COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will close four Missouri state parks to maintain social distancing and slow down COVID-19, officials said Tuesday.
The four parks will be closed from 5 p.m. Thursday until April 30. The parks are: Castlewood State Park, Elephant Rocks State Park, Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site and Park and Weston Bend State Park.
The off-road vehicle riding area will close at St. Joe State Park and gates to individual parking lots at state parks will be shut if the lots reach capacity, DNR said in a news release.
The department said it would schedule additional closures as needed.
The change is meant to stop overcrowding at those parks as officials urge social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,300 people in Missouri had tested positive for novel coronavirus by Tuesday, up from about 250 just one week before.
State officials urge anyone visiting state parks to observe CDC guidelines for social distancing, including staying 6 feet away from other people.