DNREC to close facilities, reduce hours due to omicron variant

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Several activities and facilities will be closed or operate under reduced hours throughout January due to the COVID-19 omicron variant. (Pixabay/LifeOfPix)

Citing a surge in coronavirus cases driven by the highly contagious omicron variant, DNREC has announced that it will close or reduce hours for several public activities and facilities.

While state parks, nature and wildlife areas continue to be open, the following closures and reductions in hours will be in effect through the end of January due to current or anticipated staffing shortages:

  • The Brandywine Zoo will reduce its open hours to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in January.
  • Public restroom facilities in state parks and reserves will close starting next week. Portable toilets will be available for visitors in place of the public restrooms. Campground facilities will remain open.
  • State park offices will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Nature centers, interpretive centers and museums, and the St. Jones Reserve visitor center will be closed starting Monday. Jan. 3.
  • The Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center will continue to operate with reduced days and hours by appointment only. Details are available at de.gov/ommelanden.
  • Indoor programs will either be held virtually or canceled. Outdoor programming and volunteering will continue. Restrictions may apply to outdoor programs. For questions regarding specific programs, contact the office at the park or location where the program is scheduled.
  • First Day Hikes will still occur on Saturday and will have a self-check-in option at each park.
  • Mandatory in-person hunter education field days in January will continue, but with fewer students in smaller groups.

 In a press release, DNREC encouraged the public to take advantage of online resources, including applications for permits and licenses and virtual educational content. 

Public hearings and meetings are also virtual with updated information available on the DNREC online calendar at this link.

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