County closes parks to motorized traffic to prevent spread of coronavirus


The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services closed all parks on March 22, leading to decreased traffic into Marin. (Ethan Swope)

By Johanna Meezan

The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services ordered the immediate closure of all parks on March 22 to keep visitors from congregating in large groups and potentially spreading COVID-19. The order impacts national, state, county, city, and local land. However, the closure only affects motorized traffic, according to Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Health Officer for the County of Marin. 

“This is a necessary step to protect our community. We are not discouraging Marin County residents from getting outside and walking or biking to a park or trail near your home,” Santora said in a video statement the day of the closure. 

The announcement came one day after visitors from all across the Bay Area traveled to Marin for recreational purposes. These crowds resembled those from the summer months and, according to a news release from the County of Marin on March 22, put elderly and immunocompromised residents at risk. 

The order was set to expire on April 7, but the county extended the restriction until May 3 in a second press release on March 31. 

The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services also clarified that they had closed playgrounds, dog parks, public picnic areas, golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, pools, rock walls, and similar recreational areas in the second announcement.