SLO County Emergency Services Director Wade Horton says it is not the time for tourism

The County of San Luis Obispo and seven local cities are taking more actions to discourage crowds and increase physical distancing at parks, beaches and campgrounds in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) locally.

“In normal times, we welcome out-of-town visitors to our campgrounds and beaches⎯but now is not the time,” said County Emergency Services Director Wade Horton. “We must take this action to prevent large crowds from other areas coming into San Luis Obispo County to keep our community as healthy as possible.”

These actions are consistent with County and State emergency orders. The following actions are being taken across SLO County:

On Thursday, March 26:

  • The County is posting signs reminding residents they must keep a distance of at least six feet from others at sports courts, dog parks, skate parks and other areas. These areas may be closed if physical distancing requirements are ignored.
  • City-owned parking lots and parking meters in Pismo Beach will be strictly limited to one hour.
  • Pismo Beach will strictly enforce physical distancing requirements on beaches. People may visit beaches to walk, jog, surf and swim but must keep a distance of at least six feet from other people.
  • Pismo Beach Pier will be closed to the public.
  • San Luis Obispo will strictly enforce physical distancing requirements for trails and parks. People may visit City parks and trails, but must keep a distance of at least six feet from other people.
Morro Bay distancing

On Friday, March 27:

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  • Parking lots will be closed at all coastal County parks starting at noon. This includes Cayucos, Hardie and Shamel parks.
  • Parking lots will be closed at all Morro Bay beaches (including Morro Rock, Coleman Beach, Pit and Sand parking lots) at 6 p.m. The Morro Bay public boat launch will also close. (The boat launch will remain open to commercial fishing).
  • Morro Bay will strictly enforce physical distancing requirements on beaches. People may visit beaches to walk, jog, surf and swim but must keep a distance of at least six feet from other people.
  • All County campgrounds will be closed. Reservations from March 27 through April 30 will be canceled for a full refund. Existing campers will be required to leave no later than Thursday, April 2.

On Monday, March 30 at noon:

  • El Chorro Regional Park will be closed, as the County will be using that site as a location to care for homeless individuals who test positive for COVID-19. This includes the campground, day use areas and golf course.

County Park Rangers will continue to patrol closed campgrounds. The County will coordinate with local organizations to ensure that existing services for people who are homeless are not disrupted.

All other areas are currently scheduled to remain open; this may change as the situation evolves or if residents do not adhere to physical distancing requirements at parks.

“We encourage SLO County residents and those who wish to visit SLO County to recreate near their respective homes,” said Mr. Horton. “We look forward to welcoming visitors again when it is safe to do so.”

Morro Bay distancing

The County is also coordinating with the State on various other closures or limited access to State Parks located in San Luis Obispo County.

The County’s recent Shelter at Home order does not restrict residents from going outdoors for exercise or recreation as long as they are able to keep a physical distance of six feet from other people. Individuals who are members of the same household do not need to maintain this physical distance from each other.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County: Visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444 is available seven (7) days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for questions related to COVID-19. To report a business violating the Shelter at Home order, call (805) 788-2222.