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Health officials urge travelers to stay close to home during Memorial Day weekend

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CLOQUET,MN-- This year's Memorial Day weekend will likely look different than years past.

Carlton County's Public Health and Human Services Department is advising everyone to take precautions if you're hitting the road this weekend.

"As you're traveling, take as few stops on your way to your destination. If you do stop, just make sure you wear a mask and keep your social distance," said Meaghann Levitt, the public information officer for Carlton County's Public Health and Human Services Department.

Levitt adds you should avoid small communities or areas with vulnerable populations to no overwhelm their health care resources, "It will really help slow down the spread and the adverse effects of COVID."

Other precautions include wearing a mask, maintaining proper hand hygiene, and keeping your distance.

While health officials are asking people to take precautions when traveling, they also say the best thing you can do is stay home.

Chris Mcleod said his family will be spending the weekend cleaning out the garage and doing other projects around the house that would otherwise wait until the fall.

"I would say on a normal year we would go camping. With everything going on we're just sticking it around home," he said.

For John Baublitc, he'll be keeping his distance at the family get together, "Barbequing and staying right at home, get our groceries, and get back home."

Meanwhile, others said, they're taking their time getting back into the community, but still maintaining social distancing.

"I was trying to stay away from people at first, now I'm kind of easing myself back into it. But yeah still staying away from people I guess," said Billy Jack Demars.

For those who are traveling, the Boundary Waters will be open to overnight campers.

Most of Minnesota's State Parks are not, but starting Friday, the Department of Natural Resources is opening 75 remote state park campsites.

More are expected to follow on June 1. Meanwhile, all Minnesota State Parks are open for daytime visits.

The Wisconsin DNR is extending its state park campground closures through June 7.

They announced Friday all Wisconsin State Parks will be now open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and some restrooms will reopen.

Emma Quinn

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