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After being closed over a year, River Forks Park on Lanier is reopening
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River Forks Park is located on Lake Lanier at 3500 Keith Bridge Road. - photo by Austin Steele

The day-use and beach areas at Hall County’s River Forks Park are reopening soon.

The areas of the park on Lake Lanier at 3500 Keith Bridge Road closed seasonally in the fall of 2019, but as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the following spring, they never reopened.

“As vaccinations increase and as we learn more about the way this virus is transmitted, we feel now is the right time to reopen this feature of our park system,” Hall County Administrator Jock Connell said in a statement. “We are encouraged by the current COVID-19 data for our community; however, we will continue to consult with local health officials and follow state and federal guidelines in order to make sure we are providing our citizens with a safe environment to enjoy Hall County’s natural resources.”

The beach and day-use area will open May 1 and be limited to 350 patrons at any given time and social distancing will be encouraged. River Forks Park averages roughly 58,000 visitors per year.

Hall County spokesperson Katie Crumley told The Times the county will continue to monitor recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, White House and the state of Georgia before making further decisions to reopen facilities or resume other activities made dormant during the pandemic.

“Some rental opportunities and programming at community centers have not fully resumed, and officials will continue to evaluate those and other operations moving forward,” she said. “Any changes in operations will be communicated to the public as that information becomes available.”

On April 28, the CDC issued some COVID-19 health recommendations for fully vaccinated Americans, stating that fully vaccinated people can be unmasked at small outdoor gatherings or when dining outside with friends from multiple households. 

Unvaccinated people should still adhere to mask-wearing and social distancing protocols, according to the CDC.

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine dose or at least two weeks past the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

As of April 29, 26% of Hall County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 19% fully vaccinated.