Due to the continuing health threat posed by COVID-19, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, announced it will continue to provide recreational opportunities for the public.

The Corps of Engineers operates R.D. Bailey Lake in Wyoming and Mingo counties.

Outdoor venues at Corps lakes, including boat ramps, trails, and fishing access sites, will remain open at this time.

Fishing access sites at locks and dams will also be open.

However, in the interest of public safety, facilities such as visitor centers, playgrounds, and restrooms will be closed until further notice.

The Corps would like to remind the public of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations on practicing “social distancing,” such as maintaining a six-foot space between other people and not gathering in groups of 10 or more.

Effective immediately, all visitor centers and project offices are closed to the public until further notice.

Parks, campgrounds, day-use areas or other recreational areas that have not opened for the 2020 recreation season will delay opening until further notice.

In cases where closure of a day-use recreation area is not possible, public restrooms, group shelters, beaches and other amenities will be closed in order to promote CDC-recommended precautions.

Day-use fees will not be collected at these areas during this time.

All scheduled tours, interpretive programs and special events will be canceled until further notice.

For other events, such as fishing tournaments, organizers should contact Corps’ project offices for more information on cancellations.

Campground and shelter reservations made through May 15 at recreation.gov will be canceled automatically and a full refund will be issued.

Cancellations for reservations beyond May 15 will be processed at a later date depending on the length of the COVID-19 restrictions.

For future updates on cancellations, check recreation.gov.

These additional measures will be effective at each of the Huntington District’s USACE-managed facilities throughout Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

Certain facilities are operated on USACE property by other entities under lease agreements, such as marinas and municipal parks. It is recommended the public contact those entities directly in regard to their current operating status.

“We are taking the CDC’s recommended precautions as we work to provide a safe environment for our visitors,” said Kelly Finch, Huntington District’s chief of operations. “Public safety and the safety of our employees will always be our top priority, and every effort will be made to assist in efforts to contain COVID-19.

“Although there are some public access restrictions, all of our dams for flood risk management and locks for navigation will remain fully operational,” she said.

Huntington District leadership continues to monitor and assess the situation and will keep the public informed of any additional updates.

Updates are also available on the district’s website at www.lrh.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/USACELRH/, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HuntingtonCorps.

– Mary Catherine Brooks

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