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Some Newberg-area parks are limited in use while others are closed completely

GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO
 - The Chehalem Park and Recreation District announced last week the continued closure or restricted access to some of its facilities in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some of Newberg and Dundee's most popular gathering places will be closed or have strict limitations during the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to slow the spread of the outbreak and encourage social distancing, the Chehalem Park and Recreation District announced its plans last week in a message to the community.

Facilities are closed or restricted to limited service through March 31. The restrictions began March 17 by order of CPRD officials.

The aquatic and fitness portions of the Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center will be closed through the end of the month. The registration desk will remain open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but all other activities at the facility will not be available to the public.

"CPRD Services Supervisor Julie Petersen said that in her conversations with Yamhill County Health authorities over the weekend, the county did not recommend closure of the aquatic and fitness center," CPRD spokeswoman Kat Ricker said on March 16. "However, CPRD staff decided to be proactive and make the difficult decision to close now in order to limit the spread of the virus. Superintendent Don Clements said the difficult decisions which CPRD came on Monday were made in part due to the increased guidelines from CDC recommending no more than 50 people congregate and also the event of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Yamhill County."

While it is closed to members and guests, the aquatic and fitness center remains a free lunch site for the Newberg School District from 11 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. The free meals are for children ages 1-8.

Chehalem Senior Center is closed, but Meals on Wheels will serve packaged meals for distribution to those who need it rather than traditional sit-down dining.

"While CPRD initially hoped to keep its facilities open, this unusual situation has moved quickly and staff has worked to keep pace with health authority recommendations," Ricker said. "For facility reservations through April 1, any reservations for events of more than 50 people are being cancelled, and those parties are being contacted for reschedule and/or refunds. Reservations for events with fewer than 50 will remain unaffected."

Because it is an outdoor site, Chehalem Glenn Golf Course will remain open, as will public parks. People are encouraged to practice safe social distancing of at least six feet when they utilize these facilities. The golf shop at Chehalem Glenn is being sanitized multiple times daily – as are the golf carts.

"CPRD staff continues to be in communication with Yamhill County Health authorities and local partnering municipalities and organizations in order to work together in a coordinated effort to protect public health and safety and limit the spread of COVID-19," Ricker said.

For more information on closures, restrictions and plans for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, visit www.CPRDNewberg.org or visit the organization's Facebook page. That page and CPRD's website will include updates to regulations and restrictions as time passes and new state ordinances are handed down.


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