SPOKANE, Wash. — Outdoor exercise is an important part of maintaining your mental and physical health while social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But state and local leaders have imposed some limits on where you can go.
Following Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s “stay-at-home” order signed on March 23, which closed non-essential businesses, state-run parks and lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources also closed.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) also announced the closure of recreational fishing and shellfishing statewide through at least 5 p.m. on April 8, 2020.
Camping and other overnight accommodations on state-managed recreation lands will remain closed through April 30.
The Liberty Lake Campground is scheduled to open May 1, 2020. This is subject to change and will be re-evaluated as additional orders from state and local leaders issued, according to the county.
The Bureau of Land Management is also closing some public land effective Tuesday to help limit the spread of COVID-19, including the Yakima River, Liberty Recreation Site and Chopaka Lake Campground.
While the stay-at-home order is in effect for two weeks, state officials will re-evaluate the situation as more people are expected to test positive for COVID-19.
In Spokane, city park land is accessible with social distancing required, but amenities are closed for multi-person use. County parks are also open until further notice.
Trails and pathways throughout the city and county also remain open, but Spokane Parks and Recreation asks people to visit only with members of their household.
In Spokane, play structures, golf courses, and multi-person use of basketball courts, tennis courts, skate parks, disc golf courses, sports field, picnic shelters and similar facilities are closed.
Several local and state leaders, including Inslee, offered additional advice on where it is safe to go during the “stay-at-home order.
“If you have to drive there, you’ve driven too far,” said Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz during a briefing on Monday.
Spokane County spokesperson Jared Webley echoed this sentiment, saying that city and county trails remain open while reminding people to stay close to home.
“If you have to drive to one of these places, that’s not in the spirit of the governor’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ order,” he said.
Inslee also said on Monday that state leaders discouraging “unnecessary driving outside of your immediate area.”
“Stay close and just be really rigorous about staying away from people as much as humanly possible,” he added.
Spokane Parks and Recreation offered one tip for people who want to get some fresh air without leaving their home: try backyard birding. The Spokane Audubon Society has some tips for attracting birds for those who want to take up birding as a new hobby.