Governor orders temporary closure of Texas state parks and historic sites

North America, USA, Fort Davis, Texas, Davis Mountains State Park, view from Skyline Drive East Overlook over Sleeping mountain to Mitre Peak and Twin Mountains. ( Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images )

All Texas state parks and historic sites will be closed beginning Tuesday evening in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Greg Abbott directed the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to close all state parks and historic sites as part of the state’s efforts to strengthen social distancing practices and prevent gatherings of large groups of people.

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Historic sites and state parks will close to the public starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday. They will reopen at the direction of the Governor.

"Social distancing is our best tool to curb the spread of COVID-19 and save lives," said Governor Abbott. "The temporary closure of our state parks and historic sites will help us achieve this goal by preventing the gathering of large groups of people. I urge all Texans to continue to stay at home except for essential services as we respond to COVID-19. By following these social distance practices, we will overcome this challenge together."

More than 7,200 COVID-19 cases and 140 deaths have been reported in Texas.