The Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced closures of all its public parks and trails, a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The closures will last through at least April 8 and potentially longer. They are an extension of an announcement Monday, which banned all camping on DNR-managed land through April 30.
“This was not an easy decision. We treasure our forests and trails and beaches as places of rejuvenation and refuge from the chaos of daily life. But, I cannot ignore the unfortunate reality of what we saw this weekend: crowded trails, people shoulder to shoulder and large gatherings,” Hilary Franz, state commissioner of public lands, said in a media release.
“This behavior undercuts the sacrifices that Washingtonians of all means and ability are making in order to adhere to social distancing. And it undercuts the heroic efforts of our doctors, nurses, and first responders who risk their lives each day responding to this unrelenting epidemic.”
The state Department of Natural Resources manages about 1,200 miles of trails and 160 outdoor recreation sites.