The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has canceled organized in-person events and programs as COVID-19 cases rise, while keeping state parks and forests open for individual and small group usage.

The cancelation, effective Sunday, Dec. 6, affects about 150 planned events, including First Day Hikes on Jan. 1.

“Safety of all our state park and forest visitors always has been paramount with DCNR and we are taking this temporary but necessary action in response to the continuing rise of COVID-19 cases across the state,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Throughout the pandemic we have kept our lands open to all so they enjoy outdoor recreation and the positive physical and mental health it provides. That will not change but we must limit social interaction at this time.”

The DCNR advised visitors to come to parks and forests only with those they live with and to stay 6 feet from other visitors, among other standard COVID-19 practices.

Masks must be worn indoors at all times, including in restrooms, which will remain open. They should also be worn outdoors if visitors cannot stay at least 6 feet away from those outside their group.

The DCNR reminded out-of-state visitors that they must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of coming into Pennsylvania, or quarantine for 14 days. Pennsylvanians who leave and come back must do the same.