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Campgrounds open in time for Memorial Day weekend

By Stephen Betts | May 20, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts The Knox County Fish & Game campground opened earlier this month after receiving a waiver from the state. All private campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks can open Friday, May 22 due to a revised order by the governor.

South Hope — Private campgrounds, including recreational vehicle parks, can officially reopen Friday, May 22, to Maine residents.

That includes the Knox County Fish & Game Association's recreational vehicle park in Hope which opened earlier this month.

Association President James Jillson said the organization received approval from the state to reopen earlier this month because the park is considered a second-home park for Maine residents.

There are 40 lots in on the Fish & Game Association land adjacent to Beaver Lodge and Alford Lake. The lots are rented by members of the association and not available to the general public. The members are from Maine.

The association has also posted notices about safety requirements because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Campers must wear masks and maintain 6 feet between other groups.

Gov. Janet Mills revised May 19 her reopening order for businesses in the state. An earlier order called for the campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks to reopen June 1.

The Mills Administration stated it worked with campgrounds to develop a COVID-19 prevention checklist, which was posted May 14 to allow them to reopen May 22.

"Campgrounds that follow this guidance can offer Maine residents of all ages an opportunity to safely hike, fish, bird watch, star gaze, boat and even swim this weekend that marks the start of summer. Maine has a long-standing tradition of embracing the outdoors, which has the additional benefit of promoting public health during this global pandemic," the order states.

The Mills Administration also announced it was delaying the full reopening of gyms and fitness centers, originally scheduled for June 1.

"In light of new studies raising concerns about the transmission of the virus in such settings due to large numbers of people in relatively small spaces with moist, warm atmospheres coupled with turbulent air flow generated by intense physical exercise.

Gyms and fitness centers are currently allowed to conduct outside classes of less than 10 participants and one-on-one instruction inside.

Additionally, the Mills Administration is delaying the re-opening of nail salons, also originally scheduled for June 1, after the California identified the establishments as a source of COVID-19 community transmission.

While claims continue to be reviewed, some preliminary evidence suggests that the close, face-to-face contact between clients and professionals could increase risk of transmission.

Maine is assessing such evidence and expects to announce new re-start dates for nail salons and indoor gyms and fitness centers in early June.

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