COVID-19 News & Updates

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COVID-19 actualizaciones en español.

This page was last updated on February 5, 2021


As of February 1, 2021, King County, which is part of the “Puget Sound” region, is in Phase 2 of the state’s Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery Plan. According to the state, “this new recovery system aims to safely ease some restrictions while also maintaining crucial hospital capacity, ensuring care for Washingtonians that need it and paving the way for economic recovery.”

The state posts a Roadmap to Recovery report every two weeks on Fridays, and if any changes are to occur, they go into effect the following Monday.

For King County Parks, this means largely a continuation of the status quo. Here are some of the changes that we have made based upon current guidance:

  • Games: We are now scheduling games on synthetic turf athletic fields (200 people max, including spectators). Both grass and synthetic fields are available for practices.
  • (Slightly less small) gatherings and volunteer events
    • 12 participants per event for volunteer work parties
    • 15 people max outside household (2 households max) for outdoor social gatherings

We will continue to monitor our Roadmap to Recovery region’s indicators and adjust our operations accordingly.

Please practice physical distancing by staying 6 feet away from others. Before heading out, review our tips to recreate responsibly to keep each other safe, so we can keep our parks and trails open.

Frequently Asked Questions

As you explore our 205 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 250 miles of backcountry trails, please help us by reporting crowding, areas that need attention, or other issues using our reporting tool, SeeClickFix.

Here’s what’s open (As of Feb 1)

Backcountry Trails
(hiking, trail running, mountain biking, horseback riding)
Games on synthetic turf only. Practices on grass and synthetic turf.
*Contact Regional Scheduling or the Marymoor Park office about team/league reservations.
Basketball/Tennis/Sport CourtsOpen
Campground (Tolt-MacDonald Park)Open
*Seasonal closure effective Oct 31 to March 1.
*Contact Regional Scheduling for reservations.
Climbing wall (Marymoor Park)Open
Community Centers & Indoor FacilitiesOpen
Limited to small ceremonies per state guidelines.
*Contact Regional Scheduling for reservations.
Community Gardens (Marymoor Park & N. Green River Park)Open
*Check with vendor to verify status & hours of operation.
Disc Golf (Dick Thurnau Memorial Park)Open
Docks/Boat Launch (Cottage Lake Park, Dockton Park, Five Mile Lake Park, Marymoor West)Open
*The marina at Dockton Park is currently under repair. Read more.
Games on synthetic turf only. Practices on grass and synthetic turf.
Jerry Baker Memorial Velodrome (Marymoor Park)Open
Katherine Taylor Equestrian ParkOpen
Off Leash Dog Area (Marymoor Park)Open
Paragliding (PooPoo Point)Open
Parking LotsOpen
Picnic SheltersOpen
Max 15 people outside household, limit 2 households.
*Contact Regional Scheduling or the Marymoor Park office for reservations.
Play AreasOpen
Regional Trails Open
Radio Control Air Fields (Marymoor Park & Marlow Anderson R/C Field)Open
Limited opening of single stall restrooms, see below.
Volunteer eventsOpen
Limited to small groups.
Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center & Banquet HallClosed

Frequently Asked Questions

*Last updated on 02/05/20

How will Parks adapt its operations to make sure employees are protected? 

Under the guidance of our public health experts, King County Parks has decided that certain facilities will remain closed, both to protect visitors as well as our Parks employees.   

We have adapted our operational protocols to adjust to the current circumstances in ways that protect our employees and help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

Some of these measures include:  

  • Operations and maintenance employees have been issued disposable gloves, face coverings, and hand sanitizer.  
  • We are encouraging physical distancing among employees by: 
    • adjusting work shifts to decrease the number of employees in maintenance shops/offices at the same time 
    • sanitizing tools, equipment, and vehicles after use 
    • providing more laptops so employees don’t have to share computers 
  • Contractors performing work at Parks-owned sites and concessionaires and other vendors are required to update and implement Health and Safety Plans to reflect COVID-19 prevention measures. 

When will you resume full operations? 

We are taking a phased approach to re-opening, consistent with the state’s Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery Plan and based on limited operational capacity due to COVID safety protocols. As of February 1, King County (Puget Sound region) is in Phase 2.

We ask for your patience and collaboration. You can do your part by recreating responsibly and helping keep our parks, trails, and other facilities tidy.

We will continue to update this page as conditions evolve. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our e-newsletter to stay up to date about any changes in Parks’ operations. 

Why are restrooms still closed?

Important factors affecting Parks’ level of service include workforce capacity and ability to provide facilities, such as restrooms, in a manner that is safe for our employees and park and trail visitors.  

Most restrooms remain closed at this time. As of June 22, 2020, single stall facilities opened at Marymoor Park, Lake Geneva Park, Gary Grant Park/Soos Creek Trail, Tolt-MacDonald Park (west side), Cougar Mountain – Harvey Manning Trailhead. The Portland Loos at Steve Cox Memorial Park are also open. Shower facilities (Tolt-MacDonald Park and Dockton Park) will remain closed until further notice.

Restrooms are areas where physical distancing can be challenging, and keeping them sanitized to prevent the spread of the virus requires a higher level of service than we are able to provide due to limited protective supplies and limited staffing.

We have increased the number of portable toilets throughout our system, siting additional ones at strategic locations. The toilets are serviced by a third party vendor two times per week.

We encourage visitors to stay local and keep their recreational outings short.

How are you keeping play areas safe?

Our play areas are open. Our current protocols are to clean play areas occasionally and have mobile hand washing stations available. 

Current guidance states the primary concern related to children on play equipment is from face-to-face respiratory droplet transmission.

Follow these simple tips to help keep our families safe at the play area: 

  • Wash your and your child’s hands, or use hand sanitizer, before and after playing 
  • Practice physical distancing – you and your child should stay 6 feet apart from others outside the household 
  • Wear a face covering – this applies to both adults and children 
  • Avoid crowded play areas – enjoy other activities in the park or find another play area to visit 
  • Do not visit a park or play area if you or your child are feeling sick 

The ballfields are open, so can my team get together to practice and play games? 

Yes. Well, sort of. Since King County is in Phase 2 of the Roadmap to Recovery, we are now scheduling ballfields for games and practices. We are scheduling games only on synthetic turf athletic fields at this time. We are scheduling practices on both synthetic turf and grass athletic fields.

Under Phase 2, low, moderate and high risk sports are permitted, up to max 200 people. We encourage you to keep your group size small, limited to those in your household, and to maintain at least 6 feet distance from others.

When not reserved, ballfields are open for informal recreation. Enjoy your time, but please keep your groups small and limit your stay so others may enjoy the fields as well. 

The state’s classification of relative risk ranking of sports available in our system includes:

  • Low risk sports: tennis, swimming, diving, cross-country, disc golf
  • Moderate risk sports: softball, t-ball, soccer, lacrosse, flag football, ultimate frisbee, cricket, crew, field hockey
  • High risk sports: football, rugby, basketball, water polo, martial arts competitions, roller derby, boxing

Can I book a wedding or funeral at one of your indoor or outdoor venues?

Yes. We are permitting small weddings and funeral ceremonies in our indoor and outdoor venues, limited to a total of no more than 30 people. Indoor receptions, wakes or similar gatherings related to such ceremonies are not permitted at this time.

Click here to see a list of our venues (note: WKCAC remains closed until further notice).

Contact Regional Scheduling for reservations. For events at the Clise Mansion in Marymoor Park, contact Seattle Event Solutions. For events at Bethaday Community Learning Space, contact the Technology Access Foundation.

When will camping open? 

Our campground at Tolt-MacDonald Park closes annually for the season from Oct 31 to March 1. The group camping site remains closed. Restrooms on the west side of the park are open; shower facilities remain closed until further notice.

Campgrounds pose unique challenges – please remember to recreate responsibly!

Contact Regional Scheduling for reservations.

How are you enforcing physical distancing requirements and will you close if people aren’t following the guidelines?  

We encourage people to recreate responsibility to keep each other safe and help keep parks and trails open. Do your part to help save lives and slow the spread of the virus! 

We continue to monitor use, encourage park and trail visitors to recreate responsibly through on-site signs and social media, and continue to make informed operational decisions based upon the COVID-19 data and guidance from our public health experts. 

If further COVID-19 concerns develop, we may close parks and trails with limited notice to protect public health. 

Where can I report if I see crowding, congregating, or other issues in parks or along trails? 

Please report crowding, areas needing attention, or other issues using King County Parks’ reporting tool, SeeClickFix, at

Tips to Recreate Responsibly

  1. Know before you go – Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a back-up plan.
  2. Practice physical distancing – Keep your group size small. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home. Communicate who will step aside on the trail (trail etiquette gives hikers coming uphill the right of way). 
  3. Plan ahead – Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering. Learn about the 10 Essentials
  4. Explore locally – Limit long-distance travel and make use of local parks, trail and public spaces. Be mindful of your impact on the communities you visit.
  5. Play it safe – Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.
  6. Leave no trace Respect public lands and waters, as well as Native and local communities. Take all garbage with you.
  7. Build an inclusive outdoors – Be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for all identities and abilities.

Where can I learn more?

Visit to learn more about the virus and how to slow its spread. Keep updated on the latest developments on the Public Health – Seattle & King County blog at

Some additional tips from our recreation partners:

24 thoughts on “COVID-19 News & Updates

    1. Sorry for the delayed response, we didn’t see this comment come in! While it’s accurate that indoor pools are permitted to open under the Roadmap to Recovery Plan, WKCAC presents some unique challenges to re-opening, due in part to its size as a world-class competitive facility. The health and safety of our employees and visitors is a top concern, and we are working with our public health colleagues to determine a path for safely re-opening the facility and welcoming back our swimmers and divers that we’ve missed so much this past year. Local teams are also developing required safety plans for returning to their training and programs at the facility. At this time, we don’t have a specific date to re-open and we look forward to providing an update in March. Thank you for your interest in WKCAC!

  1. Hello King County Parks! When will you update your guidelines to reflect the Governors announcement on 10/7 to allow some youth sports?

    1. We will begin allowing games and such starting Oct 15. We’ll be updating this site shortly with details and our scheduling staff are in the process of reaching out to leagues and teams.

  2. As a mother of young children what am I supposed to do with my baby and toddler when I need to use the restroom at a park and my only option is a porta potty? In a normal bathroom I push the stroller in but I’m not able to do that in a porta potty. Seems unsanitary to place them on floor of porta potty. Why not put a sign on regular bathroom requesting limited capacity and keep open.

    1. Sorry for the delayed response – we didn’t see your question until now! We suggest checking with your local school district, as they make the policies regarding their property. The play areas located in parks maintained by King County Parks have been open since June.

      1. All of the playgrounds in Bellevue/Kirkland are still taped off. It says here play areas are open. I’m not understanding why they are still taped off then?

      2. The Cities of Bellevue and Kirkland have their own parks systems, which are independent of the parks and trails that King County Parks takes care of. Please check directly with those cities to see what decisions they have made regarding their playgrounds.

  3. Someone on the phone said there is a list of parks that have bathrooms open. I don’t see any such list here. Specifically are the restrooms at Farrell McWhirter open? Going to a park to social distance is the only option for our family this Father’s Day.

  4. If the tennis courts are open as part of modified phase 1, why are they still locked with the nets removed? Thanks!

    1. What park are you referring to? We can make sure to let our staff know! We are working hard to get our facilities re-opened, but have limited staff at this time. This week, we are onboarding some seasonal employees (which we do in March normally), and we hope to have our system open per the modified phase 1 guidelines by the end of the month.

  5. Why are you not allowing youth sports to participate in organized athletics if they have leased fields and are following phase 1.5 guidelines?

    1. We will soon begin taking reservations from youth sports and other recreation organizations for our ballfields and will post information on this page when those details become available. Effective June 8, ballfields can be used for informal recreation for groups of 5 or fewer from outside the household. Physical distancing is required during all activities.

  6. It is Myopic to Keep the Bathrooms
    LOCKED at Vashon’s Dockton Park on an ISLAND! A rural Community that is CVRY DIFFERENT than the REST OF this County and not prone to Crowds or overcrowded non socially distant ignorance! A Dozen Miles or more & a $25 Ferry ride and hours away from any urban areas where there May Be a reason to Keep such facilities from the public! PLEASE PLEASE RESTORE THE FACILITY TO A RURAL COMMUNITY WHERE THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO NEED SHOWERS!
    Thanks for your Time and Consideration & Hopefully Your Support, as well!

  7. Dear King County Parks,
    A great way to spread disease is to close toilets so people have no sanitary place to go to the bathroom. There are diseases other than Covid-19!!! Even if people stay local to recreate people still have to go bathroom. Please open public bathrooms at the trailheads and provide hand sanitizer.

    1. Amen! LET’s open up all the parks…Now they are shutting down Five Mile Lake Park, because they said people are not complying…Complying with what? Complying with the governor’s edicts and dictates…We paid a huge Levy last year as property tax owners for these parks. We OWN these parks, LET’S TAKE THEM BACK FOLKS…It’s time to rise up and take what is ours, not some two-bit Authoritarian in Olympia…

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