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San Juan Islands officials ask visitors to stay away to slow spread of COVID-19

"We love our visitors but now is not the time to visit the San Juan Islands."

San Juan Islands officials asked anyone thinking about taking a trip to the islands to postpone their travel plans to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

County officials prohibited non-essential travel to the islands, including day trips. Lodgings for vacationers are closed until at least May 4.

The advisory includes boaters who wish to anchor or pick up a mooring buoy. Overnight transient moorage at island marinas is not allowed.

Officials also asked anyone that has a home on the islands that isn’t their primary residence to not visit the island.

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The county asked the public to help prevent overloading the community’s “limited rural healthcare system by staying home.”

“Coming to the islands may provide some social distancing peace of mind, but you will be jeopardizing a community with limited essential supplies and limited response resources,” a press release read.

Washington state parks and campgrounds are closed until May 4. Camping at San Juan County Parks is also closed through May 4 and could be extended. The County said San Juan County Parks and the San Juan Island National Historical Park are open, but most restrooms are closed.

RELATED: Washington's stay-at-home order extended to May 4

“We urge all travelers and community members to stay at home and take protective measures against COVID-19, including frequently washing your hands, avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, and avoiding close contact with those who are sick,” country officials said.

The San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau said the public can help support local businesses by buying gift cards or certificates for future trips or to buy items made on the islands.

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