The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that, effective immediately, they are requiring visitors, employees and contractors to wear a mask inside all NPS buildings, as well as crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status or transmission levels.

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This is being done following "guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," according to a release from the National Park Service.

“Visitors to national parks are coming from locations across the country, if not across the world," said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. "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 NPS notes that this requirement will be in effect until further notice, and it applies to all NPS buildings and public transportation systems., as well as "outdoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as narrow or busy trails and overlooks."

This includes Wyoming National Parks, such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

The best way to combat this new mandate, the NPS says, is to get vaccinated.

“Being vaccinated is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of the coronavirus," said 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.   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."

To get the COVID-19 vaccine, individuals can visit vaccine.gov to find the nearest location. Individuals can also text their zip code to 438829 and receive a text with the closest COVID-19 vaccine location.

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