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Bureau of Reclamation: New Melones Recreation Still Accessible

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Sonora, CA – Local recreational facilities are remaining somewhat available to the public amid COVID-19 concerns.

Under Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order, public gatherings of any size are suspended and residents are able to travel for essential supplies and medical appointments as well as walk, ride bikes and be in nature for exercise with the caveat of maintaining at least six feet of social distancing space.

With regard to New Melones Reservoir, the Bureau of Reclamation officials say the administrative offices and visitors center are both closed to the public but at this point, all outdoor recreational opportunities remain open including boat launching, campgrounds, and day-use facilities.

Yosemite National Park announced modifications on Friday afternoon at the request of the local health department. Officials stated the park as of 3 p.m. was closing all entrances to all visitors until further notice. The closure will be enforced 24/7. As reported here earlier, Yosemite officials had shuttered many of its amenities but the park’s entrances, hiking trails, comfort stations and outdoor spaces around Yosemite Village were still accessible. Visitors were asked to wash hands regularly, practice social distancing and stay home if sick.

As reported here, California State Parks visitor centers are closed along with campgrounds and guided tours but other amenities would remain available until further notice.

Recreaters are asked to follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases by maintaining a safe social distancing; frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick. High-risk populations, such as the elderly and those with underlying conditions

Earlier this week, Stanislaus National Forest officials are asking all visitors to self-assess before visiting any of the agency’s front desk operations. They are requesting that potential visitors answer the following USDA-provided questions beforehand:

• Have you, someone living in your household, someone with you, someone you have been in close or frequent contact with, or someone you are caring for been diagnosed with COVID-19(Coronavirus) or had any contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
• In the last 14 days, have you, someone living in your household, or someone with you have been in close or frequent contact with, or someone you are caring for returned from or made a travel connection through a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 country or State Department Level 3 or Level 4 country, for example, China, Korea, Japan, the European Union, Iran?
• Do you currently have, or have you had within the last 24 hours, any cold or flu symptoms, including a fever greater than 100.4 degrees, shortness of breath, body aches and/or coughing?
Those who can answer “no” to all the questions should call the front desk where you are seeking assistance for direction. It is possible that personnel might schedule an appointment to enhance social distancing and minimize the number of office visitors at one time. Officials are glad to receive calls from those who answer “yes” to one or more questions in order to provide assistance using other than “face-to-face” communications.