County Public Health Reopening Protocol for Trails
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Reopening Protocol for Use of Public Trails Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Los Angeles County Department of Public Health publichealth.lacounty.gov
The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health is adopting a staged approach, supported by science and public health expertise, to allow for people to start to use public spaces again in ways that will limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Accordingly, the County of Los Angeles is reopening public trails and trailheads to allow residents increased outdoor recreation options. Staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy. Using recreational and multi-use trails can be an important way to relieve stress, get some fresh air and vitamin D, stay active, and safely connect with nature. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucially important that you follow the DO’s and DON’Ts below in order to use public trails in a way that keeps you and others healthy.
- Prepare before you visit a trail.
- Check with the park in advance to be sure you know which areas or services are open, (such as bathroom facilities and concessions) and bring what you need with you. Information on 600 miles of local, state, and federal trails in Los Angeles County can be accessed at https://trails.lacounty.gov. Standard trail use etiquette and safety guidelines can be found at https://trails.lacounty.gov/Prepare. Additionally, we encourage you to visit the local jurisdiction’s website for additional information on trails in your area.
- Follow all park, trail or nature preserve rules, regulations and any posted access restrictions.
- Stay at least six (6) feet from others who are not members of your household at all times. This might make some open areas, trails, and paths better to use than others. Avoid crowded areas. Everyone needs a face covering at the trailhead/parking lots and on any trails where there are other groups of people nearby. Infants and children under the age of 2 should not wear cloth face coverings. Those between the ages of 2 and 8 should use them under adult supervision to ensure that the child can breathe safely and to avoid choking or suffocation. Children with breathing problems should not wear a face covering.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Pack out all trash.
Recommendations (Not Requirements):
- Be alert and observant of surroundings while using the trail.
- Become familiar with the following trail user passing protocols:
- Gain and maintain eye contact.
- Provide adequate physical distancing when passing others.
- Step off trail to allow others to pass as needed, where safely possible.
- Announce your intention before passing to give slower trail users an opportunity to move to a safe location (off trail where possible).
- While biking on trails, maintain safe speeds, utilize bike bells, and slow down and/or stop when passing others to adhere to the passing recommendations listed above.
- Move aside, where safely possible, if standing still for a brief rest along the trail.
- Bring water and hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes to wash or sanitize hands frequently.
- Don’t use trails that you know are crowded. If you can’t stay 6 feet away from others that are not part of your household, choose a different trail.
- If you are on a trail and notice a crowd ahead of you turn back.
- If it is unavoidable that you must pass another group be sure to wear your cloth face covering as you pass by and do not stop to gather or converse with other groups.
- Don’t leave your home if you are sick with a fever or respiratory symptoms or are currently under isolation or quarantine.
- Do not gather in groups or linger at any one location except as needed for brief rests.
- Do not share food or water while out on the trails.
Know where to get reliable information
Beware of scams, false news and hoaxes surrounding novel coronavirus. Accurate information, including announcements of new cases in LA County, will always be distributed by Public Health through press releases, social media, and our website. The website has more information on COVID-19 including FAQs, infographics and a guide to coping with stress, as well as tips on handwashing.
- Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH, County)
- Social media: @lapublichealth
Other reliable sources of information about novel coronavirus are:
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH, State)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, National)
If you have questions and would like to speak to someone call the Los Angeles County Information line 2-1-1 which is available 24 hours a day.