RV Coronavirus News Update, April 12, 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.)

Did you miss yesterday’s RVtravel Newsletter? Read it here.

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

Looking for a particular topic? Use the search function at the top of this page.

👍 Get coronavirus updates like this every Monday through Friday by subscribing to our free RV Daily Tips Newsletter. Sign up here.


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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan announced Thursday that its campgrounds will be closed until at least June 25. The state’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has closed its campgrounds indefinitely.

The WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma — the world’s largest casino at 370,000 square feet — will remained closed through April 30. But its hotel and RV park are still open.

Olympic National Park has closed the beaches and coastal areas it manages on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

Many small mountain towns in Colorado are deterring visitors over fears that potential increases in infection could overrun their limited resources.

Winnebago Industries plans to start reopening some of its plants beginning Monday, but that does not include those in Elkhart County, Indiana, the RV capital of the World, where its plants will not open until May 4 or later.

Speaking of Elkhart County, where 85 percent of all American RVs are manufactured, the unemployment claims per capita were the highest in the state with 7,487 claims filed. By comparison, during one week during the Great Recession of 2008, 3,152 county residents filed for unemployment benefits.

Out-of-state visitors are required to quarantine for two weeks before visiting state parks in Delaware.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called a press conference Friday and warned Washingtonians to steer clear of their favorite recreational spots as beautiful spring weather beckons at the height of the coronavirus outbreak. He said people crowding into popular fair-weather haunts could destroy all the progress that’s been made so far in slowing the spread of COVID-19.


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Great Smoky Mountains National Park just tallied its monthly visitation figures in the Smokies during March 2020. Through the first quarter of 2020, overall visitation dropped 20.6 percent compared to the same point in 2019.

All public land is closed within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Oregon due to the coronavirus outbreak, but that hasn’t stopped crowds from showing up, with some people going so far as to trespass onto parks and trails. The Oregon Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it will shut down seven additional miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway, which leads to many of the area’s most popular hikes and waterfalls, following an influx of unruly crowds.

Before you post something you find questionable or outrageous on social media, check to see if it’s true or just fake news. Check with FactCheck.org and/or Snopes.com.

On Friday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear warned that anyone attending a church service would have to quarantine for an additional 14 days. Beshear has ordered police to go through church parking lots and write down the license plate numbers for any of the attendees. Mississippi has gone so far as to ticket anyone who attends a church drive-in, despite the attendees staying in their cars with windows up the entire time.  The church has sued the city of Greenville for fining every attendee $500.

Monterey County, Calif., has shut down its parks.

The superintendent of Yellowstone National Park says it likely won’t reopen until May or later, delaying the start of its traditional summer season for millions of tourists because of the coronavirus outbreak. Both Yellowstone and neighboring Grand Teton National Park have been closed since March 24 because of the virus.

Iowa State Park campgrounds are closed through April 30, 2020. Day use areas remain open.

The Vermont Campground Association has announced that campgrounds and RV parks must remain closed to all guests, including all seasonal guests, while the state’s stay at home order is in effect, currently set to end midnight, May 15.

Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument is now closed. Through traffic, but no stopping, will be allowed on roads in the monument that provide access to county roads, residences, leased lands and public lands managed by other agencies. All other roads and access points will be closed.


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New, tentative opening date is set for campgrounds at Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state forests which have been closed since March 23. The original reopen date was April 13, but has now been extended to May 15.

Some Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Recreational Areas are closed in part because of crowds, litter and vandalism. Campgrounds in Waupaca County have also been shut down.

A Facebook Group was recently established to help laid-off employees in the RV industry navigate the “unemployment fortress.” It has since been expanded to include other industries. Join it here.


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FACTOID: The U.S. is set to reach its highest daily number of deaths today (or close to today), according to models by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

ALSO: The current pandemic is the first time in history that every state in the country has been under a federal disaster declaration simultaneously.

AND, FINALLY … New York will gather the best minds to study information on whether reopening the state economy would trigger a “second wave” of infections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said yesterday at a press conference.


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 NEED YOUR SUPPORT MORE THAN EVER
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.

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