Seeking COVID-19 escape, people crowding Oregon outdoors

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State and federal officials say in the quest to escape amid the coronavirus pandemic, people are flooding Oregon’s beaches, forests and mountains in unprecedented numbers. The Statesman Journal reports that’s brought a spike in accidents, garbage and bear activity in recreation areas. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department spokesman Chris Havel says they’re seeing a level of use well beyond a normal year especially on the Oregon Coast and west of the Cascades. Rangers say more people outdoors is a generally a good thing especially because the virus doesn’t spread as effectively outdoors. Havel says the best way to help during unprecedented times is to come early, choose less crowded places and pack out all trash.