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Vehicle access temporarily closed at Oceano Dunes SVRA and Pismo State Beach to limit spread of COVID-19

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Posted at 5:20 PM, Mar 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 20:20:23-04

The California Department of Parks and Recreation is temporarily closing vehicular access at the Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) to limit the spread of COVID-19.

These sites are the latest editions to the list of state parks that are closed to vehicles in an attempt to discourage crowds.

The closure also includes the Oso Flaco Lake parking lot.

The following State Parks in San Luis Obispo County are now temporarily closed to vehicular access:

  • Cayucos State Beach
  • Hearst Castle
  • Morro Bay State Park
  • Morro Strand State Beach
  • Oceano Dunes SVRA
  • Pismo State Beach

While the parking lot off Pier Ave is closed, the lot off Grand Ave will remain open for people to park for one hour.

State park officials have blocked every other parking space to allow for social distancing.

In a press release, state park officials said, "Last weekend, many state parks and beaches received record visitation numbers, which made it impossible for the public to implement appropriate social/ physical distancing practices. As a result, State Parks is working closely with local county and public health officials and assessing park operations on a daily basis to provide access to healthy outdoor options while maintaining required social/ physical distancing."

State Parks will continue to monitor visitation and physical distancing at all state park units, and if the safety measures implemented thus far are not sufficient to protect public health, additional measures may be taken to fully close parks, including trails, bathrooms and other amenities.

To date, the department has implemented various safety measures such as temporarily closing all campgrounds, museums and visitor centers in the State Parks System; canceling all events; and closing vehicular traffic to parks experiencing high visitation.

As of today, all non-campground outdoor areas of parks, including trails and beaches, remain open. Day-use restrooms also remain open, and visitors are advised to bring soap for handwashing and to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when water is not available.

Under the statewide stay-at-home order, people can go outdoors for exercise or recreation, but must practice social distancing.

State Parks said it is working with local health officials to address daily operations and said additional closures could be implemented in the coming days.