Closure Order #20-008

W22 (HAFE-VRP)
Closure Order # [20-008]
March 18, 2020

Closures, restrictions and public use limits:

Closure Order – Portion of a Park Area: Under the authority provided to the Superintendent in 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1)-(2), the follow park areas and facilities are closed, effective immediately, until further notice:
  • Harpers Ferry Park Association (Cooperating Association)
Authority: 36 CFR 1.5(a)(1)-(2)
Notice: This administrative order applies to all individuals subject to the regulatory authority of the National Park Service (NPS) within the boundaries of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, including park visitors, government employees, concession employees, park residents and stakeholders, except as follows:

Finding: The NPS issues this administrative order for the purposes of maintaining public health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. This order is consistent with the following local/state/federal public health directives:
  • Corporation of Harpers Ferry, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia: Parking Closures: March 27, 2020: Following Governor Jim Justice’s orders, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Mayor, Recorder and Town Council are requesting the immediate closure of all parking lots operated and maintained by the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park within the corporate boundaries of the Corporation of Harpers Ferry.
  • Jefferson County West Virginia Board of Health, Order of April 5, 2020. Whereas, Executive Order 20-20 mandates further action by the Health Departments in the Eastern Panhandle; The Jefferson County Health Department hereby ORDERS the following additional All persons shall shelter-in-place to the greatest extent possible, leaving their homes and places of abode for essential purposes only, which purposes shall include but, are not limited to, essential employment at essential businesses and operations (as defined in Executive Order 9-20) restrictions to apply to all persons and businesses within the boundary of Jefferson County. Gatherings of people shall be limited to no more than 5 persons and social distancing among people shall be no closer than 6 feet. All essential businesses and operations which remain open to the public (as defined in Executive Order 9-20) shall observe protocols to be established, communicated to such entities, and published by the Jefferson County Health Department.
  • State of West Virginia, Executive Order No. 9-20, effective as of 8:00PM on March 24, 2020. 1. Stay at home or your place of residence, 2. Non-essential businesses and operations must temporarily cease operations. 3. Essential businesses and operations shall continue to operate. 4. Prohibited activities. 5. Avoid social gatherings. 6. Intent of this order: The intent of this Order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible. 7. Enforcement. 8. Duration. This provision of the Order, and all previous executive orders relating to COVID-19, are effective until terminated by subsequent executive order.
  • State of West Virginia, Executive Order No. 20-20, April 4, 2020, for the counties of Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan, the following provisions of Executive Order 9-20 are hereby amended. Section 1, subparagraph g is hereby deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following: “g Engaging in outdoor activity, provided that individuals at all times and as much as reasonable possible maintain social distancing for six feet from one another and abide by a 5-person limitation on gathering size”
  • State of Maryland, Executive Order-Prohibiting Large gatherings and events and closing senior center, proclaimed on March 5, 2020 in an effort to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 with the state. Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure and sporting gatherings and events of more than 250 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions and fundraisers.
  • State of Maryland, Executive Order-Amending and restating the order of March 12, 2020, prohibiting large gathering and events and closing senior center, and additionally closing bars, restaurants, fitness centers and theaters. “Prohibiting Large Gathering and Events and Closing Senior Center” is amended and restated in its entirety as set forth herein. Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure and sporting gatherings and events of more than 50 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions and fundraisers.
  • State of Maryland, Executive Order-Number 20-03-19-01, Amending and restating the order of March 16, 2020 prohibiting large gathering and events and closing senior center and additionally closing various other establishment. Dated March 12, 2020, entitled “Prohibiting Large Gathering and Events and Closing Senior Center” as amended on March 16, 2020 and entitled “Amending and restating the order of March 12, 2020” Prohibiting Large Gathering and Events and Closing Senior Center and Additional closing Bars, Restaurants, Fitness Centers and Theaters, is further amended and restated in its entirety as set forth herein. Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions and fundraisers.
  • State of Maryland, Executive Order-Number 20-03-23-01, Amending and restating the order of March 19, 2020, prohibiting large gathering and events and closing senior centers and additionally closing all non-essential Businesses and other establishments. Prohibiting large gatherings and events and closing senior centers and additionally closing all non-essential businesses and other establishments.
  • State of Maryland, Executive Order-Number 20-03-30-01, Amending and restating the order of March 23, 2020 prohibiting large gathers and events and closing senior centers, and all non-essential businesses and other establishments and additionally requiring all persons to stay at home. The Order of the Governor of the State of Maryland, dated March 12, 2020, entitled “Prohibiting Large Gatherings and Events and Closing Senior Centers,” as amended and restated on March 16, 2020, and further amended and restated on March 19, 2020 by Order Number 20-03-19-01, and further amended and restated on March 23, 2020 by Order Number 20-03-29-01, is further amended and restated in its entirety as set forth herein.
  • State of Virginia, Executive Order, #51 (2020), Declaration of a state of emergency due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) This Executive Order shall be effective March 12, 2020, and shall remain in full force and in effect until June 10, 2020 unless sooner amended or rescinded by further executive order.
  • State of Virginia, Executive Order, #53( 2020), In furtherance of Executive Order 51 temporary restrictions on restaurants, recreational, entertainment, gatherings, non-essential retail businesses, and closure of K-12 school due to novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Effective 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 until 11:59 p.m., Thursday, April 23, 2020, all public and private in person gatherings of 10 or more individuals are prohibited.
  • State of Virginia, Executive Order, #55(2020), Temporary stay at home Order due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). To reinforce the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19 and in furtherance of Executive Orders 51 (March 12, 2020) and 53 (March 23, 2020). This Executive Order shall be effective March 30, 2020, amends Amended Order of the Governor and State Health Commissioner Declaration of Public Health Emergency, Order of Public Health Emergency One and Executive Order 53, and shall remain in full force and in effect until June 10, 2020, unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.
  • CDC guidance on 6ft distance between people. CDC recommendation of frequent hand washing. Local, County and State entities are using CDC guidance and recommendations and closing public buildings. For example, churches, libraries, bars and restaurants and other public gathering sites are using an “abundance of caution” and closing.
  • DOI COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Supervisor's Guide Phase 2b Actions includes the following: Cancel any large public gatherings or visitor services that confine a large group (10 or more) in a small confined area where people need to be closer than 6 ft. apart to participate. Locally multiple closures have occurred to avoid close contact of people.

These directives require the NPS to take the actions identified above because:
  • The park receives visitors of all ages including older adults year-round. Because of the interpretive themes and recreational opportunities available, the park is appealing to all demographics.
  • The bookstore is one of the most visited locations in the park with multiple visitors enclosed in a tight space.
  • Operations of the Bookstore presents a hazard to both employee and visitors with lack of social distancing. Unavoidable close contact of less than 6 ft. in the exchange of information, and frequent exchange of money, credit cards, and merchandise. The average time spent in the bookstore is 30 min depending on customer interest, which increases the probability of exposure to the virus.
  • Proximity and inability to disinfect this space continuously poses public safety risk. The historic building has closed in space because of the bookshelves and small rooms prevent visitors from being six feet from each other. Disinfection of space cannot be guaranteed. There is also a risk of multiple visitors handling sales items that cannot be disinfected without causing damage to stock and supplies.
  • The bookstore is managed by the Harpers Ferry Park Association. This partner organization of the park has decided to close based on CDC guidance.


This order is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. The effectiveness of this order will be assessed on an ongoing basis and will be modified or removed when conditions warrant.

Approval:
/s/ H. Tyrone Brandyburg
Superintendent

Date:
March 18, 2020

Last updated: April 21, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
National Park Service
PO Box 65

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

Phone:

(304) 535-6029

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