SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks became the latest national parks to close to the public Wednesday amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The National Park Service said the closure will be in place until further notice.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon join Yosemite National Park, which closed on March 20, in closing over public health concerns.
The decision was made due to guidance from the Tulare County Health Department, said Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, public information officer.
“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority,” she said.
COVID-19 resource links:
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
- Fresno County
- Tulare County
- Madera County
- Mariposa County
- Merced County
- Kings County
- Kern County
Highway 180 remains open for pass-through traffic to access the Giant Sequoia National Monument, which is under U.S. Forest Service jurisdiction and private property. All other roads and parking facilities are temporarily closed.
The public can access updates from the park service on the parks’ website and through social media channels @SequoiaKingsNPS.
Nationally, three of America’s best-known national parks — Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Great Smoky Mountains — closed their gates Tuesday as parks struggle to keep popular recreation areas open while struggling to prevent spreading the coronavirus at congested sites.
They join a growing list of national parks that have closed from New York to California, including the Statue of Liberty and Alcatraz.
Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado has also closed.
Other parks that remain open have closed shuttles, campgrounds, visitor centers and some trails to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Associated Press contributed to this report