Be Safe and Feel Safe: Tips for Visiting the Parks during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Outdoor spaces are well-suited for increased social/physical distancing, but we all must remain diligent in our good hygiene practices and being aware of what’s happening around us. We want our fellow Hiking Texans to keep exploring and do so safely!
In our state parks and national parks, including lodges, restaurants and other concessions, the staff continues to monitor conditions and maintain clean and healthy facilities for visitors. While our parks remain open, some may be crowded with those on Spring Break, so be aware before you venture out!
Here’s how you can make your park visit fun and safe:
Print your day-use and camping permits before your visit to a state park. You can even print permits for reservations made through the call center. This will help reduce or eliminate time spent in the park office to check in. Simply log in to your account and select “Pre-Registration & Site Permits” for camping reservations, or “Print Tickets & Daily Entrance” for day use. Then follow instructions on the page. Please note that it takes up to 24 hours for new camping reservations to be available for at-home printing.
Wash with soap and water to destroy the virus. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
While an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol can be used, it’s best to reserve those resources for locations where soap and water are not readily available.
If your hands are visibly dirty, soap and water should be used rather than hand sanitizer.
As always, it is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
Pack extra soap or hand sanitizer. Park restrooms have soap or hand sanitizer. However, due to increased use or at remote locations, soap or sanitizer may not always be available.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Regular household cleaners will destroy the virus.
Most importantly, if you have been sick, cancel those plans and STAY HOME in order to avoid exposing others, and avoid close contact with those that are sick.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by avoiding close contact with others, and be cognizant about who is at higher risk: older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions. Now, while staying at home is the best thing we can do right now, but if you are out in our parks, we strongly encourage you to stay updated and strictly follow the CDC guidelines to help protect yourself and others.
This information is available from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and the National Park Service. Additional information on best practices for keeping you and your family safe and current updates on COVID-19 can be found online at the Texas Department of State Health Services and the CDC website.