Yellowstone National Park Announces Indoor Mask Mandate Over Rising COVID Cases

by Jon D. B.
yellowstone-national-park-announces-indoor-mask-mandate-over-rising-covid-cases

Teton County, one of Yellowstone National Park‘s counties, has the highest COVID case rate in Wyoming, hastening a return to masks.

Per the National Park Service’s COVID-19 regulations, Yellowstone National Park (YELL) is requiring all visitors of 2 years and older wear face masks inside all facilities. The park cites rising COVID-19 cases in Wyoming as their main concern.

Regardless of vaccination status, visitors to Yellowstone will need to mask up indoors. The mandate change comes as NPS continues to implement their mask mandate for all public transit within all their 400+ sites. Yellowstone joins Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemite, and Grand Teton in requiring masks.

Teton County, a county that hosts a portion of Yellowstone National Park, currently has the highest COVID-19 case rate in Wyoming, Mayo Clinic cites. Mayo reports an average of 16 cases per day. This translates to roughly 70 infections for every 100,000 individuals.

Of the 5 total counties Yellowstone sits within, 3 currently hold high COVID community levels, the CDC adds.

Planning to visit the park? Be sure to follow NPS and CDC guidance to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and recreate responsibly.

Yellowstone National Park COVID-19 Guidelines

The following regulations come directly from NPS for Yellowstone:

  • In areas CDC identifies as high COVID-19 community level, masks are required for everyone indoors. This is regardless of vaccination status
    • Indoor areas include, but are not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops, and restaurants
    • In areas CDC identifies as low and medium COVID-19 community level, masks are optional indoors
    • View the current COVID-19 community level of Yellowstone National Park on the park’s current conditions page
  • Masks are still required for everyone on all forms of public and commercial transportation
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If you feel sick, please do not visit the park.
    • Come prepared. NPS parks may limit visitor services as the pandemic continues
    • Also expect wait times at the park entrances
  • Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet (2 m), especially in high-visitation areas (on boardwalks, in visitor facilities, on popular trails, while viewing wildlife, etc.)
    • In addition, follow current local, state, and national health guidance

Yellowstone National Park will continue to modify visitor services to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To stay up to date, check gateway community regulations locally.

In addition, visiting the Yellowstone NPS park website directly before every visit is crucial. The National Park Service app is also an excellent source of current information.

Yellowstone thanks visitors for their patience and cooperation as circumstances change, as does Outsider. Remember, the park may change these regulations at any time as COVID cases fluctuate.

Be safe out there, Outsiders!

Outsider.com