Hospital nurses are moving into RVs because they are worried they could be exposed to COVID-19 at work. Ventura County Star
The city of Ventura updated its closure orderof parks and beaches Monday night, allowing people to walk, jog, bike and surf.
People will have limited access tocity parks, beaches, the promenade and pier. But they won't be allowed to linger, sit on the sand, fish from the pier,picnicor stick around in any fashion.
It's open for movement, not for gathering, city officials said. Park- or beach-goers also must practicephysical distancing, keeping at least six feet from others and avoiding groups.
Parking areas will continue to be closed and restrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas, courts and fields also will stay shuttered.
Sand along the Ventura coast is a patchwork of state and city jurisdictions. In early April, days after the city announced it was closing its beach, promenade and pier, the statealso closed its beaches in the area and Ventura Harbor did the same.
Ventura Harbor said Tuesday that it again would follow the city's decision, allowing the same limited access at its beaches.
California State Parks also said it was easing restrictions at San Buenaventura, Emma Wood and Mandalay beaches.
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"We are removing our full closure and going back to our soft closure," said Dena Bellman, state parks spokesperson.
That means all facilities are closed, but active recreation is allowed on beaches, trails and in the water.
Gatherings are not allowed, she said, and ifpeople are in a group and not practicing physical distancing, they will be contacted by a ranger and may have to leave.
Parking areas at state parks properties also will stay closed. Authorities have urged people to stick closer to home and not travel to beaches or parks outside of their community.
The changes are expected to be rolled out over the next several days. The Ventura City Council called for clear signs to be posted around parks and beaches and a stepped-up enforcement system.
If a city park becomes overcrowded or people do not comply with physical distancing practices, the on-duty watch commander of the Ventura Police Department can order the park cleared.
The first time that happens, the park or beach would be closedfor 24 hours.
If it happens a second time, the closure would last 48 hours, and a third closure would leave the spot closed indefinitely, according to the council's decision.
"This is not considered opening. It's considered a limited closure," Council member Cheryl Heitmann said Monday.
Coronavirus:Patchwork of jurisdictions and closures add confusion to beach, park access
"Not everyone is going to be happy. There are people who really desperately want to come to the beach or the park, bring their kids and let their kids run around, play and picnic,"she said. "That just isn't where we are yet. We'll get there."
Farther down the coast, Port Hueneme recently had "a soft reopening" of its beach.
City officials said people could walk, run,surf, bike or swim at Hueneme Beach, but not hang out or socialize. The pier, picnic areas, restrooms, and playground equipment will stay closed.
People also have to practice physicaldistancing and avoid groups.
This will be a slow rollout," said Port Hueneme Police Chief Andrew Salinas, according toa statement. "If beachgoers can follow social distancing guidelines and these new beach restrictions, we will not need to reinstate another beach closure."
People were discouraged from sunbathing, gathering or sitting. Beach-goers won't be allowed to bring blankets, chairs, coolers, umbrellas, tents or similar items onto the beach.
Does this mean County Line beach is open?
County Line beach is part of Leo Carrillo State Park, which was closed as of Monday. It is one of several state beaches and state parks along a stretch of the south coast of Ventura County. Those also were still closed Monday.
What about Chumash Trail, Sycamore Canyon or La Jolla Canyon?
Those are part of Point Mugu State Park, which also were still closed as of Monday afternoon.
Are trails open in the Conejo Valley area?
On Wednesday, the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency is expected to reopen its trails on weekdays only. Trails will be closed on weekends and parking areas will stay closed.
Are other beaches or parks open in Ventura County?
As of late Friday, county-run parks were reopened. Those are only sites managed by the County of Ventura. A list is available here: https://www.ventura.org/parks-department/. Beaches at Channel Islands Harbor, including Silver Strand, Kiddie and Hollywood, also are open.
Outdoors: Some Conejo Valley trails will reopen later this week, but only on weekdays
Cheri Carlson covers the environment for the Ventura County Star. Reach her at email@example.com or 805-437-0260.
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