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Oregon announces temporary campground closures at state parks, forests, and wildlife areas

Reservations at all state parks will be canceled from April 3 through May 8 and site fees refunded, state officials announced.

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 9:53 AM
Updated: Mar 19, 2020 10:04 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Campgrounds operated by three Oregon state agencies will be shut down on different timelines in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus, state officials announced on Thursday.

Campgrounds operated by the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department will stay open for current overnight guests through April 2. However, reservations for all state park stays from April 3 through May 8 will be canceled and site fees refunded.

"Before May 8, the department will review the state park campground closure to decide whether it should be extended," the agency said. "The decision affects all individual and group overnight facilities: campsites, yurts, cabins, tepees, and services operated by concessionaires. The suspended service also affects reservations for group day-use areas."

Most of the Oregon Department of Forestry's campgrounds in the Clatsop, Santiam, and Tillamook State Forests are already closed for the season, and will not re-open. Year-round campgrounds will be closed starting Monday, March 23.

"All day-use and campground restrooms are temporarily closed due to limited janitorial services. A reopening date for all restrooms and state forest campgrounds has not yet been determined," state officials said. "During this time, trails, forest roads and trailheads on state forestlands will remain open to the public."


RELATED: California State Parks temporarily close all campgrounds in state park system


The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife will close its wildlife areas to overnight camping on Sunday, March 22. The closure affects both dispersed camping and established campgrounds. Several wildlife areas are currently fully or partially closed to all visitors as part of annual seasonal closures to protect wintering wildlife.

While camping will be prohibited, wildlife areas that are currently open remain open to visitors for day-use activities including wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation.

"State park, forest, and wildlife area camping areas are built into relatively small areas by design," Oregon Parks & Rec said. "Maintaining social distance is difficult. Working with fewer staff and volunteers is becoming a reality, making it difficult to maintain proper cleaning procedures. To support the state goal of reducing transmission of COVID-19, temporary campground closures are necessary. The details of these actions — such as dates and affected programs — are under constant review and will change as new information develops."

Officials acknowledged that this will reduce long-distance travel for many people, but they reminded Oregonians that a local outdoor experience "can improve our mental and physical health, especially now." Daytime activities are still widely available and encouraged. The usual reminders, plus the new COVID-19 guidelines, apply:

  • 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.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4810682

Reported Deaths: 70604
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147569426398
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3641044163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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