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Coronavirus weekend update: Number of Santa Clara County cases makes up over a quarter of the region's total

As cases rise, state bans vehicle access at state parks to control crowd surge

The number of coronavirus cases sharply rose in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties since the beginning of the week, and five new deaths were reported in Santa Clara County this afternoon.

The total of COVID-19 cases in San Mateo County doubled from 117 on Sunday to 239 on Friday. By Sunday afternoon (March 29) the number of confirmed cases had risen to 277, The county also recorded five deaths over the past week, raising its death toll to six.

Santa Clara County has the most people with the coronavirus compared with the eight other Bay Area counties. The county's 646 cases as of Sunday afternoon make up over a quarter of the region's total cases. In a week, the county's death count more than doubled and now stands at 25.

To control crowds, state bans vehicle access at all 280 state parks

California State Parks announced on Sunday that it is temporarily closing vehicle access at all 280 state parks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

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The department issued the restriction following a noticeable increase of visitors at parks statewide over the start of the weekend.

"On Saturday, many state parks once again experienced visitation surges that made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social/physical distancing practicing," according to the announcement.

The parks department recommends that residents stay close to home when going outdoors. "This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach," according to the announcement.

The department said it will continue to monitor visitation at all state parks, and if the current safety are not sufficient to protect public health, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks, including trails, bathrooms and other amenities.

For more information about park closures, go to the State Parks COVID-19 Resource Center.

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San Mateo County closes its parks

All San Mateo County parks have been closed until further notice due to a sharp increase in visitors despite the shelter-in-place and social distancing orders enacted to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, county officials said on Friday.

The county had kept 17 of the 23 sites it manages open before Friday.

An increase in visitors last weekend and observations of park and trail use over the past several weeks led to the closure order.

"The decision to close parks is not easy, especially now when people are looking for outdoor experiences, but the safety of San Mateo County residents must always be a priority," said San Mateo County Parks Director Nicholas Calderon. "In that spirit we had to take this action."

Data collected from mid-February to March 25 showed increases of 50% to 300% in park use following the shelter-in-place order.

Park staff also noticed people gathering in groups and failing to keep a safe distance, county officials said.

"We have a limited amount of time for the shelter-in-place order to truly save lives," County Manager Mike Callagy said. "The sheer number of people crowding our parks and driving to reach them made them unsafe for our community. I appreciate the desire for our residents to get outside and enjoy our open spaces, but we cannot have them descending on our parks in large groups now."

Entrance gates and parking lots will be locked and notices will be posted that the parks and trails are closed.

Patrol of parks will continue during the closure.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and The Almanac here

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Coronavirus weekend update: Number of Santa Clara County cases makes up over a quarter of the region's total

As cases rise, state bans vehicle access at state parks to control crowd surge

Uploaded: Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 9:46 am

The number of coronavirus cases sharply rose in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties since the beginning of the week, and five new deaths were reported in Santa Clara County this afternoon.

The total of COVID-19 cases in San Mateo County doubled from 117 on Sunday to 239 on Friday. By Sunday afternoon (March 29) the number of confirmed cases had risen to 277, The county also recorded five deaths over the past week, raising its death toll to six.

Santa Clara County has the most people with the coronavirus compared with the eight other Bay Area counties. The county's 646 cases as of Sunday afternoon make up over a quarter of the region's total cases. In a week, the county's death count more than doubled and now stands at 25.

To control crowds, state bans vehicle access at all 280 state parks

California State Parks announced on Sunday that it is temporarily closing vehicle access at all 280 state parks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The department issued the restriction following a noticeable increase of visitors at parks statewide over the start of the weekend.

"On Saturday, many state parks once again experienced visitation surges that made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social/physical distancing practicing," according to the announcement.

The parks department recommends that residents stay close to home when going outdoors. "This is not the time for a road trip to a destination park or beach," according to the announcement.

The department said it will continue to monitor visitation at all state parks, and if the current safety are not sufficient to protect public health, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks, including trails, bathrooms and other amenities.

For more information about park closures, go to the State Parks COVID-19 Resource Center.

San Mateo County closes its parks

All San Mateo County parks have been closed until further notice due to a sharp increase in visitors despite the shelter-in-place and social distancing orders enacted to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, county officials said on Friday.

The county had kept 17 of the 23 sites it manages open before Friday.

An increase in visitors last weekend and observations of park and trail use over the past several weeks led to the closure order.

"The decision to close parks is not easy, especially now when people are looking for outdoor experiences, but the safety of San Mateo County residents must always be a priority," said San Mateo County Parks Director Nicholas Calderon. "In that spirit we had to take this action."

Data collected from mid-February to March 25 showed increases of 50% to 300% in park use following the shelter-in-place order.

Park staff also noticed people gathering in groups and failing to keep a safe distance, county officials said.

"We have a limited amount of time for the shelter-in-place order to truly save lives," County Manager Mike Callagy said. "The sheer number of people crowding our parks and driving to reach them made them unsafe for our community. I appreciate the desire for our residents to get outside and enjoy our open spaces, but we cannot have them descending on our parks in large groups now."

Entrance gates and parking lots will be locked and notices will be posted that the parks and trails are closed.

Patrol of parks will continue during the closure.

Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and The Almanac here

Comments

Charles Schmuck
Menlo Park: other
on Mar 28, 2020 at 1:36 pm
Charles Schmuck, Menlo Park: other
on Mar 28, 2020 at 1:36 pm
4 people like this

As hard as it is to see parks and beaches closed, we ALL need to adhere to the warnings and stay home and safe.

Together if we do this we can have a real impact at stemming the growth and saving lives.

Charles


Stay at home
Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:48 pm
Stay at home, Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Mar 28, 2020 at 2:48 pm
6 people like this

Saw a group of about 8 women socializing and having some kind of dance party at our local park yesterday afternoon.

This is why we can't even have open parks. People still don't get it. Pretty soon we won't be able to even go out to exercise.


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