On Tuesday, North Carolina State Parks announced updated state park closures. In a Facebook post, the agency said that due to counties in State of Emergency and continued crowding at several parks that does not adhere to social distancing guidelines, the following state parks will be CLOSED effective immediately and until further notice:
Lake James State Park
South Mountains State Park
Stone Mountain State Park
Additionally, the following parks remain closed until further notice “due to closed county beaches county travel closures, and crowding:”
Crowders Mountain State Park
Lake Waccamaw State Park
Hanging Rock State Park
Raven Rock State Park
Fort Macon State Park
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
Pilot Mountain State Park—Mountain Section Closed on Weekends
The announcement reiterated that restrooms are closed at all state parks and asked visitors to do everything possible to maintain social distancing guidelines while in the parks. Those with camping reservations will be fully refunded.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park closes to slow spread of Covid-19
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced that all areas of the park, excluding the Foothills Parkway and the Spur, would close at noon through Monday, April 6, 2020 to slow the spread of Covid-19. Closures impact both trails and roads. Updates will be provided at https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/news/newsreleases.htm.
The closure comes after more than 30,000 visitors per day flooded the park last week, congesting popular locations, despite CDC recommendations for social distancing.
2020 Summer Olympics postponed
The President of the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s Prime Minister released a joint statement on Tuesday postponing the 2020 Summer Olympics, which were originally scheduled to take place in Tokyo in July and August. “The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating,” the statement read. “Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘accelerating.’ There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.”
The statement continues, “In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
Photo of walking path in Lake johnson park of Raleigh, NC – Getty Images