Ruins visitors

Mark Houser, a volunteer at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, educates visitors about the history of the ancient structures on March 5, 2016, at the monument during the Arizona Archaeology Expo.

COOLIDGE — Casa Grande Ruins National Monument will reopen June 2, according to an announcement made Thursday.

Following recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national monument closed to the public in mid-March as concerns about COVID-19 mounted.

More than two months later, the park is taking steps to reopen. Public access to the park will be phased in over time, with only Compound A and a picnic area reopening on June 2.

Compound A is the section of the park that is most widely visited and includes the Great House and other surrounding ruins. Public restrooms will also be reopened.

Other areas of the monument, such as the visitor center, will remain closed. The park will also adopt new hours for public access as the National Park Service continues to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and follow federal, state and local health guidelines.

The new hours for the national monument are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. No public access will be permitted on Sunday or Monday.

In addition, park officials noted that while some park staff will be available, visitors will primarily have to guide themselves around as part of social distancing measures.

“This is going to be, for the most part, almost no-contact,” said Dave Carney, chief of interpretation and education.

Carney said that if questions arise while at the monument, visitors can call the park’s information desk at (520) 723-3172 for assistance.

The CDC recommends that all national park visitors follow social distancing guidelines, including staying at least 6 feet away from others and avoiding crowded parks while enjoying popular recreation sites.

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