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Recreational Health Program

COVID-19 and Recreational Health

As the statewide response to Covid-19 progresses, some recreational activities may remain restricted in your community. The latest  information on what Sectors are open in your County is posted on the Governor's COVID-19 Resilience Roadmap. Check this site routinely for updated industry guidance, including guidance pertaining to Outdoor Recreation.

Contact your local health department  or visit their website to see what guidance is being implemented by your community.  Submit COVID-19 related questions to CDPH via our web form

Program Mission

The mission of the Recreational Health and Beach Safety Program in the Environmental Management Branch is to safeguard life, health, and property and public welfare by promoting and assuring the safety of recreational waters through the development of protective standards, regulations, and monitoring requirements.   In this regard, the program:

  • Works with the general public, industry, State government, and local government to promote and assure the safety of recreational waters throughout the State.
  • Is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives to systemically attack the underlying causes of preventable disease and hazardous conditions associated with our coastal waters, swimming pools and other recreational waters. 
  • Allocates over $1.5 million in assistance funding to local government through contracts to test ocean and bay waters along public beaches to ensure that they are safe for recreational activities. If the water quality is unsafe then local governments are required to close or restrict the uses of beaches and advise the public.
  • Allows the Department to address and resolve environmental health and safety conditions that are caused by federal, state and local program deficiencies and differences in these areas.
  • Develops regulatory requirements and guidelines for beaches, fresh water bathing areas, public swimming pools and spas.
  • Develops regulatory requirements and guidelines for the operation of organized camps.

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