Mask wearing will be a requirement at US Army Corps of Engineers recreation areas like Percy Priest Lake this summer. While it may sound unreasonable to hikers, the requirement is to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The masks must be worn in Corps buildings, facilities, and on lands or recreation areas managed by the Corps.
In a release sent to WGNS Radio, masks can only be taken off if physical distancing requirements can be met. However, when hiking on trails or visiting sites that may be popular or crowded – mask will be required.
At places like Center Hill Lake and Percy Priest Lake, visitors actively engage in water-related activities, which can impede your mask wearing ability. While in the water, visitors can temporarily forgo wearing masks.
Activities where masks are not required may include swimming, waterskiing, riding on a wave runner, kayaking and other boating related activities that – according to the Army Corps of Engineers - present a clear and immediate risk of the mask becoming wet. But when in the water or while boating, the Corps reports that physical distancing must always be maintained whenever possible.
The Corps, which is under the federal government, announced their mask wearing requirements to comply with President Biden’s Executive Order on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, which was issued on January 20, 2021.
Throughout the summer this year, the Corps will continuously evaluate facility capacity limits and implement measures to adjust the density of visitors in buildings, recreation areas, and other areas prone to crowding. Areas where crowding impedes physical distancing will be evaluated for closure or modification of operating procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Learn more about US Army Corps of Engineers managed areas in Tennessee HERE.