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National Park Service Requiring Masks Indoors, in Crowds

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Everyone attending a United States National Park is currently required to wear a mask when inside or in crowded outdoor spaces.

The National Park Service updated its COVID-19 mask policy Monday with a press release that said all visitors, employees and contractors are required to wear a mask inside all NPS buildings, public transportation systems and outdoor spaces where physical distancing can’t be maintained. The new policy applies regardless of an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status.

“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,” NPS deputy director Shawn Benge said in the release.

Maria Said, an epidemiologist in the NPS Office of Public Health, said that “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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