In a press release yesterday, the National Park Service announced that Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks will be closing with immediate effect, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Officials had been continuously reducing public access to National Park Service sites across the country while promoting social distancing for people who still visited the park sites that remained open, but with many people currently not working, managing those flocking to the open spaces was proving too much.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are announcing modifications to operations at the request of local county health officers from Park County, WY, Park County, MT, Teton County, WY, and Gallatin County, MT. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service-wide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective immediately, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks are closed to all park visitors until further notice. There will be no visitor access permitted to either park. State highways and/or roads that transcend park/state boundaries and facilities that support life safety and commerce will remain open. Both parks will cooperate on the implementation of the closures. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.
“The National Park Service listened to the concerns from our local partners and, based on current health guidance, temporarily closed the parks,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly and Grand Teton Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail. “We are committed to continuing close coordination with our state and local partners as we progress through this closure period and are prepared when the timing is right to reopen as quickly and safely as possible.”
The parks encourage people to take advantage of various digital tools available to learn about Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
Also yesterday, Parks Canada also announced that their parks are now essentially closed by banning all vehicular access, although through-roads remain open.