State to close state parks, including Diamond Head, as coronavirus pandemic worsens

State to close state parks, including Diamond Head, as coronavirus pandemic worsens
Diamond Head, in a photo taken earlier in 2020. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii authorities are closing state parks across the islands, including all of those on Oahu, in response to the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

The closures will have varying impacts on all functions within the Department of Land and Natural Resources. In addition to the park closures, state officials say they are canceling hunts, camping and special use permits for state-managed areas.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding during this time of major inconvenience," said department chair Suzanne Case. “We intend to reopen parks and facilities as soon as the novel coronavirus is no longer a threat.”

"These steps are being taken to protect all visitors and constituents, as well as our staff, while maintaining a high level of service,” she added.

The following parks are impacted by the state’s announced closures:

  • Hawaii Island   
    • Akaka Falls State Park
    • Kekaha Kai State Park
    • Wailoa River State Recreation Area
    • Wailuku River State Park
    • Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area
    • Kiholo State Park Reserve
  • Kauai
    • All State Parks, Recreational Piers, Wilderness Parks and Historic Parks
  • Maui
    • Iao Valley State Monument
    • Waianapanapa State Park
    • Kaumahina State Wayside
    • Puaa Kaa State Wayside
    • Makena State Park
    • Polipoli State Recreational Area
  • Molokai:
    • Palaau State Park
  • Oahu:
    • All State Parks, Monuments, Waysides, Lookouts, Historical Sites and Recreation Areas

Additionally, state offices at DOCARE, DOBOR and the Division of Aquatic Resources are closed to in-person access. Permit applications are still being accepted by mail or electronic submission, the state says.

“The health and safety of our staff serving the public and the safety of the community is our highest priority,” said Case. "We continue working very closely with other state agencies and will provide updates about any additional closures or restrictions that might be necessary to keep everyone safe.”

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