Editor’s Note: Updated, 3 p.m., March 22, 2020 with new information on Oregon State Parks.
Washington is following Oregon’s lead and closing state campgrounds on WDFW, DNR and Parks Commission lands.
The late weekend announcement was made early this afternoon and is meant to slow the spread of COVID-19, which as of yesterday’s update has killed 94 in Washington with a confirmed cases tally of 1,793.
Seven hundred and ninety three was the one-day death tally in hard-hit Italy on Saturday.
The camping order takes effect tomorrow, March 23, and lasts through April 30.
Oregon officials said on March 19 that their campgrounds on state parks, state forests and state wildlife areas would be closing as of April 2, but this afternoon State Parks said it was now effective March 23.
“The last night any camper can stay is March 22. (1/2) #StayAtHome #FlattenTheCurve,” the agency tweeted.
Even as this past Friday afternoon both states’ governors implored — but did not order — residents to stay at home, the sunny first weekend of spring drew many to the coast and elsewhere in the region.
Now the weather is changing as a system moves in.
Fearing transmission of the virus, coastal communities urged visitors to return home or closed tourist facilities such as hotels and rental units, or shut down the beach approaches.
This morning, Oregon’s Kate Brown pleaded that social distancing “actions are necessary to save lives. Please stay at home. It’s a matter of life or death.”