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Safety precautions in place as Louisville District reopens rec sites

As many of the Louisville District’s recreational areas, such as campgrounds and beaches, continue to reopen in alignment with state guidance, the district has put extra safety precautions in place to protect both visitors, and employees, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the interest of public safety, the district imposed public access restrictions across its 17 lake projects in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio March 12. The district has since implemented a phased reopening approach in alignment with CDC recommendations and current state guidance. 

“We carefully developed a deliberate reopening plan that would ensure a safe recreational opportunity for visitors while minimizing risk to the public and our USACE personnel,” said Tim Fudge, chief, Louisville District Operations Division.

Nearly all recreational facilities, with the exception of larger-capacity picnic shelters, will have reopened for public use by June 29. 

Visitors, who are gathering at Corps lakes in record numbers this season, may notice some of the changes in place. 

There is signage reminding visitors to safely social distance, increased frequency in cleaning of facilities, and, in some instances, Plexiglas panels have been installed in Corps offices and visitor’s centers.

“Safety always comes first,” Fudge said. “While some things may look a little different, these are necessary steps. We want to reopen these areas responsibly—in a way that keeps our employees, contractors, volunteers and the recreating public safe, and affords everyone the opportunity to enjoy our diverse lakes and all they have to offer.”

USACE reminds all visitors to follow these steps to recreate responsibly: honor the 6-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.