Marinas, Golf Courses, Campgrounds, and More to Open May 1
Governor Tom Wolf announced this measure to benefit physical and mental health while following social distancing guidelines
On April 27, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips, and privately-owned campgrounds may reopen statewide beginning Friday, May 1. They will be required to follow the life-sustaining business guidance, and social distancing orders will continue to be enforced.
Wolf explained that this decision is to ensure that Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to safely enjoy the outdoors and maintain their physical and mental health while doing so.
Local campground owner Matthew May was relieved to hear this news, after writing numerous letters to state legislators asking that his park be granted the title of life-sustaining.
"It was starting to look pretty scary as to how we will survive," May, who operates Presque Isle Passage RV Park and Cabin Rental, said.
As a place with both permanent residents and seasonal campers, May was unsure of the future for his business and its residents. He plans to spend this week adding in extra precautionary measures to maintain social distancing guidelines in hopes that people can visit the campground while being in a safe and healthy environment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance on visiting parks and recreational facilities, including key points: stay close to home, practice social distancing, minimize risk to others, practice good hygiene, and have a plan.
In a statement, Wolf said, "Practicing social distancing takes a little planning and patience but it is necessary if we want to continue to flatten the curve while ensuring that Pennsylvanians have opportunities to de-stress and get exercise."
As the weather warms up and the sun comes out, Wolf plans to use these resources as a way to maintain the physical and mental health of individuals under immense stress from the COVID-19 situation, while still prioritizing public health and safety.
There is still concern within Erie County, however.
When asked about this during her daily press conference, Dahlkemper smiled while confessing "I'm concerned. I'm less concerned about golf courses, because you only golf with four people, and if you're like me I'm in the trees often," she joked. "Not really too often near my fellow golfers." She cited that the sport was generally separate, with no physical contact generally. "Marinas, my concern is just the people that may decide to sit on their boats and socialize with everyone else on their boats, and that often those boats are not six feet apart." She, herself not a boat-owner, also referenced common things that many people might be touching, such as hoses.
Finding a balance between enjoying the outdoors and staying safe are responsibilities being placed in the hands of the public, who Wolf hopes will adhere to safety guidelines in order for these activities to remain available.