RV Coronavirus News Update, April 10, 2020

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Please send your news about the coronavirus pandemic as it applies to RVers to editor@rvtravel or submit it here.

Thank you to all the RV Travel readers who have sent us information, much of which we have included here. We have been working so fast that we have not had time to thank you all. So thank you! (You know who you are.)

Read yesterday’s extensive news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affecting RVers.

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RV registrations in Idaho will be paused April 10-20 so the Department of Parks and Recreation can implement a new, online system to provide faster transactions and better service.

The Virginia Campground Association is asking Governor Northam to make some changes to Executive Order 55. “We feel that this particular order with the 14-day stay mandate, it really restricts a lot of people and it causes RVers to have nowhere to go,” said Emily Peck, Executive Director of VCA. Peck noted that campgrounds are actually one of the safest places to be for someone who does have to travel. Read more.

Many Michigan state parks and campgrounds have been closed due to the coronavirus, and the DNR says they will now be extending that closure until at least mid-May in response to Governor Gretchen Whitmer likely extending the stay-at-home order. The DNR says all camping reservations will be automatically canceled through May 14. The tentative new opening date for campgrounds at state parks, recreation areas and state forests is now May 15, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

All campgrounds in Waupaca County, Wisconsin, are now closed until at least the end of Governor Tony Evers’ Safer at Home Order, according to Waupaca County Health Officer Jed Wohlt.

At the direction of Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas State Parks are now closed. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) will announce when a definite reopening date has been determined. The Texas State Parks Customer Service Center will automatically process cancellations of both overnight and day-use reservations. If your reservation is impacted by a facility or park closure, an agent will contact you.

The state of Connecticut has announced that May 20 is the earliest date schools, bars and restaurants can reopen, but hat date could get pushed back.

After a family in Highland Park, Illinois, learned that nurse Neil Case was sleeping in a tent outside his home to protect his family, they loaned him their own RV. “I was shocked that this poor guy was sleeping in a tent,” said RV owner Josie Beck. In less than four days, her RV was sitting in Case’s driveway. A woman in Belchertown, Mass., did the same for a healthcare worker in her town. Both acts of kindness were prompted through exposure on the Facebook group “RVs 4 MDs to Fight the Coronavirus.”

Reader Leon Naiver reported: “Today (Thursday) Gov. Evers closed 40 Wisconsin state parks due to crowds, litter and vandalism. These parks originally were kept open with free admission so people could take advantage of the outdoors during the state’s Safer at Home order. Its very sad how some people took advantage of the situation, leaving piles of litter and damaging park property.” 

The Clark County, Wisconsin, Health Department has announced that all campgrounds will be closed through May 14 and will not take any new reservations before June 1. Health officials say the public health order that includes the shutdown of campsites will expire at midnight on May 14 unless extended.


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The Colorado River District has closed campgrounds at Wolford Mountain Reservoir until further notice. People who were camping prior to March 27 are still allowed, but no new campers can stay.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan has suspended all camping until at least June 25.

ATTN. GOLFERS: From reader Ali Fiddler: “Nevada Gov. Sisolak has closed all golf courses.”

Dallas, Texas, city officials have acquired 10 RVs and reserved hotel rooms, and approved funds for personal protective equipment to cover the next two years should the coronavirus pandemic continue. About $1.5 million will be used to buy RVs to quarantine first responders. The city could buy up to 90 RVs with the funding. 

Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department in Indiana has postponed the start of its 2020 camping season from May 1 to May 15. Department officials will reevaluate the date around the beginning of May.

The San Francisco area city of Half Moon Bay and nonprofit Abundant Grace Coastside Worker are proposing building a temporary campsite at Francis State Beach campground to serve the homeless. “One day it dawned on us, the state park is sitting empty and it has showers, bathrooms and electric outlets, everything you’d need,” Deputy City Manager Matthew Chidester said. The city would provide tents, sleeping bags and camping equipment.

Campgrounds in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest are closed.

National Park Service officials have announced the closure of the northernmost 13 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, from Milepost 0 to 13, in a continuing effort to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and in coordination with closures now in place at Shenandoah National Park. Both closures will remain in effect until further notice.


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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has extended his order for Georgia residents to shelter at home through the end of April. He has also placed a temporary ban on short-term vacation rentals, but it does not apply to campgrounds.

Campgrounds and boat launches are now closed at Lake Berryessa in northern California. Also closed until further notice: picnic areas and all communal public spaces.

Berkeley-Morgan County, West Virginia, has closed River Bend Park, a privately owned 400-acre RV resort along the Potomac River near Falling Waters.

The U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region this week took the unusual step of imposing fire restrictions in 24 national forests and grasslands across Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming in response not to fire danger, but the pandemic. Included in the fire ban are not just campfires but fires in charcoal grills and barbecues, coal- and wood-burning stoves and sheepherder’s stoves; and smoking, except in an enclosed vehicle, trailer or building. There are some exceptions.

SCARY STATISTIC: Roughly 20% of the NYPD is sick and staying home. As of yesterday, there were 7,155 uniformed members out sick, which accounts for 19.8% of the force. Overall, 3,119 members have tested positive for coronavirus. Of those, 508 have returned to work.

Gary Bunzer update: The “RV Doctor” is still in intensive care in a Seattle-area hospital ICU on a ventilator in critical but stable condition.


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The RV industry may be suffering now, but the airline industry is worse off. Almost every day over the past three weeks the number of people flying in the U.S. has reached a record low. On April 7, fewer than 97,130 people flew, down 95% from a year ago. Look toward the sky where you are now. See any contrails from jets flying overhead?

Most KOA campgrounds are open, but some are closed. Here’s an update of what’s closed. Because of the current crisis, KOA has suspended its $10 cancellation fee through the end of April.

Can’t find something at your local store? Amazon may have it.


RV PARKS THAT WELCOME LONG-TERM VISITORS
Big Chief RV Resort, Burnet, Texas.
Walnut Hills Campground and RV Park, Staunton Virginia.

Own a park that you’d like listed here? Send the park name, web address and city and we’ll include it here. Send to editor@rvtravel.com. No charge.


HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this short video shows you the most effective way to wash your hands to get rid of germs.


WE WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT
The small staff of RVtravel.com is working overtime to bring you the news about how the current pandemic is affecting the lives of RVers. In the meantime, most of our advertisers have stopped their campaigns due to necessity. We are able to continue because of our nearly 5,000 readers who have become voluntary subscribers. Please consider making a pledge today, no matter how modest. UPDATE FROM THE EDITOR: If you are being hit financially by the pandemic, please take care of yourself: don’t worry about us. But if you are doing okay, we could use your help.

New Facebook Group:  How the coronavirus is impacting RVers. Get updates throughout the day about park and campground closings, cancelled rallies and RV shows — and more. Join in the conversation with other RVers about what’s on all our minds right now.

If you are a member of an RV club or are affiliated with an RV-related event would you please let us know if its gatherings, meetings, etc., are cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus? We’ll pass along the info to our readers. We appreciate any news related to RVing that’s relevant to the present crisis. Please submit it here. Thank you!

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Thomas
5 months ago

Just for curiosity,has anyone found out how many people died of the plain old FLU lately. Of the 80 thousand that died in the US every year I’ve heard of not one. Are all these deaths lately being chalked up to Corona 19? If so, then it’s really not that bad as we are just over 20 thousand deaths. Not that it’s not terrible but is it really as bad as the press and other officials led us to believe?. Our economy is in the toilet and people are really hurting.

cee
5 months ago

Thank you for the update on Gary Bunzer. Our prayers and best wishes to him and his family.

mdstudey
5 months ago

How is the RV Doctor doing?

Thomas
5 months ago

People are piggy. Last year during Trumps shut down we went to Joshua Tree National park. Same piggy mess there. Shut down a couple days later.And in today’s society ,you say something you might get assaulted or even shot.

Drew
5 months ago

I wonder what Francis State Beach is going to look like shortly.

Sink Jaxon
5 months ago

Sad to read Wisconsin State Parks closed due to litter and vandalism. Talk about adding insult to injury…

Barry
5 months ago

While it is true Texas State Parks are closed, the TPWD has extended the annual state pass for two additional months for those with current passes. This may be extended at a later time if needed.