COVID-19 Updates


Delaware State Parks Covid-19 Preparations and Response

Delaware State Parks staff understand that our natural resources are a vital means for the public to recreate and exercise. We are doing our best to keep our parks open, safe, and accessible for all visitors.


Important Notice

Due to the surge in coronavirus cases driven by the omicron variant, while most state parks, nature and wildlife areas will continue to stay open, the following closures and reductions in hours will be in effect through the end of January due to current or anticipated staffing shortages:

  • The Brandywine Zoo will reduce its open hours to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Public restroom facilities in state parks and reserves will close starting next week. Portable toilets will be available for visitors in place of the public restrooms. Campground restrooms will remain open.
  • State park offices will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Nature centers, interpretive centers, museums, and the St. Jones Reserve visitor center will be closed starting Monday, Jan. 3, 2022
  • The Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center will continue to operate with reduced days and hours by appointment only. Details are available at de.gov/ommelanden.
  • Indoor programs will either be held virtually or canceled. Outdoor programming and volunteering will continue. Restrictions may apply to outdoor programs. For questions regarding specific programs, contact the office at the park or location where the program is scheduled.
  • First Day Hikes will still occur on Saturday and will have a self-check-in option at each park.
  • Mandatory in-person hunter education field days in January will continue, but with fewer students in smaller groups.

Current Status

Visiting the Parks

  • Daily entry fees or passes are required for entrance to Delaware State Parks.Visitors without a state park annual pass must pay the daily fee via automated credit card machines, at manned fee booths, or using self-registration fee envelopes, depending on the location. Visitors are encouraged to purchase an annual pass to avoid anticipated delays for daily entrance payments. See the Pass and Permit Sales section below for information about annual passes.

Beach Activities and Swimming

  • Beach Activities
    • At Cape Henlopen, when the main gate is closed to additional vehicles based on parking lot capacity, the closure will include vehicles that have arrived at the park for drive-on surf fishing as well.
    • Beach-area bathrooms and bathhouses are open.
    • Sunbathing, swimming, picnicking, surfing, kayaking, walk-on surf fishing and other activities have resumed. Masks or face coverings are required in bathhouse and concession areas and strongly encouraged on the beach as well.
    • Officers may close drive-on surf-fishing beaches to additional surf-fishing vehicles when the carrying capacity to implement social distancing is not possible.

    • Visit our COVID-19 Surf-Fishing FAQ page for answers to your questions about temporary surf-fishing restrictions currently in effect.

Camping, Picnic and Pavilion Reservations

  • Campsites, cabins, cottages, and yurts are open. All cabins and cottages are sanitized by a professional cleaning service between rentals.
  • Picnic areas and pavilions are open and available for reservations. Groups may not exceed 50 people.
  • Refunds and reservation cancellations are processed by the Delaware State Parks reservation vendor. Additional questions can be handled at the call center at 877-98 PARKS (877-987-2757).

Education, Programs and Events

  • Nature Centers and Programs
    • Nature centers and interpretive centers are open, although some may have limited hours or services.
    • Tickets for many programs are now able to be reserved online. View all upcoming programs and learn how to register here.
    • In accordance with Governor Carney's Mask Requirement and CDC guidance, face coverings are required for all individuals, regardless of vaccine status, during all programs and while visiting nature centers, interpretive sites and museums. Children younger than 2 years old should not wear masks due to risk of suffocation.
    • If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you are not able to participate in any Delaware State Parks program:
      1. In the last 14 days, have you (if unvaccinated) been exposed (Within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) to someone that recently tested positive for Covid-19?
      2. In the last 48 hours, have you had any of the following symptoms?
        • Fever of 100.4 F or above (or symptoms like alternating shivering and sweating)
        • New cough
        • New trouble breathing, shortness of breath or severe wheezing
        • New chills or shaking with chills
        • Sore throat
        • Vomiting or diarrhea
        • New loss of smell or taste, or a change in taste
        • Nausea
        • Fatigue
        • Headache, congestion or runny nose with no other known cause (such as allergies)
    • Visit our Virtual Programming page for self-guided hikes, online video programs featuring Delaware State Parks naturalists and interpreters, and coloring book pages for the kids to help you stay active and informed!

Volunteering

Effective October 11, 2021, the State of Delaware requires all volunteer staff to provide certification of COVID vaccination or COVID weekly testing. Volunteer staff includes all Delaware State Parks Internship Program interns, Volunteer Campground Hosts, and scheduled program docents. Please contact the Volunteer and Community Involvement Office for additional information.

In accordance with Governor Carney's Mask Requirement and CDC guidance, face coverings are required for all individuals, regardless of vaccine status, during indoor programs and while visiting nature centers, interpretive sites and museums. Children younger than 2 years old should not wear masks due to risk of suffocation.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you are not able to participate in any Delaware State Parks program:

  1. In the last 14 days, have you (if unvaccinated) been exposed (Within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) to someone that recently tested positive for Covid-19?
  2. In the last 48 hours, have you had any of the following symptoms?
    • Fever of 100.4 F or above (or symptoms like alternating shivering and sweating)
    • New cough
    • New trouble breathing, shortness of breath or severe wheezing
    • New chills or shaking with chills
    • Sore throat
    • Vomiting or diarrhea
    • New loss of smell or taste, or a change in taste
    • Nausea
    • Fatigue
    • Headache, congestion or runny nose with no other known cause (such as allergies)

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Delaware, visit coronavirus.delaware.gov/.

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