Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian A surfer head out to sea at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz.

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Santa Cruz County Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel has issued a new order closing parks and beaches in Santa Cruz County beginning 11:59 p.m. on April 8, through 11:59 p.m. on April 15, a period that includes Easter weekend and much of Passover. 

Issued under California Health and Safety Code 120295, the order is necessary to reduce the public health and safety threat from novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, due to crowding in recreational spaces in Santa Cruz County, Newel said. 

Any violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by citation or arrest, with possible fines of $1,000. 

 “While the vast majority of Santa Cruz County residents are staying home and following the direction of the County Health Officer, unfortunately, some visitors and community members are treating this extraordinary crisis as a holiday,” Sheriff Jim Hart said. “We are at a critical moment in our efforts to reduce the impacts of COVID-19, and we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to halt the spread of this disease.”  

The order prohibits surfing in Santa Cruz County until April 16. While playground equipment was closed by a prior order, the new order impacts dog parks, skate parks, disc golf courses, and basketball, tennis, pickleball, or other recreational courts.  

Public safety personnel throughout Santa Cruz County will work to ensure compliance through patrols and engagement with community members. 

For local information on COVID-19, go to www.santacruzhealth.org/coronavirus, call 211 or text “COVID19” to 211211. Residents may also call 454-4242 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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