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Following the guidance of local and state agencies and in line with Governor Inslee’s recent Stay Home, Stay Healthy announcement, the City of Camas is closing all parks facilities effective immediately until further notice to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The closure applies to play structures, sports fields, sports courts, picnic shelters and restrooms. Trails, open grass areas and green spaces remain open, though patrons are urged to maintain social distancing, limit group interaction and adhere to public health recommendations at all times.

“I’m asking all Camas residents and those who visit our parks to please refrain from coming out to use the facilities at this time,” urged Mayor Barry McDonnell. “As a parent of four kids, I understand that you’re looking for things to do, but I’m asking you to help us stop this virus.”

Individuals should not call 911 to report others in noncompliance and should avoid confrontations over enforcement. Instead, the city is asking the community to come together and to abide by the rules.“We recognize that time outdoors has many benefits, both mental and physical, and that our parks and open space provide a critical support to our community during this difficult time,” said Camas Parks and Recreation Manager Jerry Acheson.

“Our parks and trails are still open for activities where social distancing can be maintained, such as walking, jogging, cycling and nature viewing. Please enjoy these activities alone or with your family, but do not congregate and be sure to follow social distancing guidelines.”

The city’s parks will continue to be maintained during the closure, but to a lesser extent than usual due to reduced staffing levels enacted to meet CDC recommendations for protecting citizens and employees.

Earlier this month, also following the lead of local and state agencies, Camas Parks and Recreation canceled all programs, special events and facility rentals through April 2020. Last week, City Hall, Camas Public Library and all other municipal buildings were closed to the public. Patrons may access city services online at www.cityofcamas.us, by phone at 360-834-6864 and through the CamasConnect app.a

The city will continue to monitor newly released information to determine closures and cancellations going forward. For an up-to-date listing of modifications to city programming and operations, the public is encouraged to visit www.cityofcamas.us/ourcommunity/covid-19.

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