Alaska News

Masks again required in Denali National Park buildings and buses

denali, visitors, tourism, covid, pandemic, national park, summer, face masks

Starting Friday, Denali National Park and Preserve will require everyone inside federal buildings in the park or riding a park bus to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, the park said this week.

Everyone over age 2 must wear a snug-fitting mask over their nose and chin in areas like common spaces, shared workspaces, visitor centers, lodges, gift shops and restaurants that are owned, leased or controlled by the park.

Those riding buses and shuttles operated by the park’s concessionaire, Doyon/Aramark Joint Venture, need to be masked also, the park said. Masks are required inside federal buildings when COVID-19 levels are considered high, which they are in both the Denali Borough, per federal policy, the park said in a statement.

Masks are not required at the Walter Harper Ranger Station in Talkeetna, since the COVID-19 community level in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is currently medium, not high.

Alaska had the second-highest seven-day case rate per 100,000 people by Wednesday in the U.S., and saw 3,323 new cases reported over a weeklong period, according to the latest data from the state’s health department.

“Park service facilities go to full masking wherever community transmission is high automatically,” said Peter Christian, a public information officer for the Alaska region of the National Park Service.

Other parks in the state, including Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Sitka National Historical Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and Western Arctic National Parklands all have mask requirements as well, Christian said.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Mat-Su COVID-19 levels were high, based on information from the National Park Service.