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Plumas leaders address outdoor recreation and outsiders

Plumas County leaders have a simple message about recreation: If you live here enjoy the outdoors but take precautions; but if you don’t live here, don’t come.

Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff, Sheriff Todd Johns and District Attorney David Hollister laid out more refined guidelines April 10, pertaining to Gov. Newsom’s executive order of March 19 that directed all Californians to stay at home, but also recommended going outside for fresh air or to take a walk.

“While exercise and recreation are essential to personal health and wellbeing, Plumas County’s Public Health and law enforcement departments remind everyone to continue practicing protective measures whether you are enjoying the outdoors or are in town on an essential trip,” they wrote.

“After making great strides in slowing infection rates and bending the curve these past weeks, we cannot let our guard down against this virus,” they said in their press release. “If we do, we could easily put ourselves, our families, our communities and our health care system at risk. Therefore, Plumas County’s Public Health and law enforcement departments urges everyone to exercise or recreate close to home while following essential safety and social distancing laws.”

Following are their guidelines

Traveling to recreate

If you are in Plumas County, please recreate close to home and minimize contact with others. If you are not in Plumas County, please do not come to Plumas County to recreate until this crisis is over and the Governor’s March 19, 2020 order has been rescinded.

General Protective Measures

Wherever you are, it is important to use good personal protective measures. Avoid recreating in groups. Maintain social distancing of 6 feet at all times. Avoid crowded areas like trailheads and parking lots. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often. In short, enjoy the outdoors but do it in a safe, isolated, and individual manner.

Activity-specific guidance

During the COVID-19 stay at home order, you may wonder what recreation is allowed, and how to do it safely. Here are some tips to help guide your close-to-home recreation choices:

  • Snow sports. Practice snow sports and activities like snowmobiling or cross country skiing individually or in small household groups. Avoid other groups and observe strict social distancing at trailheads, picnic areas and parking areas.
  • Court sports. Avoid any activity with shared equipment. Basketball, tennis, pickle ball are all high-risk activities where it is nearly impossible to avoid close contact with others. These activities should be avoided.
  • Boating and fishing. Follow all state regulations for safe and legal activities. Avoid crowded boat ramps or fishing areas. Find another place to recreate if you don’t have several yards between you and your neighbor.
  • Camping and RV Parks. Unless you are an essential worker performing essential duties, congregate camping is not permitted. Do not bring your RV or come to Plumas County to camp. If you have a seasonal RV at a local park, keep it vacant until it is safe to use it.
  • Hiking, biking and horseback riding. Avoid crowded trailheads. If you meet someone on a trail, don’t stop to talk. Give plenty of space to allow passing at a safe distance.

“In summary, if you are not in already in Plumas County, please do not come here. Everyone can walk, run, hike and bike in their local community, and nearby forests. Our critical infrastructure, including our local healthcare system, cannot support an influx of guests at this time. When the COVID-19 crisis is over, we will be happy to share our beautiful county with you but until then, please exercise and recreate close to home,” the release concluded.

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