State parks are stepping up to serve a useful purpose amid the coronavirus outbreak. On March 9, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced that one acre of Hard Labor Creek State Park would function as a place for isolating and monitoring coronavirus patients. Similarly, three Louisiana parks have been designated as quarantine zones where patients are brought to allow them to recover from the virus, away from more vulnerable members of society.
As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020, two of Louisiana’s three quarantine parks were empty, but at Bayou Segnette State Park, around 10 patients were currently staying in cabins floating on the wetlands. There are 16 cabins and 98 RV sites in total, all of which were evacuated on March 14 after the decision was made to use the area as a quarantine zone. Bayou Segnette is intended to be used by those awaiting their coronavirus test results, and who cannot be sent home due to concerns about infecting people at risk. If test results are negative, they will be sent home; if positive, they will be held until cleared by a medical professional.
Joey Camp, a Waffle House cook and National Guard veteran, was the first patient to take up residence in Georgia’s Hard Labor Creek State Park. After testing positive for the virus and a four-day hospital stint, he was relocated to an RV trailer in the park for seven days until his symptoms cleared.
“It was just like an extended camping trip,” Camp told Outside.
Once Camp was sent home, another patient took his spot. There are currently seven RVs in Hard Labor Creek State Park to accommodate patients.