Public restrooms are the latest thing to be closed by the Delaware State Parks system as the result of the COVID-19 battle.
Campsites, playgrounds, and cabins had already been closed, but now DNREC says they will shut down the bathrooms until May 15, or when the state of emergency is lifted.
“We made the decision to close restrooms, which have multiple public touch points,” DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said in a statement. “Our staff has worked tirelessly to maintain the cleanliness of our restroom facilities, but hand sanitizer and soap has been stolen. It has become more difficult to maintain not only the cleanliness, but the social distancing in the facilities. It is no longer safe for our staff or the public to continue this service.”
In addition, DNREC made other clarifications for activities based on the current status of Delaware's state of emergency.
- Anyone who enters Delaware from another state must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. The order applies to individuals who would like to fish, hunt or intended to visit state parks and wildlife areas, including the state’s golf courses.
- The use of beaches, including those at state parks, has been restricted to exercising, walking dogs, and surf fishing under severely restricted conditions. Some municipalities have further restrictions.
- Surf fishing is limited to those with a current surf fishing permit with the following restrictions: Only fishing from vehicles will be allowed, only two persons from the same household may accompany the vehicle and both persons must be actively fishing at all times, with distance between vehicles on the beach of 20 yards.
“The more activities that are allowed, the more crowded our beaches will be, which is contrary to the public health imperative at this time,” Garvin said. “We want to be clear that the following activities are not allowed from beaches: boating, surfing, sea kayaking, skimboarding, fishing from the beach not from a vehicle, football, volleyball and any other activity that would add more people to the beach.”
Although services are limited, outdoor recreation is still available in compliance with site rules, to include:
- disc golf
- dog walking
- fishing in bays, ponds, rivers and streams
- drive-on surf fishing with restrictions
- jogging or running
The amenities not available, open and/or permitted include, but are not limited to:
- basketball courts
- gatherings of 10 or more people
- guided tours, events and programs
- public park buildings: state park offices, nature centers
- rock climbing
- surfing and skimboarding
- walk-on surf fishing
- sea kayaking from the beach
- sunbathing on the beach
- Go Ape Course at Lums Pond
- The Brandywine Zoo