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Mayor Closes Parks, Beaches and Trails to Discourage Gatherings Amid COVID-19

Following Reports of Public Gatherings Big And Small, City Closures Promote Stay at Home Order to Curb Virus Spread

Monday, March 23, 2020 - NEWS RELEASE

SAN DIEGO – Adding to recent efforts to protect the health and safety of all San Diegans, today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer was joined by Police Chief David Nisleit, Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell and Lifeguard Division Chief James Gartland to announce the closure of City-run parks, beaches, trails, boardwalks and bays to further limit public gatherings and slow the spread of COVID-19.

“These are not actions we are taking lightly, but gatherings can spread this dangerous virus. The actions of a few can cost the lives of many,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “People can still go outdoors, but please go outdoors close to home. This is about protecting each other.”

In light of reports of public gatherings over the weekend, parking lots at City-run beaches and parks were closed Sunday. Today’s action expands on the closures, reinforcing the ‘Stay at Home” order issued by Mayor Faulconer last week, echoed by the state, to combat the virus by limiting public gatherings, prohibiting the operation of bars, and requiring restaurants to only serve patrons with to-go or delivery orders.

“I am asking all San Diegans to take this virus seriously,” said Police Chief David Nisleit. “Stay home and do not go out unless it is for essential goods. We must all do our part to limit its spread so that we can get through this difficult time.”

San Diegans are reminded that gatherings of any size are prohibited. People must continue to maintain a six-foot distance to limit the spread of the virus in the community.

“I am very proud of our personnel. We are fully staffed in all positions and ready to help San Diegans who need us but we need your help as well by staying home as much as possible,” said Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell. “If you call us, tell the dispatcher about anyone who has flu-like symptoms or is quarantined. Those details are important to our first responders and will help us take the necessary precautions.”

“Our lifeguard stations are fully staffed and we are ready to help any member of the public who needs our assistance,” said lifeguard Chief James Gartland. “Everyone has an important part to play in flattening the curve of this virus. Please stay home and if you go out for groceries or other essentials, follow social distancing guidelines. You can count on us; we want to count on you as well.”

The state order requires Californians to stay at home except in limited circumstances, including caregiving, getting necessary health care, and working to support a critical industry. Exceptions also include visiting grocery stores, food banks, restaurants that offer take-out, pharmacies, laundry services, banks and gas stations. Californians are required to stay at home with certain exceptions, including caregiving, getting necessary health care, purchasing groceries and working to support an essential industry.

Critical industries that can continue operating, as outlined by the state, include:

  • Essential state and local government functions
  • Health care providers
  • Food and grocery services including food banks, convenience stores, and take-out and delivery restaurants
  • Pharmacies
  • Financial institutions including banks
  • Entities that provide food, shelter, social services and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged
  • Laundromats and laundry services
  • Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services

More information on the state order, including what’s closed, what’s open and which industries are exempted by the state can be found on the California COVID-19 response website.

For information regarding COVID-19 cases and directives from the County of San Diego public health officials, please visit www.coronavirus-sd.com.

For the latest information about the COVID-19 virus, updates on City services and steps the public can take to help reduce the spread of the disease, please visit sandiego.gov/coronavirus.

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