Grand Canyon National Park closes for COVID-19 precautions

Grand Canyon National Park stock image | St George News

ST. GEORGE — The National Park Service has announced that they will be closing Grand Canyon National Park due to COVID-19 concerns.

The NPS received a letter Wednesday from the health and human services director and chief health officer for Coconino County recommending the full closure of Grand Canyon National Park. Upon receiving this request from the local health department, acting Superintendent Mary Risser, with the support of the NPS Deputy Director of Operations, David Vela and Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, made the decision to immediately close the park until further notice.

“The Department of the Interior and the National Park Service will continue to follow the guidance of state and local health officials in making determinations about our operations,” Bernhardt said in a press release. “As soon as we received the letter from the health and human services director and chief health officer for Coconino County recommending the closure of Grand Canyon National Park, we closed the park.”

The health and safety of park visitors, employees, residents, volunteers and partners at Grand Canyon National Park is the service’s number one priority, according to the release. The NPS has consistently assessed its park units and made modifications to its operations in accordance with CDC, state and local public health guidance, and the NPS will continue to follow the guidance of public health officials in making determinations about our operations to address this pandemic.

The NPS encourages people to take advantage of the many digital tools already available to explore Grand Canyon National Park, including webcams, virtual tours, photo galleries, apps, videos, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter

Updates about NPS operations will be posted on www.nps.gov/coronavirus. Information regarding rescheduling backcountry reservations can be done by contacting grca_bic@nps.gov. Please visit www.nps.gov/grca for specific details about park operations. 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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