SEDRO-WOOLLEY — Outdoor opportunities continue to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to the ongoing pandemic, Skagit County Parks and Recreation campgrounds have been closed through April 30.
Picnic shelters, sports courts, play structures and other facilities at all Skagit County parks are are not available for use during this time.
"This is something we have to do," said Rusty Regan, Skagit County Parks and Recreation east county park supervisor. "The bathrooms are closed and the shelters. Pretty much, we are trying to eliminate anything folks can touch."
Skagit County parks are open to hiking, though social distancing must be practiced.
"People need to get outside as long as they are practicing social distancing," Regan said.
City parks in Burlington, Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon are closed.
In Anacortes, park playgrounds, sports courts and picnic shelters, as well as the dog park are closed, while park trails, athletic fields and beaches — where appropriate social distancing can be practiced — remain open.
Skagit River Park is closed to vehicle traffic, however, those on foot can enter.
Yellow caution tape now surrounds structures such as those found at Northern State Recreation Area.
"This situation is completely unprecedented," said Nathan Salseina, city of Sedro-Woolley Parks and Recreation operations supervisor. "These are necessary steps. To close areas where the disease can be spread.
"It's not fun to have to do this, I can tell you that much."
Skagit County campground closures include Howard Miller Steelhead Park, Grandy Lake Park and Sauk River Park. Clear Lake Beach Park is also closed.
"We closed all our campgrounds until May 1," Regan said. "People who have reservations can either get a refund or credit. The signs are up. There is no camping."
Regan said the trails at Howard Miller Steelhead Park are open for day use, however, hiking in groups that include those outside your immediate family is discouraged.
"We want people to continue to get outside," Regan said. "Just take the necessary precautions. We are doing everything we can to keep what we can safely open. We are hoping to get everything back open as soon as we can."