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Here’s Winnebago’s schedule for opening additional manufacturing factories:
• Newmar – week of May 4th
• Grand Design RV – week of May 4th
• Winnebago Motorhomes – week of May 4th
• Winnebago Towables – week of May 11th
Michigan says its state-operated campgrounds won’t reopen until at least June 22. Reservations already set for May 15 to June 21 are scrubbed; refunds will be sent, or reservation holders can ask for new dates later in the season – and pick up a free night. The reservation hotline is where to call if you want to take advantage of this offer – but be quick, the cutoff for changes is May 15. Call 800-447-2757.
Pennsylvania is now allowing privately operated RV parks and campgrounds to reopen. The state’s government set May 1 as the reopening day, provided “life-sustaining business guidance” is observed, which largely boils down to social distancing, although the state asked residents to wear face masks when outdoors.
Gulf Stream Coach plans to resume production operations tomorrow (May 4) at all facilities in Nappanee and Etna Green, Indiana.
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The National Park Service is beginning plans to reopen parks that have been closed by the pandemic, but there’s no firm timeline yet for when those openings will occur. So says a report by the National Parks Traveler, an independent, nonprofit media organization dedicated to covering national parks and protected areas.
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association Board of Directors has passed a revised budget for 2020, which includes more than a 30 percent reduction in operating expenses, executive staff salary reductions and a reduction of five staff positions in addition to foregoing the filling of 11 current, vacant positions. The RVIA provides standards for RV manufacturing and promotes the industry in the media and elsewhere. It receives much of its revenue from fees from manufacturers for every new RV they sell.
Arkansas state campgrounds were scheduled to partially reopen to RVers with self-contained units on Friday after closing April 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The superintendents for the Hot Springs area’s two state parks said the weekend was “pretty much booked.” Only Arkansas residents can make a reservation.
All roads into Gallup, a city in northwestern New Mexico, have been closed to control the spread of coronavirus.
Flexsteel Industries Inc. is discontinuing its long-term role as a furniture supplier to the recreational vehicle industry, the Dubuque, Iowa-based company announced on April 29 in its third-quarter financial report. The company has manufactured premium driver and passenger seating in Class A motorhomes and, to a lesser extent, in Class C’s with furniture designs including sofas and chairs for both higher-end towables and motorized RVs.
Campgrounds in Idaho’s Sawtooth National Recreation Area will be closed this month, the Forest Service announced on Friday. All developed campgrounds and most recreation sites will be shut down through June 5 due to COVID-19. Dispersed camping is open.
Wyoming residents will be able to resume overnight camping at state parks starting May 15, more than six weeks after it was banned due to COVID-19. For the time being, all camping at the parks will require reservations, though visitors can also try getting a reservation upon arrival. Only approved, single-unit campsites will be available. Some campsites will be closed in order for visitors to practice social distancing, and no more than 10 people will be allowed on a site. Only Wyoming residents may stay for now.
Developed campground and picnic sites throughout western Wyoming in the Bridger-Teton National Forest are closed until May 31 due to COVID-19.
Campgrounds operated by Xanterra in Yellowstone National Park, except Fishing Bridge RV Park, are expected to reopen to RVers this summer. On June 25 the company says it will reopen the lodges it operates – but details on “protocols and procedures” aren’t available yet.
Sun Communities, which owns 120 resorts across the U.S and Canada, estimates its second quarter will include a reduction of $10 million in transient revenue from original budget expectations. As of the end of March, 55 percent of its RV sites were under annual leases with 45 percent available for transient visitors.
Michigan State Parks are closed until at least June 22. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said camping and overnight lodging reservations between May 15 and June 21 have been canceled. Reservations that go beyond June 21 will be changed to a June 22 arrival date and canceled nights will be automatically refunded.
Bryce Canyon, Utah’s last national park to close as the coronavirus swept the nation, is poised to be the first to resume operations May 6, even as new infections climb in other parts of the state. For the time being, visitors will be restricted to limited reaches of the high-elevation park and services will be all but nonexistent.
In 2018, according U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, 90% all U.S. RV manufacturing happened in Elkhart County, Indiana. According to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, before the pandemic there were more than 70,000 manufacturing jobs in the county. Total jobs exceeded 137,000. About 18,000 Elkhart County workers have filed unemployment claims over the past two months. Depending on April numbers, the county’s unemployment rate could reach 15 percent. Before the pandemic, the rate was 2.7 percent.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is increasing recreational access and services, and beginning May 9 will reopen many roads and trails. Campgrounds, picnic pavilions, visitor centers, and many secondary roads will remain closed during the first reopening phase, which is expected to last for at least two weeks.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday he is extending his stay-home order through May 31 as Washington state grapples with COVID-19, now linked to more than 800 deaths and more than 12,000 confirmed cases statewide. Camping at State Parks is still prohibited, but day use is okay.
New Hampshire RV parks can open if they follow guidelines.
Southeast Utah Health Department has lifted restrictions for camping and overnight lodging for Carbon and Emery counties. Health officials say social distancing should still be practiced, and no camps should consist of more than 10 people unless they are all in the same immediate family. In Grand County, overnight lodging and camping are still restricted to essential visitors and county residents. Green River, Utah, residents may now also camp in Grand County.
Massachusetts could be reopened as soon as May 18 under the guidelines of a 17-member reopening advisory board appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker last Tuesday. More than 3,000 people have died of COVID-19.
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Other Coronavirus News
The Lucky Devil Lounge strip club in Portland, Oregon, has opened a drive-thru right through a temporary stage in a tent so people can get a girlie show. Customers in their cars are greeted from stages on both sides by four pole-dancing women wearing sequined masks and gloves, and little else but paisties, G-string bikini bottoms and stiletto boots. They can pick up a food order with an extra $30 to cover the entertainment. The first 50 cars get a free roll of toilet paper.
As many states begin to reopen, the U.S. saw 2,909 people die of COVID-19 in 24 hours, which was collected as of 4 a.m. ET on Friday. That’s the highest daily COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. yet, based on a CNBC analysis of the WHO’s daily COVID-19 situation reports. Before May 1, the next highest U.S. daily death toll was 2,471 reported on April 23, according to the WHO.
FYI: The FDA says there’s no evidence of food packaging or food itself being associated with coronavirus transmission. The FDA also says there isn’t enough evidence to suggest antibacterial soap is more effective at killing the coronavirus than regular hand soap, which works just fine.
A message of hope from former President George W. Bush
Put your politics aside for a moment and listen to this short message from the former President.
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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:
“My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee it cleans the toilet.”
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.
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