COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

The County is working to protect the public's health in the face of COVID-19 by taking actions to help slow the spread of the virus. Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions with answers. 

Check back regularly as guidelines change, based on the dynamic nature of this situation.

Which parks and facilities have been closed?                              

Closures are always a last resort. We’ve taken several actions to comply with local, state and federal mandates for your safety, and ours.

Currently, all community centers, teen centers, nature centers, historic adobes, bike and skate parks, ballfields, sports courts and off-leash dog parks are closed. We have also closed certain on-site amenities like fitness stations, play structures, picnic areas, pavilions and amphitheaters.

Most County parks and preserves remain open to foot, bike and horse traffic. Trails are open, and we have begun a phased reopening of parking lots and campgrounds (see below). Some activities have also opened up, including the ability to picnic in a park or fish from a boat at Lake Morena (see below).

A comprehensive list of park properties, managed by the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation, with their current status as open or closed followed by the status of on-site amenities, has been loaded to the website. Visit our COVID-19 Updates page for more info and to access that list.

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Why are some parks closed while others are open?

Each jurisdiction can make the decision to open or close their parks, based on their ability to maintain safe public spaces and guests’ ability to maintain safe social distancing. The County is just one of many local park jurisdictions – which include individual cities and state and federally owned land.

The best way to tell of a park you want to visit is open, is to Google it to see what agency manages it, and click to their website for more information.

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Is it true that County campgrounds have reopened?

On May 8, San Diego County officials announced the gradual reopening of County campgrounds. We will be reopening at half capacity—to tent and RV campers—with new guidelines in place to comply with public health orders connected to COVID-19.

Our online reservation system is now open to book overnight stays between Saturday, May 9 and Sunday, May 31. Walk-ins will also be allowed where spots are still available.

Click the maps below to view which campsites are open, pending availability:

Campsite occupancy is limited to individual households (others are not allowed to occupy or visit the site. The max capacity per campsite is eight people. Campers should bring face masks, should they come within 6 feet of other park guests, per social distancing directives. All other camping guidelines apply.

We will be testing adjustments to park operations, new safety protocols and guests’ ability to maintain safe social distancing in the park. Based on what we learn, we may be able to extend that reservation window through June or beyond. Read the article.

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I had a camping reservation for in May. What do I need to know?

All reservations with arrival dates through May 2020 were canceled per directives by public health officials. Full refunds are being issued (less any paid change or transfer fees). Refunds are being processed automatically and in chronological order, based on the original camping date. Please be patient while we navigate through this every-changing situation to provide service to all of our customers. If you do not receive a refund by June 15, contact us at

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What if I am scheduled to camp at a County campground in June?

While it is too soon to know whether closures will extend past May 31, customers with June, July or August 2020 arrival dates have the option of canceling their reservation receiving a full refund. Simply  email and include your name, reservation confirmation number, park location, site and date(s) for faster processing.  

We will continue to assess the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on closures, and the health and safety of our staff and park guests, and communicate further impacts to camping and other forms of recreation in County parks and preserves.

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Which programs and activities have been canceled?

In accordance with Public Health Order to maintain social distancing and to refrain from gatherings, we have canceled all programs and events, scheduled to take place in our parks, during the months of April and May and until further notice. This includes advertised park programs as well as private event reservations. We look forward to resuming business once it is safe to do so, per recommendations by Public Health Officials.

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Can I fish at Lake Morena?

Yes, as of May 1, boating at Lake Morena is allowed, along with kayaking. The boat dock has reopened at Lake Morena and boats are available to rent, pending availability, for members of a single household; group outings are not permitted at this time. Fishing from the shoreline is not allowed.

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Can I picnic at a County park or preserve?

Yes, as of May 1, you can picnic with members of your immediate family or household. Picnic areas, tables and BBQs remain closed, so picnicking must take place on the ground/lawn. Please be sure to maintain social distancing from other park guests and carry a mask to wear should you pass within 6 feet of another park patron.

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Will rangers be enforcing these guidelines and closures?

We will continue to work behind the scenes to maintain your outdoor spaces: Sanitizing restrooms, removing trash, answering calls, caring for animal ambassadors and completing key projects. We will also continue our park patrols and remind visitors to help us stay open by complying with guidelines set by local, state and federal authorities. Failure to comply may result in enforcement by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department or applicable law enforcement agency. 

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