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Idaho State Park visitor centers close to curb COVID-19 spread; parks remain open

Idaho State Park visitor centers close to curb COVID-19 spread; parks remain open

From the Complete coverage: What Idahoans need to know about the coronavirus series
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City of Rocks

City of Rocks National Reserve outside of Almo, Idaho, was once jointly managed by the National Park Service and Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. 

BOISE — All visitor centers at Idaho State Parks are shut down as a precautionary measure to limit propagation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) — but the parks will remain open to the public, a state parks and recreation statement said Thursday.

Rangers and other staff will be on duty to assist visitors and can be contacted by telephone.

Parks continue to offer day use and most camping options – but hands-on activities and large group events are discontinued. Premium cabins and picnic shelters also have been closed to reduce infection potential.

The visitor centers will stay closed through April, and possibly longer, depending on the progression of the Covid-19 outbreak. Closing the centers, gathering places for groups of people, protects visitors and park employees and follows the guidance of Idaho Gov. Brad Little and public health officials.

At this stressful time, the public is encouraged to visit Idaho’s spacious parks to experience the outdoors and fresh air as an alternative to staying sheltered indoors. Hiking, biking and snow sports provide healthy alternatives that allow for the social distancing (at least six feet of space between individuals) recommended by experts.

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