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This article is free to all readers because it includes information important to public safety and health in our community.

Missouri State Parks will temporarily close indoor spaces, including visitor centers, nature centers, museums and offices, beginning this week.

Missouri state parks and historic sites themselves remain open, including day-use areas, lodging, campgrounds, boat ramps and trails, and will continue to operate under normal off-season hours, according to a news release. Park and historic site outdoor spaces and amenities will remain open and available under normal off-season status, unless otherwise designated.

Visitors should come prepared and view the online park and site status map before heading to the park. Contact information of staff will be posted on signage throughout the park for visitors who may have questions or need assistance.

Campgrounds are available on a first come, first served basis at most Missouri State Parks campgrounds and some offer reservations during the off-season period. For more information on camping, visit mostateparks.com/activity/camping.

While interpretive programming at parks and sites has been postponed, many parks and sites have virtual alternatives and are providing other opportunities, such as virtual tours, lesson plans and online programming for visitors, educators and families.

When visiting a Missouri state park or historic site, visitors are strongly encouraged to follow social-distancing guidelines and be proactive in protecting themselves and others amid ongoing public health concerns. Come prepared with hand sanitizer and bottled water, avoid large and congested crowds, and please stay home if sick. Face coverings are encouraged when social-distancing measures are difficult to maintain and may be required by local orders.

Contact Missouri State Parks at [email protected] with any questions. For more information on the Missouri State Parks response to COVID-19, visit mostateparks.com/response.

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