Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today reminded Pennsylvanians to wear masks while enjoying the outdoors when they are not able to consistently maintain social distancing from individuals who are not members of their household.
“It’s critical that Pennsylvanians take opportunities to go outside and enjoy our many parks, trails and beaches. It’s good for our mental and physical health. But we must do so safely,” Gov. Wolf said. “Park attendance has increased dramatically, so Pennsylvanians should protect themselves and their fellow outdoor seekers by wearing a mask.”
Secretary Dunn said recent Bureau of State Park attendance figures show people turning to the outdoors in record numbers. May 2020 attendance reports show 5.8 million visitors compared to 4.2 million last year. The parks system increased by over 1.5 million visitors, a 36 percent increase, and 18 parks experienced more than a 100 percent increase.
“Last weekend brought a crush of visitors to almost all our state parks, and those numbers reinforce the need for all park visitors to be smart and safe by wearing masks,” Dunn said. “Our park officials tell us the holiday crowds were orderly and, for the most part, observing self-distancing but masks were not being worn by many. For the safety of all, masks should be worn, especially in areas where park visitors gather: pools and beaches when not in the water; restroom areas; and state park offices and visitor centers.”
For updated state park and forest facilities, visit DCNR’s What’s Open and Closed map.
NOTE: Video of DCNR Secretary Dunn on the importance of wearing a mask is available for download via PAcast.