As the coronavirus pandemic continues to force the closure of gyms and city-operated facilities around the Coachella Valley, many parks and hiking trails remain open for recreation.
In La Quinta, all parks and trails are open, although Marcie Graham, a city spokeswoman, said city officials as of Wednesday have ordered all park equipment to be closed off from public use.
Parks and trails are also open in Palm Desert, which includes the famed Cross Trail, a 2.6-mile out and back trail that leads to a giant cross erected on a hillside, said city spokesman David Hermann. The nearby 4-mile Bump and Grind loop trail is also open, as is Civic Center Park, with its tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. Park bathrooms and city-run dog parks, on the other hand, are closed, Hermann said.
Next door in Rancho Mirage, the Roadrunner Trail/Chuckwalla Trail trail behind City Hall is open for hiking. All city parks are also accessible, including Rancho Mirage Community Park, which boasts plenty of basketball and tennis courts. The city’s dog park on Key Largo Avenue is closed, said Gabe Codding, a city spokesman.
Doria Wilms, spokeswoman for Desert Hot Springs, said all city-owned parks were open as of Wednesday, but said the city is encouraging residents to obey the an order by county Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser barring 10 or people from gathering at any one place at any one time to aimed at reducing exposure risks.
Residents in Palm Springs are under a shelter-in-place order as of 7 a.m. Wednesday that calls for limiting activities to those essential to their daily lives. Denise Goolsby, Palm Springs’ neighborhood manager, said all parks and trails are open, but notes the order calls for residents to maintain a six- feet barrier between themselves and others.
Palm Springs city officials previously ordered the closure of all commercial gyms in the city.
Representatives from the county and other Coachella Valley cities could not immediately be reached for comment.
As of Tuesday, three Riverside County residents have died from complications related to COVID-19, according to county health officials. All three deaths occurred in the Coachella Valley, but no other details were provided by the Department of Public Health.
Following the first two reported deaths, County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser on Monday revised a prior order barring gatherings of more than 250 people, instead mandating that no more than 10 people be permitted to gather at any one place at any one time to reduce exposure risks.
So far, 16 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in Riverside County residents as of early Wednesday afternoon, including two people aboard the Diamond Princess cruise liner that docked in the San Francisco Bay last month.
One of those passengers has since returned to the county, while another remains in Northern California for treatment, according to Riverside University Health System spokesman Jose Arballo.