SALEM, Ore. — Oregon is suspending overnight camping at state parks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The overnight camping ban for state parks begins Friday, April 3 and lasts through Friday, May 8. Anyone with reservations during those dates will receive a full refund for site fees.
Many of the campgrounds in the Clatsop, Santiam and Tillamook State Forests are already closed and won't reopen. Overnight camping at year-round campgrounds will be suspended beginning Monday, March 23.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is closing all wildlife areas to overnight camping starting Sunday, March 22.
State parks, forests and wildlife areas remain open to the public for day-use activities.
"Getting out for a hike or to fish, soak in the scenery from a viewpoint, walk on the beach is good for your body and soul," the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department said on its website. "Try to find these places close to home, whether at a state park or any other natural area, and remember to maintain social distance. If a place looks crowded, find a different park."
The following guidelines apply to anyone using state parks, forests and wildlife areas during the day:
- Prepare for your visit with the clothing, supplies, and knowledge you need to have a safe visit.
- If you're ill, stay home.
- Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue (then throw it away) or inside of your elbow.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wash regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. It's up to you to practice good personal hygiene, and not every place at every park can be kept clean all the time.
- If place is so crowded you can't maintain a healthy social distance—at least six feet—find a different place to go.