Joshua Tree National Park closes to all visitors amid COVID-19 pandemic


JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (CNN Newsource) — Joshua Tree National Park is completely closed to visitors, effective Wednesday.


The shutdown of the California park known for its distinctive trees is an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to a notice on the park’s website. Park rangers remain in place.

Yosemite National Park was the first park to close in California, doing so on March 20. A week later, Lassen Volcanic National Park followed suit.

The National Park Service is modifying operations on a “park-by-park basis,” using guidance from state and local public health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a notice on the NPS website.

“While most facilities and events are closed or canceled, many of our outdoor spaces remain accessible to the public,” the notice said.

The park service recommends checking with individual parks before visiting.

NPS also has centralized public health information and closure announcements online.

Arches and Canyonlands in Utah, Grand Teton in Wyoming and Yellowstone in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are also among some of the big headliner national parks that have closed to visitors.

Some national seashores, recreation areas and historical sites have also closed or reduced operations.

There’s no national shutdown of all 419 national park sites, which would cover more than 85 million acres of national parks, seashores, lakeshores, battlefields and more, in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several US territories.

The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at parks that remain open during the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to aid public social distancing.

COVID-19 resource links:

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