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Florida Parks, Florida Keys Closed Due To Coronavirus Concerns

All Florida state parks, like the Little Manatee River State Park, are temporarily closed effective Monday because of the coronavirus.
All Florida state parks, like the Little Manatee River State Park, are temporarily closed effective Monday because of the coronavirus.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is closing all state parks to the public effective Monday.

In , which came Sunday night, department officials said they tried to keep the parks open with limited operating hours and reduced visitor capacity at the most popular parks.

However, they say that still didn't provide the reductions to best slow the spread of COVID-19.

Also, Monroe County officials in the Florida Keys decided to close the Florida Keys to all tourists and leisure visitors. That includes shutting down hotels and other visitor facilities, effective Sunday evening.

The only exception is for long-term renters in vacation homes and recreational vehicle parks with contracts of 28 days or more, who are already in the Keys. Those people are allowed to remain there until their contracts end.

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Mark Schreiner has been the producer and reporter for "University Beat" on WUSF 89.7 FM since 2001 and on WUSF TV from 2007-2017.