MDC to close Commission Headquarters, Runge Nature Center to public amid rising COVID-19 concerns

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will close its Commission Headquarters and Runge Conservation Nature Center in Jefferson City to the public beginning Monday, Dec. 14 amid rising COVID-19 concerns. There currently is no timeline on reopening the buildings, but staff will reassess at the beginning of 2021.

While the headquarters office will be closed to general visitors, it will still be staffed. Visitors will only include employees from other office locations who cannot conduct business over the phone or email. Those with official business will need to notify the office in advance to gain access by calling the front desk at 573-751-4115.

Additionally, the Runge Nature Center building in Jefferson City and outdoor restrooms will also close to visitors starting Monday, Dec. 14. However, the nature center’s trails, pavilion, and other outdoor areas will remain open. Outdoor and virtual programs will continue as planned. Participants of in-person, outdoor events will be required to wear face masks and social distance. Natural Events Calendar sales will be available by calling the nature center, paying over-the-phone, and arranging for contactless pick-up. For more information, call Runge Nature Center at 573-526-5544.

The closures come after the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) classified Cole County under the “Extreme Risk” category due to the region’s COVID-19 positivity rate and case rate. The latest county-level positivity rates can be found at https://showmestrong.mo.gov/public-health-county/.

MDC regional teams are currently assessing the temporary closure of regional offices, nature centers, and public contact offices around the state that fall in the “Extreme Risk” category.

The State of Missouri is continuing to host community testing events throughout the state. Missourians can register for these events currently scheduled at  health.mo.gov/communitytest and also continue to check back for future opportunities to be tested at an event nearby.

For more information on MDC or to contact MDC offices, visit MDC online at mdc.mo.gov.

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