The Riverside County Parks & Open Space District Thursday closed all recreational facilities, nature centers and regional outdoor spaces managed by the agency in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington said that while many camping permits will be revoked at county parks, some exceptions will be made for occupants who “have no other camping options” elsewhere.
“We will work with guests to accommodate their needs,” Washington said.
All pending park reservations will be canceled until April 30, when the county Department of Public Health’s closure order for public and private schools and limiting gatherings to 10 people or less in any given space is due to expire.
County Chief Executive Officer George Johnson, with the support of the Board of Supervisors, ordered multiple agencies to close their doors on Wednesday, with operations continuing under modified conditions.
“The important work of the county continues,” Johnson said. “By restricting the number of in-person visits to county departments, we will reduce the exposure of novel coronavirus to employees and community members alike. These closures are necessary to … ensure the availability of our critical healthcare system.”
County buildings impacted by Johnson’s order generally do not include public safety facilities. Among the publicly restricted or inaccessible locations are the County Administrative Center, the Economic Development Agency, the Department of Information Technology and the main and satellite offices operated by the Department of Public Social Services.
“This is an unprecedented time for all of us,” DPSS Director Sayori Baldwin said. “We are aligning our practices with recommendations from county, state and federal health officials to limit COVID-19 as best we can. We want to avoid spreading an illness that preys on our most vulnerable populations.”
Eight county courthouses were ordered closed, starting Friday, while the six remaining courthouses, including the Riverside Hall of Justice in downtown Riverside, where the majority of the county’s criminal matters are disposed, will only be accessible to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays until April 3.