WASHINGTON, March 4, 2022 – The National Park Service has updated its masking guidance to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new COVID-19 Community Levels tool, which helps communities decide what prevention steps to take. Effective immediately, masking requirements will vary by park based on local conditions; however, masks are still required on all forms of enclosed public transportation. Updates will be posted on individual park websites to help visitors plan their visit and on signs in parks.
In areas CDC identifies as high COVID-19 community level, masks are required for everyone in all NPS buildings, regardless of vaccination status. In most low and medium COVID-19 community level areas, masks are optional, but visitors should follow signs and instructions from park staff and volunteers. Visitors and employees are always welcome to wear a mask if it makes them more comfortable.
“Planning ahead has always been an important part of having a great park experience,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “As mask requirements evolve in parks, we want everyone to check the park website before heading out so that you know what to expect when you get there.”
The NPS continues to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, working closely with the doctors and public health professionals in the NPS Office of Public Health to use the latest science to guide its decision making. According to the CDC, risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 has been greatly reduced by increased vaccination levels, increased population immunity, and the wide availability of treatments. Additional prevention strategies, including vaccination and testing, are effective ways to stay safe.
SOURCE: National Park Press Release