One of the most recognizable landmarks in the U.S. has closed down due to coronavirus concerns. Grand Canyon National Park will join the growing list of iconic locations that have closed down as of Wednesday night, according to CNN.
"The Department of the Interior and the National Park Service will continue to follow the guidance of state and local health officials in making determinations about our operations," Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement. The National Park Service announced its decision came based on the recommendation of the chief health officer in Coconino County, Arizona. The park had already been going through its day-to-day operation with limited services under the circumstances. However, officials had previously resisted a call from the Coalition to Protect America's National Parks and other groups to close entirely.
The Grand Canyon joins other tourist hotspots, including Elvis Presley's Graceland outside Memphis, Tennessee, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Given that there have been so many closures the world over, along with 1.5 billion people engaging in some form of self-quarantine, many have started to offer virtual tours of their locations online to help people make the most of their time indoors.
In addition to landmarks and theme parks, CNN also reports that 37 states have some type of stay-at-home order in effect. This has resulted in a number of non-essential businesses shuttering their doors for the time being. While grocery stores have largely remained open, several have adjusted their hours to compensate at-risk shoppers, first responders and medical professionals, as well as to give enough time to properly clean and restock their stores.
President Donald Trump also extended the existing social distancing guidelines to continue through April on Sunday, which is an about-face from his previous plan resume with business-as-usual by Easter.0comments
"The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end," said on Sunday. "We can expect that by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery, we think by June 1. A lot of great things will be happening. I want our life back."
As of Wednesday night, Johns Hopkins University reports that there have been 216,515 reported cases of coronavirus in the U.S., with 5,119 deaths and 8,593 recoveries. In order to keep yourself and others healthy, wash your hands frequently and remember to disinfect all the high-contact spots in your house and car.