State-operated parks will shut down in Oregon

SALEM, Ore. – Day-use areas and campsites operated by Oregon State Parks will be shut down Monday.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said, in accordance with guidance by Oregon Governor Kate Brown, the Oregon Park System will close at the end of the day on March 23. Campers need to check out by 1:00 p.m. and day-use areas will close at 5:00 p.m. until further notice.

“With new guidance from the governor, and clear signs that travelers are not following advice to avoid full parks, a statewide closure is necessary,” Oregon Parks and Rec said. “Beaches can be closed by OPRD at their discretion and will be closed if social distancing practices are not followed.”

Restrooms will be locked within the closed parks and campers will reportedly receive a refund for canceled days.

“We would have preferred an orderly shutdown of the system and to remain open for daytime visits, but our concern for the effects on rural health care systems requires us to move up and expand our plans,” says Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. “We know this will cause a disruption, since we’re suspending service to everyone, even people who live near a park. Reducing contact between people is more important than recreation at the moment.”

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