The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) is providing this update to the community related to the opening of campgrounds in Erie County.
The local emergency order issued by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on April 15, related to the closure of all campgrounds in Erie County, was allowed to expire on May 10. As of May 11, campgrounds may operate in Erie County in a manner that is consistent with their permit conditions, New York state sanitary code, “NYS PAUSE” orders, and current county, state and federal guidelines, including conditions set by ECDOH.
“The Erie County Department of Health and our Division of Environmental Health have established this guidance to protect the health of campers and safety of campground facilities,” Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein said.
Campgrounds within Erie County Parks are closed until at least May 30.
ECDOH guidance includes:
•All camping units should be self-contained, not needing the use of common campground restrooms or shower facilities.
•Only registered campers should be allowed into the campground. There should not be any outside visitors.
•Campers shall not congregate at another camper’s site. No gatherings/parties of any kind. Campfires shall be kept to family members at individual site only.
•All public gathering sites such as bathhouses, laundry facilities, recreational halls, pools/spas, beaches, fitness areas, playgrounds, pavilions, meeting areas, conference rooms, dining areas or similar areas should remain closed until further notice per the governor’s executive orders.
•All campers must practice social distancing at all times (six feet minimum). No groups of any size may congregate for activities. Use of face masks must follow NYS guidelines.
•Any camper who begins to feel ill with COVID-19 like symptoms shall self-isolate and contact their personal health care provider.
•Dine-in food service operations are prohibited until further notice. Takeout or delivery options to campsites is acceptable for food orders. Indoor seating at the food service facility should be blocked off to prevent use. Picnic tables located in the food service area should be removed to discourage congregation.
ECDOH sanitarians and local code enforcement officers will be monitoring campgrounds for compliance with the governor’s executive orders. If violations are witnessed on campground premises, law enforcement agencies including Erie County Sheriff’s Office will issue citations to any individuals involved.
Individuals cited for violations of the executive orders may be fined up to $1,000. Any campground that holds any events or that opens a venue that encourages people to congregate in violation of the governor’s executive orders will have further action taken, which may include a campground close order and/or individual civil or criminal penalties.
Additional details have been communicated to campgrounds that operate in Erie County.