Boating and hiking still popular activities this holiday, despite ongoing pandemic

Local Coronavirus Coverage

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – This Memorial Day weekend looked different because of COVID-19, but that didn’t stop people from enjoying the holiday outdoors.

Despite the pandemic, the usual Memorial Day activities were still in full swing this year. Following an almost two month self-quarantine that closed area businesses and outdoor recreational activities, residents say it’s about time things started getting back to normal.

“I think we’ve quarantined enough it’s time to get back out and just give it a shot,” said Washington County, Tenn. resident Wendy Charles. “You’ve gotta’ try and get back out here.”

While social distancing and the wearing of facial coverings are encouraged, people on the Tweetsie Trail on Monday said they were still following safety guidelines but were not going to stay at home on a beautiful day after being cooped up for so long.

“As long as you maintain certain precautions within reason, I don’t think you have to stay inside your house all the time,” said Kingsport resident Alyson Hull.

Along with packed trails, Watauga Lake was also alive this Memorial Day with plenty of boaters.

Thomas White, the owner of Fish Springs Marina, said this weekend usually kicks off the start of the season, and even with the ongoing pandemic, people were still anxious to get out on the water.

“People have been chomping at the bit to get out here anyway so I think there’s a few less than what I thought would be out here, but it’s been really steady which is really good,” said White.

Some social distancing procedures are in place at the marina, but overall, White feels boating is a safe activity to enjoy during this time.

“As long as you’re coming with your family and people you’re in a household with anyways, I don’t think it’s that big a deal,” White said. “We’re limiting the number of people in the store to three and that way people can still social distance at least in the store.”

The marina is officially in the season and accepting reservations daily.

Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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