July Fourth visitors to Shenandoah National Park cause concern of coronavirus spread

With Shenandoah National Park in Virginia open, thousands of people are expected to drive down Skyline Drive for the July Fourth holiday weekend.

This has some business and restaurant owners concerned.

“We were completely booked this weekend,” said Joan Gentes, manager at Brookside Gift Shop and Cabins in Luray, Virginia.

She said as travelers flock to Shenandoah National Park and the Luray Caverns for the holiday weekend, she is worried about the potential to spread the coronavirus.

“For me, I feel like it’s a concern because people coming from other places might be bringing it here,” Gentes said.

Eric Smith, owner of the West Main Market, said he is not planning on starting indoor dining anytime soon. He said his staff feels safer that way.

A few restaurants in the area have closed permanently because of the coronavirus pandemic, making the already busy weekend even busier, according to Maureen Moss, co-owner of Moonshadows Restaurant in Luray.

“We’re having, I think, a great influx for our particular restaurant for that reason, but also because there’s just a lot of people in the area and I think they want to come out to the park,” Moss said.

She said it’s hard to enforce the governor’s order to wear a mask until customers are actually eating or drinking. Many visitors either don’t wear a mask or take it off right as they sit down at their table.

“We’re seeing a lot of people come in without masks on. It’s hard to enforce particularly when you’re busy and have a lot of people to be seated,” Moss said.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

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