Yellowstone National Park to Open Montana Entrances on Monday
Yellowstone National Park will open its Montana entrances on at 10 a.m. Monday, according to a news release.
'The park entrances in Wyoming opened about two weeks ago, so it’s great that we’ve been able to work with the Governor of Montana to safely restore access to the remaining entrances," U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt said in the news release.
The park has worked with Montana Gov. Steve Bullock as it reopens after being closed to slow the spread of COVID-19, Superintendent Cam Sholly said.
The entrances are the West Entrance near West Yellowstone, Mont., the North Entrance near Gardiner, and the Northeast Entrance near Cooke City.
The reopening coincides with Bullock's lifting out-of-state travel restrictions.
The Grand Loop Road will be accessible for day use excluding the segment between Canyon and Tower, which is closed for road construction.
Starting Monday, visitors will be able to access services and facilities according to the first phase of the reopening plan including restrooms, self-service gas stations, trails, boardwalks, some stores, entrance stations, medical clinics and approved tours.
Some of the services and facilities outlined in the second phase of reopening will be available including takeout food service, boating and fishing.
However, the park will remain day-use only. Limited overnight accommodations will begin reopening later in June.
Campgrounds, visitor centers and other facilities are still closed until health conditions allow for reopening.
The park has implemented significant mitigation efforts:
- Providing additional protective barriers where needed.
- Encouraging the use of masks or facial coverings in high density areas.
- Metering visitor access in certain locations.
- Increasing cleaning frequency of facilities.
- Adding signage on boardwalks and other public spaces.
- Messaging to visitors through a variety of methods.
The park has invested in mitigation measures with its business partners including Xanterra, Delaware North, Yellowstone Park Service Stations, Medcor, and Yellowstone Forever.
The park also has approved 126 commercial use authorizations for local businesses to operate inside the park after reviewing individual COVID-19 mitigation plans submitted by each company.
Yellowstone is working with surrounding states, counties, and businesses to increase testing capacity for COVID-19 symptoms, and has agreed to participate in a COVID-19 surveillance testing pilot project.
Park County, Mont., health officials have begun testing frontline employees and partners with 50 tests this week (viral, not antibody tests). Surveillance testing helps to identify COVID-19 transmission early and allows mitigation actions to be taken before a widespread outbreak occurs.
Visitors should come prepared and follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health guidelines.
People who are sick should stay home and not visit the park.
The National Park Service encourages visitors to #RecreateResponsibly. Photos and posters showing responsible recreation and mitigation measures are available on the park’s Flickr page.
For information and updates about operations, visit the park's website and its social media channels.
Updates about National Park Service operations will be posted on its website.
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