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Gathering in Kern County Parks discouraged during Easter weekend to reduce exposure to COVID-19

The Kern County Public Health Services Department reminds Kern County residents that facilities and amenities, including restrooms, within all parks in Kern County and the City of Bakersfield will be closed Easter weekend and therefore we discourage the use of parks for Easter gatherings. Traditionally, these are two of the busiest days of the year for local parks and they attract large crowds of people gathering to celebrate the holiday. On March 16, the California Department of Public Health issued guidance requiring the cancelling of gatherings of any size to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19.

“My concern is that we have not seen the worst of COVID-19 in Kern County and reminding our community that park facilities and amenities are closed and that gatherings within our parks should be discouraged is a necessary measure to reduce the number of people that could be exposed to COVID-19,” said Matt Constantine, director of Kern County Public Health Services.

While we understand that gatherings in public parks is a tradition for many Kern County families for the Easter holiday, we request residents find other ways to celebrate this year. The following are some alternatives:

• Try an online church service. Kern County Libraries have their Wi-Fi on and available. Stay in your car in the parking lot and catch the service from your phone, tablet or laptop.

• You can still dye eggs and if eggs are too hard to come by, try painting landscape rocks and hiding them in the yard.

• Host a neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt. Have your kids color their eggs on paper and place them in the windows.

• Take a virtual trip to a National Park:

Kanai Fjords National Park, Alaska – artsandculture.withgoogle.com/en-us/national-parks-service/kenai-fjords/exit-glacier-tour

• Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii – artsandculture.withgoogle.com/en-us/national-parks-service/hawaii-volcanoes/nahuku-lava-tube-tour

• Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico – artsandculture.withgoogle.com/en-us/national-parks-service/carlsbad-caverns/natural-entrance-tour

For more information, visit http://www.kernpublichealth.com.