Denali National Park in Alaska announced on Friday it will be reinstating a mask mandate in all federal buildings located on park grounds and park buses due to a rise in coronavirus cases.
The mask mandate applies to everyone over the age of two regardless of vaccination status and is required in federal buildings on park grounds, including “park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops, and restaurants,” the Denali National Park and Reserve stated.
Individuals will also be required to wear masks on all park buses, courtesy shuttle buses, and transit and tour buses.
Denali joins five other national parks that recently reimplemented masking requirements, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon, the New York Times reported. Yellowstone reintroduced its mandate this month; the rest reinstated theirs in June.
While there has been a surge in cases in the Denali Borough and nationwide as the new variant Omicron BA.5 takes hold, the Times admitted that the death toll has “fallen significantly since the winter surge.”
After President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, he required all federal agencies to follow CDC guidelines, which included mask mandates in federal buildings on national park grounds. Mask mandates were also required in outdoor settings if social distancing could not be “maintained.”
In March 2022 the CDC allowed localities the option on whether to mandate masks on federal grounds. Denali lifted their mandate shortly afterward, the Times noted.
Denali National Park is located in the interior of Alaska, about 237 miles north of Anchorage. The park’s main attraction is the Denali peak, which is the highest mountain in both the United States and North America, standing at 20,310 feet above sea level.
Breitbart News reported on Friday that Los Angeles County is also considering reinstating a mask mandate due to a surge in cases.