Riverside County Health officials announced earlier this week that private and public golf courses will be allowed to reopen with certain restrictions under a new revised order. The county further clarified that parks and trails remain open, including parking lots, along with activities like tennis, hiking, biking, and equestrian activities.
Outdoor activities that remain prohibited include the use of picnic tables, playgrounds, team sports or other similar public events and gatherings. The order was signed by Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County Public Health officer, and George Johnson, director of emergency services for the county and is in effect as of Monday, April 20.
“Play is being cautiously reopened for observation,” stated Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer.
The initial order was issued as part of the county’s fight against coronavirus (COVID-19), which has infected nearly 3,000 people in Riverside County and caused 85 deaths as of Monday.
“After consulting with public health officials and local leadership, we have made modifications for golf and other forms of recreational activity, such as use of parks, trails and outdoor areas for hiking, biking, pickleball and tennis to resume,” said Chair V. Manuel Perez, Fourth District Supervisor, in a statement to the media. “With proper safety guidelines, our residents can benefit from healthy activities that promote physical exercise, wellness and behavioral health so long as physical distancing is practiced. We will continue to listen and base decisions on thorough review, best practices, data and science.”
Some of the restrictions for golfing include:
- Play shall be limited to foursomes that will be required to observe social distancing (six feet of separation between players at all times).
- No caddies.
- No large gatherings, including fundraisers or tournaments, will be permitted before June 20, 2020.
- Face coverings, such as scarves, bandanas, and neck gaiters, shall be worn by players and workers.
- No in-person dining will be allowed at clubhouses.
Allowing residents the opportunity to return to getting outdoors and playing sports that allow for social distancing will undoubtedly help with some of the mental anguish many have been feeling during this time of quarantine.
“It is imperative that we all continue to follow the orders outlined by the Public Health officials,” said Murrieta Mayor Gene Wunderlich. “We are doing a great job of flattening the curve in our area and a huge thanks goes to all who have made the necessary life changes to slow the spread. Also, a huge thanks goes out to all our first responders, medical professionals, essential workers, and city staff members all over the Temecula Valley who have been working tirelessly and selflessly to keep our cities running. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
JP Raineri can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.