Amid coronavirus, Florida closes all 175 state parks

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA BLUE SPRING STATE PARK/FACEBOOK
Photo via Blue Spring State Park/Facebook
Starting today, all 175 of Florida’s state parks are closed in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection made the announcement on Sunday afternoon at the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis, according to a release.

“At the direction of Governor DeSantis and to successfully uphold CDC guidance to maximize social distancing and avoid gatherings larger than 10 people, DEP will close all Florida State Parks to the public effective Monday, March 23,” said the release.

Beforehand, the DEP was limiting operating hours and reducing visitor capacity, but it wasn’t enough to “balance necessary resources.”

No definitive timeframe was given for the closures.

“We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work to prioritize the welfare of our communities and staff,” continued the statement. “We look forward to welcoming you again to our award winning state parks as soon as possible.”

You can see a map of the parks here.

This story originally appeared in Creative Loafing Tampa.

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