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Mayor Faulconer says city neighborhood parks will reopen in a limited capacity

A list of parks slated to reopen Tuesday has been posted. Beaches could reopen by the end of the month.

SAN DIEGO — The mayor of the City of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, on Monday announced the limited reopening of the city's neighborhood parks after being closed nearly five weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mayor Faulconer said San Diegans have been following the rules and hospitals have been able to meet the demands of patients related to the deadly virus.

Beginning on Tuesday, neighborhood parks will reopen in a limited capacity and will remain open as long as residents follow the rules. If the rules are not followed, Mayor Faulconer warned the parks would once again be closed.

Residents will be able to go to their neighborhood parks but will be limited to individual activities such as walking and/ or jogging. People must have facial coverings. 

People will still not be able to gather in groups or participate in any group sports. Parking lots, basketball courts, and playgrounds will continue to be closed. 

The mayor also said parkgoers will not be able to drive to the parks, as parking lots remain closed per public health orders.

A full list of parks slated to reopen is now available on city's website at sandiego.gov/coronavirus. Mayor Faulconer said the smaller parts of Balboa Park will be reopened. 

"We want to provide, of course, an outlet for people to be physically and mentally active as we grapple with this new normal going forward," Faulconer said.

Mayor Faulconer also mentioned he talked to mayors of cities along the San Diego County coast to discuss the possibility of reopening golf courses, boardwalks, trails, and beaches. 

The decision to reopen them by the end of the month will be driven by data, in accordance with county health officials to ensure public safety, not only to the public but to public safety personnel. 

Mayor Faulconer warned that depending how well residents conduct themselves with the reopening of neighborhood parks will dictate what else reopens. 

PUBLIC HEALTH RULES:

  • Physical distancing must be followed in accordance with state, regional and local orders to help reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • Face coverings are strongly encouraged while visiting park facilities

WHAT IS ALLOWED STARTING TUESDAY:

  • All neighborhood, community, mini and pocket parks will open Tuesday
  • Only passive activities like walking and jogging are authorized in these parks
  • Visit parks in your neighborhood and within walking distance to eliminate the need for driving as parking lots will remain closed
  • Restrooms are open for public use at these parks
  • Trails will be open within open space parks for public use except for Cowles Mountain and Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail, both of which will remain closed.

WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED:

  • No active sports, organized activities or groups will be allowed and playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, etc. will remain closed
  • Parking lots will remain closed at all parks and beaches
  • Most amenities at these parks will remain closed including recreation centers, swimming pools, school district joint-use areas, dog off-leash areas, bicycle pump tracks, skate parks, visitor centers, nature centers and campgrounds
  • The following City-operated facilities remain closed until further notice:
    • Beaches
    • Shoreline parks
    • Regional parks (such as Mission Bay Park)
    • Boardwalks
    • Balboa Park Central Mesa and all museums (except portions of Morley Field and passive sections of the East and West Mesa)
    • Golf courses (Balboa Park, Mission Bay and Torrey Pines)
    • Cowles Mountain and Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail

LIST OF PARKS AND STATUS

The following City-operated facilities remain closed until further notice:

  • Beaches
  • Shoreline parks
  • Regional parks (such as Mission Bay Park)
  • Boardwalks
  • Balboa Park Central Mesa and all museums (except portions of Morley Field and passive sections of the East and West Mesa)
  • Golf courses (Balboa Park, Mission Bay and Torrey Pines)
  • Cowles Mountain and Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve Trail

Here is a list of mayors Mayor Faulconer is working with to reopen the beaches and give residents "water access":

County of San Diego - Caroline Smith Acting Director Government Affairs and Lisa Macchione County Counsel 

State Parks  - Gina Moran District Superintendant

Oceanside - Peter Weiss Mayor and Deana Lorson City Manager

Carlsbad - Matt Hall Mayor and Scott Chadwick City Manager

Encinitas - Catherine Blakespear Mayor and Karen Brust City Manager

Solana Beach - Jewel Edson Mayor and Greg Wade City Manager

Del Mar - Ellie Haviland Mayor and Scott Huth City Manager

City of San Diego - Kevin Faulconer Mayor and Kris Michell City Manager

Chula Vista - Mary Salas Mayor and Gary Halpert City Manager

National City - Alejandra Sotelo Solis Mayor and Brad Raulston City Manager

Coronado - Richard Bailey Mayor and Blair King City Manager

Imperial Beach - Serge Dedina Mayor and Andy Hall City Manager

Hundreds of protesters lobbying to ease Gov. Gavin Newsom’s tight stay-at-home orders rallied around the California Capitol as Newsom outlined how he has approved some counties’ gradual relaxing of some restrictions aimed at slowing spread of the coronavirus. 

Newsom on Monday said he approved a plan by Ventura County to reopen golf courses and parks. That prompted the top health official in neighboring Los Angeles County to implore residents not to flood those locations as warmer temperatures arrive this week. 

Newsom said he'll give more details about a plan to relax rules throughout the state on Wednesday.

RELATED: Watch live: San Diego County officials provide daily COVID-19 update

RELATED: San Diego community leaders question lack of citations for weekend protesters

RELATED: Coronavirus in San Diego and California: Latest updates and news



News 8 has joined forces with The San Diego Foundation to raise immediate, emergency funds for our most vulnerable neighbors in need. Here is how you can help.

We also have a Frequently Asked Questions page we will continue updating with the latest information and reports.

Click here to watch "Facts Not Fear," a News 8 Special on coronavirus from March 26, 2020.

BACKGROUND:

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness:

Know how it spreads: 

There is no vaccine

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus

It is thought to spread mainly from person-person between people in close contact

And believed to be spread by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes

Protect yourself

Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds

If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Put distance between yourselves and others

Protect others

Stay home when you are sick

Wear a facemask if you are sick

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash

If you don't have tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow

Immediately wash your hands after coughing and sneezing

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe

You can find information on disinfecting and cleaning on the CDC's How to Protect Yourself page.

The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

The County of San Diego has made face coverings mandatory for those working with the public including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and similar businesses.

While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders.