DCNR sends out-of-state park visitors without a negative COVID test packing

    (C) Sandra Burm - Stock.Adobe.com

    Pennsylvania park officials have told out-of-state travelers who wish to visit a state park to bring a negative COVID test or face the consequences this holiday season. 

    The requirement was announced last week by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. 

    Dunn said the negative COVID test requirement for out-of-state visitors is intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across the commonwealth. 

    Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests receive 20 percent to 25 percent of their overnight revenue from out-of-state travelers, according to a DCNR spokesperson. 

    Out-of-state visitors who do not comply with the new requirement will be subjected to a fine ranging from $25 to $300, according to the department. 

    Out-of-state visitors planning to stay overnight will be required to cancel their reservations “if they are unable to honor mitigation efforts related to testing and quarantining if they travel from out of state,” the department said in a statement.

    Additionally, the department noted that camping and lodging facilities in Pennsylvania’s state parks cannot be used by out-of-state visitors who need to quarantine for 14 days. 

    The new requirements will be in effect until at least January 15, 2021, according to DCNR.

    Visitor center exhibit halls and interpretive areas will be closed, the department confirmed, and all indoor programs will be canceled. Restroom facilities will still be open. 

    Additionally, DCNR requires mask be worn:

    • In park and forest offices;
    • In any other indoor public space including restrooms;
    • During both indoor and outdoor special events and gatherings; and
    • Outdoors when visitors are unable to adequately social distance.
    Cassie Miller
    A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.