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California

Golf courses allowed to reopen in Riverside County. But cover your face. And no caddies

A Palm Springs resident reads at the Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort, which has been closed to players.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Riverside County has allowed public and private golf courses to reopen, in an easing of restrictions that had been in place due to the coronavirus.

“Play is being cautiously reopened for observation,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County’s public health officer said in a statement, stressing that social distancing guidelines remain in effect.

Health officials released the following guidelines:

• Play shall be limited to foursomes. The players will be required to observe a six-foot separation at all times.

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• No caddies are permitted.

• No large gatherings, including fundraisers or tournaments, will be permitted before June 20.

• Face coverings, such as scarves, bandannas and neck gaiters, shall be worn by players and workers.

• No in-person dining will be allowed at clubhouses.

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Riverside is the largest county in California to make small tweaks to its stay-at-home rules. Golf is a big business in the county, especially in the Coachella Valley.

“Golf is an iconic part of our destination, our history and our economy,” said Scott White, chief operating officer of Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, in a statement released by the county. “We sincerely appreciate the news that golf will be reopened to allow our residents the opportunity to return to the sport they love. It is imperative that we follow the orders outlined and not allow the coronavirus to return to the previous levels. We will continue to work with Riverside County with the goal to help reopen more tourism-related businesses.”

The number of confirmed cases continues to increase throughout California. Riverside County on Monday saw its caseload climb to 2,847 and its death roll rise to 85.

In another county, Ventura, some businesses are being allowed to reopen, and gatherings of up to five people will be allowed for the first time since stay-at-home orders went into effect last month.

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Among all of the Southern California counties, Ventura has by far the fewest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Since the pandemic began, it has reported 428 coronavirus cases and 13 fatalities.


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