Yellowstone National Park‘s visitors and employees have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). The county has also seen a major surge in cases.
Yellowstone National Park and Coronavirus
On July 28, two concession stand workers at Yellowstone National Park tested positive for the virus. Additionally, three visitors tested positive as well. The cases came just after the park reopened to the public. Health officials say that the workers and visitors likely contracted the virus outside the park.
George Larson, United States Public Health Officer, George Larson said that a “limited number of cases” appeared in different locations throughout the national park.
“Currently, there is no indication of any type of community spread in the park although we are monitoring it very closely,” Larson said in a press release.
To monitor the spread, the park is testing wastewater samples for the next year.
The great news is that the nearly 1,400 coronavirus tests that were conducted on employees over the last two months have all returned negative. The park tested the employees to make sure that no one was asymptomatic.
Yellowstone County’s COVID-19 Updates
Unfortunately, Yellowstone County last week had 50% of COVID-19 cases in the state of Montana. At the time of this article’s publication, there have been 1,792 in the county. The county has seen 35 deaths while Montana overall has seen 90.
“As we all recognize, the situation has changed substantially over just the last several days,” Yellowstone County health officer, John Felton told KTVQ News. From the week of August 16 through the 22nd, the county added 269 cases, an average of 38 new cases daily.
Visiting Yellowstone National Park
Anything can change at a moment’s notice at any national park due to health codes. “All opening and closing dates are subject to change based on future conditions and public health guidance,” the website reads. “We will continue to evaluate and adapt to changing COVID-19 guidance and adjust operations as needed.”
As of now, numerous closures will take place through the end of 2020. Scenic cruises, bear spray kiosk, M66 Grill, Falls Cafe, Ice Creamery, Canyon Yellowstone Adventure Store, Post Office are all closed.
Additional closures include Fishing Bridge RV Park, Lake Medical Clinic, Indian Creek Campground, Mammoth Campground, and all of Norris Geyser Basin.
The Canyon Visitors Education Center is closed and does not have an estimated re-opening date.