In accordance with the White House’s Opening America Up Again guidance and input from public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control, Gulf Islands National Seashore will begin implementing an adaptive recovery plan to increase recreational access to the park in three phases. The dates below were developed by the NPS US Public Health Office through an evaluation of gating criteria for each area based on expected visitation during each phases of the recovery process.
The park is following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities.
As outlined in the White House's Opening Up America Again guidance outlines the following three gating criteria:
Downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses (ILI) reported within a 14-day period -AND- Downward trajectory of covid-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period.
Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period -OR- Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests).
Treat all patients without crisis care -AND- Robust testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers, including emerging antibody testing.
The nationnal seashore has adopted a phased approach to increasing recreational access to park areas and islands:
- On May 1, 2020, Florida areas of the park cleared the gating criteria (listed above) for the first time. Over the next week, the national seashore implemented Phase One; increasing access to several beaches, trails, parking lots, and some restrooms in Florida.
- On May 16, 2020, Florida areas of the park cleared the gating criteria (listed above) for a second time. Between May 16 and May 23, the national seashore implemented Phase Two; further increasing access and services in Florida. At the same time Mississippi areas of the park cleared the gating criteria (listed above) for the first time, and the park began increasing access to Mississippi areas and islands.
- On May 29, 2020, Mississippi areas of the park cleared the gating criteria (listed above) for a second time. The national seashore implemented Phase Two; further increasing access and services in Mississippi.
- Since late May, Florida, Mississippi, and surrounding states have experienced upward trends in one or more of the gating criteria (listed above), and none have cleared the gating criteria for a third time. According to guidance, the park is unable to implement Phase Three of the Adaptive Recovery Plan until the gating criteria is cleared for a third time.
Last updated: July 27, 2020