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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.

Confirmed Cases: 10817

Reported Deaths: 224
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah260872
Marion169751
Washington167620
Clackamas89425
Umatilla8346
Union3631
Lincoln3494
Lane2533
Malheur2351
Deschutes2240
Polk16612
Linn16510
Yamhill1649
Jackson1570
Jefferson1370
Klamath1311
Morrow1191
Benton986
Hood River980
Wasco971
Josephine611
Douglas560
Clatsop550
Coos480
Columbia450
Lake220
Crook150
Tillamook150
Wallowa110
Curry90
Baker80
Sherman30
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 292560

Reported Deaths: 6718
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1232563643
Riverside21957515
Orange20225376
San Diego17842406
San Bernardino16586293
Imperial7464125
Fresno728184
Alameda7245142
San Joaquin581761
Kern575987
Santa Clara5552165
Tulare5298148
Sacramento477678
Contra Costa424186
San Francisco407150
Ventura385850
Santa Barbara380830
San Mateo3743111
Marin323226
Stanislaus300450
Kings282338
Monterey227017
Solano192227
Merced162311
Sonoma148714
Placer97011
Madera8578
San Luis Obispo8453
Yolo76028
Santa Cruz5033
Napa4534
Sutter3234
San Benito3042
Butte2954
El Dorado2800
Lassen2670
Shasta1715
Humboldt1574
Nevada1551
Yuba1543
Glenn1530
Lake1001
Colusa980
Mendocino980
Tehama981
Calaveras610
Del Norte580
Tuolumne580
Mono491
Amador350
Inyo341
Siskiyou330
Mariposa311
Plumas150
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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