WASHINGTON (KDVR) — The National Park Service announced all visitors, employees and contractors are required to wear a mask in indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status or community transmission levels.
“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.
Public transportation systems within the parks are included for mask requirement. The outdoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained, include narrow or busy trails and overlooks.
“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,” Capt. Maria Said, MD, an epidemiologist in the NPS Office of Public Health and a member of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps said.
Officially, Colorado has four national parks, and 13 sites managed by the National Parks Service. The largest attractions are Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde and Black Canyon of the Gunnison.