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Memorial Day Heat Wave Sends Crowds Flocking To Parks Triggering Social Distancing Concerns

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Bay Area parks and beaches saw a surge of visitors enjoying warm sunshine and trying to maintain social distancing Sunday, but not always succeeding.

Much of the green space in Golden Gate Park was taken up with small groups set apart from each other.

"Seems like people are behaving themselves," said Melanie Sherk. "There are some crowded picnic areas, but otherwise people are having a great time and being respectful."

"This is glorious," Tina Stanley added. "I'm so happy, we're thrilled to be out here."

But Stanley noted that it's not always possible to maintain 6 feet of space, the safe distance recommended by public health officials during the pandemic.

"Everybody has to be cognizant of each other and so especially if you see people without a mask," she said. "It's hard to keep your social distance walking ... you want to step to the side (of the sidewalk."

Baker Beach was busy, but nowhere near as full as it would normally be on Memorial Day weekend. It was also nowhere near as empty it has been for the last couple of months.

Dolores Park was crowded. People tried to stay inside the social distancing circles chalked into the grass, but it wasn't always possible.

In the East Bay, Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda was busy. Parking lots were closed but visitors still filled spots in nearby streets.

At Sibley Volcanic Park in the Berkeley Hills. Hikers said most people seemed to be keeping their distance.

"Everybody has been very respectful," said Kesa Yorozu, a resident of Oakland. "People who don't have masks just seem to go to the side and face the other way, so it's very good."

The City of San Leandro is implementing new park rules this weekend. Access to Marina Park and Chabot Park will be restricted. People will be able to walk and enjoy outdoor activity, but play structures, picnic tables and the use of all barbecues will be off limits. The rules will be in place until Tuesday morning.

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