COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTAP) - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is taking new steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Following guidelines from state and national health officials the ODNR will be closing campgrounds, cabins, golf courses, restrooms, shower houses, playgrounds, and state park marinas starting on March 24.
The agency says that public spaces at Ohio State parks, wildlife areas, forests and nature preserves will be opened including trails, dog parks and non-marina docks.
Visitors to these areas are asked to continue to take common sense steps to protect the health of both visitors and staff.
The closures will remain in effect until COVID-19 guidelines are changed or lifted.
The National Recreation and Park Association asks visitors to follow these guidelines:
Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not use trails if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.
Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.
Warn other trail users of your presence and as you pass to allow proper distance and step off trails to allow others to pass, keeping minimum recommended distances at all times. Signal your presence with your voice, bell or horn.
Note that trail and park users may find public restrooms closed — be prepared before you leave and time outings so that you are not dependent on public restrooms.
Bring water or drinks — public drinking fountains may be disabled and should not be used, even if operable.
Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers.