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Chula Vista City Manager outlines plans to reopen trails, parks

Posted at 2:28 PM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 21:27:37-04

CHULA VISTA (KGTV) -- Chula Vista's City Manager announced Tuesday night the city is planning to reopen trails and parks starting Friday morning.

City Manager Gary Halbert outlined guidelines for park and trails usage during the city's council meeting.

The announcement comes a week since San Diego County officials relaxed several recreational restrictions aimed at preventing spread of coronavirus thus paving the way for local cities to begin reopening public spaces.

"On Friday at 7 a.m. we'll be opening parks under the following terms only, passive uses will be allowed," he said.

Passive uses include jogging, hiking, bike riding on paths and trails, standing or sitting on the grass, and use of off-leash dog parks.

"If a father wanted to catch a frisbee with his son, or if another father wanted to teach her daughter how to hit a whiffle ball, I think it will be okay if you practice social distancing," Tracy Lamb, Director of Chula Vista Community Services, said.

No organized or team sporting activities, and no gathering or congregating in groups of more than one will allowed. Picnics are also not allowed and Halbert is discouraging people from creating trash.

"We don't want to have trash left behind, especially if somebody happens to be ultimately testing positive, we don't want to be picking up trash that may be impacted," he explained.

Members of the same family or household will be allowed to congregate up to a maximum of ten people.

Face coverings will be required, Halbert said.

Sports courts, skate parks, sports fields, playground equipment, gazebos, picnic tables, and restrooms will remain closed, he said.

"We don't have the staff to be able to go out and keep those sanitized within every two hours, which is what the requirements will be," Halbert said.

Chula Vista, the county's second largest city, is among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Chula Vista's number of confirmed cases are approaching 600, about 15 percent of the county's 4,100 total cases.

"Chula Vista is very densely populated, and it is geographic," Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County Public Health Officer said, at Thursday's County press conference. "There are a lot of individuals that live in that area, so you would expect a larger number of cases coming out."

"When you're in the parks or you're on the trails, do try to stay six feet apart," Halbert said. "Don't go to a park if you're running a fever, if have a cough, if you feel ill, don't head to a park."

The Chula Vista Golf Course on 4475 Bonita Road will also open Friday at 7 am. Players will get their temperatures checked before tee-off, and must follow social distancing rules. The driving range will remain closed.