want people to be able to use these spaces to look after their mental health and also look out for the health of our community at the same time.”

For more information on COVID-19 and California’s response visit the state’s public health website.

A 24/7 Barton Health COVID-19 Health Line, 530-600-1999, has been established for the general public to call if experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, coughing, sneezing, or shortness of breath.

Health line callers can ask questions and be scheduled for screening, testing and medical care at Barton’s referral-only respiratory screening center.

This standalone facility was recently opened to provide a safe screening location, increasing access to services for those in need while minimizing exposure to others, if referred by a medical provider.

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