“US National Park Reopenings Raise Fears Of Coronavirus Outbreaks”

“Rural towns on the edge of parks split between fear of infection and imperative to revive tourism-dependent economies”

“On Wednesday, Zion national park in Utah, one of the most popular natural attractions in the US, received its first visitors in more than a month as the Trump administration continued its push to reopen the nation’s outdoors as well as it cities and businesses.

More than 4,000 people poured into the beauty spot from numerous states.

Yet the phased reopening of America’s national parks has raised concerns about exacerbating the spread of Covid-19 and endangering the residents of rural towns located near parks.

“We don’t want the parks to become super spreaders,” said Timothy Whitehouse, executive director of the non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “These communities simply do not have the capacity or the medical infrastructure to deal with an outbreak.””

Samuel Gilbert reports for the Guardian May 15, 2020.

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“Yellowstone, Grand Canyon Join National Parks Set For Limited Reopenings” (Reuters)