The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, is extending the closure of Corps managed campgrounds and group shelters within the states of Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia in the interest of public safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the Corps of Engineers.
In Ohio and Kentucky, the closure is extended through May 31, 2020.
In Virginia, the closure is extended through June 10, 2020.
In West Virginia, a final decision is expected on campground and shelter schedules by May 12, 2020.
While an official date for reopening has not yet been determined, all campground and group shelter reservations will be canceled through the dates listed above. All customer reservations affected will receive a full refund.
This affects Huntington District Corps managed campgrounds and shelters at the following locations:
• Ohio: Paint Creek Lake, Deer Creek Lake, Delaware Lake, Alum Creek Lake, Dillon Lake, Tom Jenkins, Pleasant Hill Lake, Atwood, Wills Creek, Greenup Lock and Dam, Captain Anthony Meldahl Lock and Dam, Belleville Lock and Dam and Willow Island Lock and Dam.
• Kentucky: Grayson Lake, Dewey Lake, Fishtrap Lake, and Greenup Lock and Dam.
• Virginia: John W. Flannagan Dam.
• West Virginia: Burnsville Lake, Sutton Lake, Summersville Lake, Bluestone Lake, R.D. Bailey Lake, East Lynn Lake, Beech Fork Lake, and the following Lock and Dams, Robert C. Byrd, Racine, Winfield, Marmet Lock and Dam, and London.
State and concessionaire operated campgrounds at Corps Lakes have their own policies in place. The Huntington District recommends that the public contact these entities directly for their operating status.
The statement said Corps managers are committed to the health and safety of recreational visitors and our local staff.
"We continue to follow the guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, while closely monitoring the situation and responding to changing conditions," the statement said. "The Corps of Engineers reminds all visitors to follow these steps to recreate responsibly: Honor the six-foot social distance rule, stay away from parks and recreation areas if you are sick or have symptoms, keep parks clean by practicing 'pack in and pack out' etiquette, and always wear a life jacket when near the water."
"We are taking the CDC's recommended precautions and following state and local guidance as we work to provide a safe environment for our visitors," said Kelly Finch, Huntington District's chief of operations. "Public safety and the safety of our employees will always be our top priority, and every effort will be made to assist in efforts to contain COVID-19. Although there are some public access restrictions, all of our facilities for flood risk management and river navigation will remain fully operational."
Huntington District leadership continues to monitor and assess the situation and will keep the public informed of any additional updates. The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, on the district's website at, www.lrh.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at, https://www.facebook.com/USACELRH/ , and on Twitter at, https://twitter.com/HuntingtonCorps .