CHESTERTON, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Dunes National Park has launched a coronavirus safety campaign urging visitors to the northwestern Indiana park to practice social distancing and other precautions when they hit the beach.
The park's “Think Before You Beach” campaign began Saturday with signs posted around Lake Michigan's shoreline, and with social media posts and videos, reminding visitors to social distance, wear a mask and use public facilities with caution, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
Park spokesman Bruce Rowe said the campaign “reminds the public that they can catch the virus outdoors on a crowded beach if they are not wearing a mask or properly socially distancing."
He said visitors should stay 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from others or wear a mask if they're unable to socially distance. That includes using the public restroom or the concession stands, where masks are required.
Park officials are also urging visitors seeking to set up a spot to enjoy the sandy shores to spread out and seek secluded or spacious areas. Rowe said the best times to visit include late afternoons and early mornings and weekdays.
The 15,000-acre (6,070-hectare) park along Lake Michigan's southern shore became the first national park in Indiana in February 2019. The park is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Chicago.
The campaign comes as Indiana has reported nearly 57,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 927 reported Sunday. More than 2,600 people have died from COVID-19, including two reported Sunday.