Yellowstone National Park Mandates Masks Indoors
Written by Andrew-Rossi on August 2, 2021
As COVID-19 cases continue to creep upwards, Yellowstone National Park has announced changes to protect staff and visitors from the Delta variant.
After months of relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, the highly contagious Delta variant is forcing changes in densely populated areas. While it might be mostly full of wilderness and wildlife, Yellowstone National Park can still find its major attractions extremely crowded.
In the midst of its busiest summer in history, officials at Yellowstone National Park have decided to require masks in its most crowded spaces – indoors and all public and commercial vehicles.
On Friday, July 30, park officials announced the significant change to their COVID-19 protocols on Facebook.
Those five counties are Park and Teton Counties in Wyoming, Park and Gallatin Counties in Montana, and Fremont County in Idaho. All these counties have a high risk of infection. An average of 12 to 20 new cases are confirmed in these counties every day.
Yellowstone opened for its summer season with minimal COVID-19 precautions. In May 2021, masks were only required in the park’s visitor centers and stores.
COVID-19 is doing little to deter visitors this year. Yellowstone recorded historically high visitation in April, May, and June. By the end of June, the park had recorded nearly 1.6 million visits. July’s numbers are expected to be equally high, if not higher.
Significant restrictions were implemented in Summer 2020 to reduce the spread of COVID. When the park opened in mid-May 2020, masks were required in buildings, vehicles, and the more densely crowded boardwalks.
No closures or additional restrictions have been announced – that will depend on the future COVID climate in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.