EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced the closure of all state parks and historic sites - including El Paso's Franklin Mountains State Park.
"We believe this is the best course of action right now in order to meet the health and safety expectations the state has set out for the citizens of Texas,” said Carter Smith, executive director of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The closures will go into effect at the end of the day on Tuesday.
"Social distancing is our best tool to curb the spread of Covid-19 and save lives," Abbott said in a statement. "The temporary closure of our state parks and historic sites will help us achieve this goal by preventing the gathering of large groups of people. I urge all Texans to continue to stay at home except for essential services as we respond to Covid-19."
All El Paso city and county parks were closed after the updated "Stay home, Work Safe" order went into effect last week.
Hiking on the Franklin Mountains had been highly discouraged by local leaders, but not banned until now.