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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee's state parks will remain closed due to the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. 

The announcement Tuesday by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation keeps the 56 parks closed past the previously announced April 14 date to end the closures. 

State officials closed down the parks starting April 4. They have not set a new date to reopen them this time, saying they will closely monitor the pandemic and will notify the public when parks reopen. 

The department says the closure occurred because state parks saw staggering increases in visitor traffic, including from out-of-state visitors, making social distancing difficult.

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