'Fisherman’s parking lot’ to reopen at Grand Haven State Park ahead of Memorial Day weekend

The main beach parking lot was previously closed due to public health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic


GRAND HAVEN, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced Friday that Grand Haven State Park’s Channel parking lot will reopen to the public on May 22.

The parking lot -- also known as “Fisherman’s parking lot” -- was closed to traffic earlier this month due to public health concerns, after large groups congregated and failed to practice social distancing. The main beach parking lot typically reopens on May 1 each year, officials said.

MORE: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand as of Saturday morning

The DNR reopened the lot in preparation for Memorial Day weekend.

“Grand Haven State Park is one of Michigan’s most popular outdoor destinations, and we know many people love to return here year after year. Right now, with the health and safety of the public and our staff as top priorities, we will be working with local law enforcement to assist as needed,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “We want visitors to enjoy the park over the holiday weekend, but to do so responsibly and mindfully."

Grand Haven State Park has remained open to the public amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Officials say individuals visiting the park must follow social distancing guidelines or else the parking lots will be closed again to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You can learn more about Grand Haven State Park here.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.