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COVID-19 and Overcrowding Shut Down Much of Oregon Coast

Published 03/23/2020 at 3:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

COVID-19 and Overcrowding Shut Down Much of Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – An unprecedented flood of tourists to the Oregon coast and Washington coast led to overcrowding and conditions directly endangering locals because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seaside, Cannon Beach, Warrenton, Manzanita, Long Beach, Wash., and all of Tillamook County have essentially closed their areas and beaches to tourists, mandating that visitors return home. Other counties and districts – such as Lincoln County - have issued statements asking that visitors head home.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) has ordered all state parks closed, which includes parking lots and beach accesses in state parks. The order is in place until May 8, but could be rescinded before then or extended.

“Beaches can be closed by OPRD at their discretion and will be closed if social distancing practices are not followed,” OPRD said in a press release.

All daytime park services will be closed statewide, including parking areas and restrooms. Campers will be refunded for all canceled nights. All travelers are advised to follow the guidance to stay home to stay healthy.

This temporary order pulls back the original closure date of campgrounds from April 3 to March 23: Oregon coast campgrounds (and all campgrounds throughout the state) will be shuttered as of Monday. Campers need to be checked out of their sites by 1 p.m.

Other areas of the Oregon coast have taken more extreme measures: Tillamook County, Manzanita, Seaside and Warrenton have all closed lodgings and ordered visitors to vacate. Manzanita – which is part of Tillamook County – ordered the town closed Saturday night, with the ban on lodgings of all kinds from staying open and saying visitors should head home. Tillamook County instituted a similar ban countywide early Sunday and beaches are now clearing out.

Seaside and Warrenton declared an emergency Saturday night, with Warrenton taking the lead and issuing orders for all visitors to be out on Sunday. Seaside’s vacate declaration went into effect early Sunday and visitors there have until Monday morning to be out. All beaches in Seaside city limits are currently closed.

In Lincoln City and Gold Beach, the glass float drops there have been canceled indefinitely. Other counties on the south and central coast are reporting similar inundations of visitors but not as severe as the north Oregon coast or the Columbia Gorge. Other actions may be taken there as well.

In Washington state, including its coastline, all campgrounds have been shut down to help reduce the risk of exposure. The closure includes roofed accommodations like cabins and yurts. Day-use areas and other trails around the state are still open.

At Long Beach on the southern Washington coast, the city has closed access to beaches from within city limits.

See Be at the Oregon Coast from Afar - Living It Vicariously There are indeed ways to check out these lovely beaches from afar – digitally










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