San Bernardino County Lifts A Few Coronavirus-Related Bans

San Bernardino County residents ventured outside over the weekend after officials lifted a few of the closures that had been initiated to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

County parks, lakes, rivers and recreation areas — as well as parking lots — reopened Saturday after more than a month-long closure.

Private and city-owned parks, trails, lakes and golf courses also opened on a limited basis. Big Morongo Canyon Preserve and Mojave River Forks Regional Park are still closed.

Visitors still must cover their faces and keep their distance from other to help keep the coronavirus in check, county officials said.

“We have faith in our residents that they will respect the safe-distancing guidelines and demonstrate that keeping passive outdoor recreation open is possible as our state moves to ease restrictions,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman said in a statement. “However, if there is abuse of this new allowance, the board will have no choice but to re-close our outdoor destinations.”

While many outdoor activities — such as boating, biking, hiking, tennis and horseback riding — are now acceptable, team sports, camping and outdoor gatherings are not.

“Put another way, members of one household engaging in open space is allowable, but two households means you have a gathering, which is not allowed,” county officials said in explaining the reopening rules.

Officials also warned that many facilities would need to gradually resume their operations, so visitors should check ahead of time to and find out what amenities are available. Even in the county-operated parks that have reopened, common-use fixtures such as restrooms, playgrounds and picnic shelters remain off-limits.

As of Sunday, San Bernardino County health officials had reported 1,751 cases of coronavirus — up 19 from the day before.

There have been 82 confirmed coronavirus-linked deaths in the county. Eighteen of the victims were residents at Cedar Mountain Post Acute Rehabilitation, a skilled nursing facility in Yucaipa.

The county also recently unveiled an expanded COVID-19 dashboardoffering additional data on demographics and testing numbers.

“The potential to loosen strict stay-at-home requirements and begin re-opening our economy requires a robust ability to collect and analyze relevant data,” county Public Health Director Trudy Raymundo said in a statement.

In particular, compiling more complete information about testing will help the county “gain a better understanding of who is being tested and where they are being tested, while enabling us to identify any gaps that need filling,” she added.