National Park Service aligns its mask policy with new CDC guidelines

The National Park Service is basing its mask policy on local COVID-19 metrics, aligning itself with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NPS announced Friday that masks will no longer be required in parks located in areas that fall into the low or moderate range of the CDC’s recently released “COVID-19 Community Levels” tool. Masks will still be required on all enclosed forms of public transportation.

Roughly 70% of the U.S. population now lives in counties where the coronavirus is posing a low or medium threat to hospitals, according to the CDC.

In areas that the CDC identifies as being in the high COVID-19 community level, masks are required for everyone in all NPS buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

NPS recommends that visitors plan ahead by checking the rules of individual parks.

“Planning ahead has always been an important part of having a great park experience,” NPS Director Chuck Sams said in a news release. “As mask requirements evolve in parks, we want everyone to check the park website before heading out so that you know what to expect when you get there.”

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

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