"'Please Don't Come': Calls To Close US National Parks Over Virus Fears"

"More than half the National Park Service’s unit remain open but local police and health officials are urging people to stay away".

"As mild temperatures and spring blooms emerged in southern Utah this past weekend, so did the tourists. At Capitol Reef national park, the trailhead parking lot was full of cars bearing plates from states such as California, Washington, Colorado and Georgia, all Covid-19 hotspots. The hikers were either oblivious to or ignoring the plea from the local sheriff’s office that outsiders stay away.

“While we would normally welcome visitors to enjoy the beauty of Wayne county, we really don’t want visitors during the Covid-19 pandemic,” stated a 3 April post on the sheriff’s Facebook page. Wayne county, where Capitol Reef is located, has 2,600 residents and little in the way of healthcare services. “If you don’t live here, please don’t come here.”

The crown jewels in the US national park system, like Grand Canyon and Zion, were shuttered last week after days of petitioning from local health authorities, but 284 of the 419 units in the national park system remain fully or partially open to visitors."

Annette McGivney reports for the Guardian April 7, 2020.


"Coronavirus And National Parks: What's Closed" (National Parks Traveler)

"National Parks: Police Union Lobbies For Site Closures" (Greenwire)

Source: Guardian, 04/08/2020