The owner of the Huntington/Fox Fire KOA Holiday in Milton, W. Va., thinks Gov. Jim Justice’s order shutting down privately owned campgrounds in West Virginia is a mistake.

The owner of a campground in Milton, W. Va., thinks the governor’s order Tuesday (March 31) shutting down privately owned campgrounds in West Virginia is a mistake, according to The Herald-Dispatch.

“I received an email from someone who wrote from their iPhone, ‘Walmart was slammed at 7 a.m. this morning with out of staters. Shameful!,’” said Brent Andrews, owner of the Huntington/Fox Fire Kmapgrounds of America (KOA) Holiday in Milton.

Andrews says the emailer meant the Walmart parking lot was slammed with RVs from travelers who have no place to park because campgrounds are being closed to all new arrivals by out-of-state residents.

“Where do people think these RVers belong? These RVers need a safe place to stay for the night or week or longer,” Andrews said. “Big-box shopping center parking lots are not where RVers need to spend the night. That’s not safe at all.”

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice explained how the campground shutdown will work during his Tuesday briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak.

“If you are now residing in a private campground, you are good to go. If you’ve been there for over two weeks and you have quarantined yourself, we’re good to go,” Justice said. “If you are a new arrival, we are shut down to you.”

Andrews says he doesn’t believe the governor understands just how many RVs there are and how they can serve a critical role during a national emergency.

“I understand the immense strain that the COVID-19 outbreak is placing on our health care system. Given concerns about hospital capacity, I believe RV parks and campgrounds especially can play a vital role as traveling medical personnel, families and americans in between homes utilize RV parks and campgrounds as their only source of temporary accommodations,” Andrews said.

“For RVers who are using their own RVs as shelter to self-isolate during this health crisis, it is equally important for them to have a place to stay in order for them to comply with CDC guidelines,” he added. “These RVers have the ability to be completely self-sufficient within their RV, but only if they have a place with full hookups, including water, sewer, and electric, to park during the crisis. Without RV parks and campgrounds operating as ‘essential businesses,’ these RVers will be parking anywhere, which will only exacerbate the current health crisis.”

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