The majority of the 56 state parks will reopen April 24 for day-use only and with social distancing measures in place, Lee said. Additional details on which parks will reopen will be available later this week on www.tnstateparks.com, according to a news release.
“We are eager to serve once again, but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” said Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, in the release. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”
All state parks closed April 4 in accordance with Lee's Executive Order No. 23, which calls for all residents to stay at home unless they are carrying out essential activities. On April 20, Lee announced that he will not extend the order, which is set to expire April 30.
Despite reopening state parks, facilities and gathering areas, such as pavilions and playgrounds will remain closed, according to the release. Cabins, lodges, restaurants, campgrounds and group camps will also be closed.
State officials said overcrowding of state parks may cause entire parks or portions of parks to close again.