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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

What changes coming to at Arkansas State Parks ahead of Memorial Day weekend due to COVID-19.

PARAGOULD, Ark- With Memorial Day is just a few days away, it won’t necessarily be business as usual due to COVID-19.

I spoke with Meg Matthews, spokesperson for arkansas state parks to hear what changes you can expect this weekend.

“Some of the things you can’t do are use the swimming pools and the beaches,” says Matthews. “That is only because we don’t have the staff to be there that we need, the lifeguards etc. Due to COVID-19 we weren’t able to train them during this period leading up to Memorial Day which is what we have always done.”

Matthews says they hope to open pools and beaches very soon.

All park programming has been cancelled until June 1st.

Visitors will be required to wear facemask when entering buildings on park grounds.

Guests will also only be allowed to rent cabins Friday to Monday but camping at Arkansas State Parks will be restricted to guests with R-V’s and private bathroom facilities.

Matthews says that park rangers will be monitoring areas to make sure guest are social distancing.

Dr. Shane Speights, Dean of NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine says just be sure to social distance if you do go to state parks.

“You can take your family out and go to the river or lakes. It doesn’t mean that you have to be crowded around a pavilion with thirty or forty other people, but you can certainly socially distance.”

Matthews says that cancellation fees have been waved for parks that still have closed their cabins and lodges.

She also recommends checking with your state park this week to find out specifics on what is and is not open before you visit.


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