In a Monday announcement, the National Park Service declared masks would be worn inside NPS buildings and in crowded outdoor areas, "regardless of vaccination status."
NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge said in a statement that "visitors to national parks are coming from locations across the country, if not across the world. Because of this, and recognizing that the majority of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories, we are implementing a service-wide mask requirement to ensure our staff and visitors' safety."
The statement maintained that visitors would wear masks outdoors who encounter "narrow or busy trails and overlooks."
Capt. Maria Said, an epidemiologist in the NPS Office of Public Health, added: "Being vaccinated is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of the coronavirus. Masking in addition to being vaccinated will help prevent the spread of new variants and protect those who are more at risk of severe disease. This simple act of kindness allows us to be safe while we continue to enjoy the benefits of our national parks."
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