Decision expected today on whether to close Michigan state parks amid pandemic

Officials remain concerned about social distancing

DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to announce a decision Wednesday on whether all state parks will be closed amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Nicer weather led many Michiganders outside this past weekend, crowding some parks such as the state park at Belle Isle in Detroit. Photos show thousand on the island. Police had to shut it down twice.

Whitmer said if residents forget about social distancing, a second wave of the virus could hit.

“We know we don’t want to do it again. Let’s not make all the work that we have done meritless. Let’s not make it for naught. Let’s make sure that we continue to do the right thing, by wearing masks, by keeping social distancing,” said Whitmer.

On the state’s west side, Grand Haven State Park has been shut down, closed to vehicles, because of overcrowding. In northern Michigan, the Tippy Dam recreation area is completely closed.

Whitmer was expected to speak at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, but that’s not happening. Keep in mind the weather forecast for the rest of this week and weekend is for much cooler temperatures than the near 80 degrees southeastern Michigan experience this past weekend.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) already announced all state park campgrounds will be closed through at least June 21.

Read more: Belle Isle shut down twice over weekend due to capacity issues

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