Portland Parks & Recreation Urges Physical Distancing, other Health Directives to be Followed

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Advisory on maintaining physical distancing and how staff will be at parks to help people remember the public health guidelines - especially during this warm weather.

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At the direction of Oregon Governor Kate Brown, City parks, trails, golf courses, and natural areas remain open to the public. All visitors must work together to meet at least 6 feet of social distancing from people that do not live in their home.

Achieving 6 feet of physical distancing is extremely challenging at playgrounds, skate parks, and sports courts and fields, and those facilities have been closed to the public since March 23. They remain closed at this time under the advice of public health officials. 

Timber Joey and Portland Parks and Recreation’s Vicente Harrison share information about how to be as safe as possible while outdoors and at our parks.

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) has monitored the COVID-19 situation since it began. PP&R continue to be in communication with and to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Oregon Health Authority, Multnomah County Health Department, and the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management. 

For park, trail, golf course, and natural area visitors, follow these guidelines: 

  • People who are exhibiting symptoms of any illness should stay home and refrain from using any PP&R facility. 
  • Follow CDC guidelines and wash your hands before and after you visit a park, trail, or natural area, or any other public space.
  • Follow CDC social distancing recommendations and keep at least 6 feet from others at all times, including interacting with other park visitors and PP&R staff. If you can’t maintain that distance, find another location or come back another time. 
  • Be prepared for limited access to public restrooms and no operating water fountains.
  • While on trails, announce your presence to others and step aside to let others pass.   
  • Wear face coverings to limit the spread of COVID-19 from people who have the virus but who have no symptoms or have not yet developed symptoms.    

PP&R signs are posted at parks and trailheads to explain what facilities are closed and to share public health guidance. To help people maintain their physical and mental health while safely utilizing their parks system, PP&R has also: 

  • closed parking lots and park roads at dozens of sites,
  • locked gates and removed nets at tennis courts where needed,
  • installed "Closed" barrier tape at playgrounds,
  • locked and flipped over soccer field goalposts,
  • Park Rangers are already informing the public on safe social distancing in high traffic areas, and addressing issues as they arise, and
  • left decorative fountains and splash pads turned off. 

Starting this week, PP&R will redeploy some employees as Park Greeters. While maintaining 6 feet of social distance, Park Greeters will educate the public about how to use their parks system safely and to explain what facilities are open or closed.  

PP&R hopes these additional educational resources will positively impact behavior at parks, trails, golf courses, and natural areas.  

#WeGotThisPDX
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