ESTES PARK, Colo. (CBS4) – Rocky Mountain National Park is closed to all visitors until further notice. Officials made the announcement Friday night at the request of the local health department.
The mayor of Estes Park, Todd Jirsa, asked the Secretary of the Interior to close Rocky Mountain National Park to support public health during the coronavirus pandemic. He noted current promotions from the Department of Interior are driving visitors to the park and surrounding communities.
Rocky Mountain National Park released the following statement to CBS4:
“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Rocky Mountain National Park is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.”
On Tuesday, park visitor centers including Beaver Meadows, Fall River and Kawuneeche were closed until further notice, according to the national park. The park, however, remained open.
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Rocky Mountain National Park is modifying operations to implement the latest guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and local and state authorities to promote social distancing. As of today, March 17, 2020, the park is still open; however, park visitor centers including Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, Fall River Visitor Center, and Kawuneeche Visitor Center are closed until further notice. At this time, restroom facilities are still available at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and Kawuneeche Visitor Center. Any programs that were previously scheduled including snowshoe walks, full moon walks, field trips, and Earth Day events have been cancelled. Visit our website at www.nps.gov/romo/ for details, and stay tuned for new content that will share the beauty of Rocky with you wherever you might be. #RMNP #COVID19 #coronavirus
“The Larimer County Public Health Director has formally advised us to encourage visitors to not travel through Larimer County to Estes Park,” Jirsa stated. “Estes Park is not in a position to support the potential needs of extra guests at this time.”
The county announced its first positive case of coronavirus earlier this month. Jirsa also noted the majority of residents are in a “susceptible” age group.