Stay out of caves for now

May 23, 2020

The Virginia Cave Board has released a statement, citing Gov. Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 61, discouraging caving during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement cites likely breaks in social distancing guidelines and potential for human-to-bat transmission of COVID-19 among other hazards present in caves and during caving.

While the executive order eases restrictions on campgrounds and other businesses, social distancing guidelines are still in place and must be maintained. Caves have poor ventilation and tight, enclosed spaces that make compliance with these guidelines difficult among members of a caving team.

The statement notes that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has temporarily closed access to caves on agency land due to the possibility of human-to-bat transmission of COVID-19.