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National Parks To Require Masks Indoors, Crowded Outdoor Areas

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The National Park Service mandated Monday that all visitors, employees and contractors must wear a mask inside NPS buildings and in crowded outdoor areas, regardless of vaccination status.

The mask policy applies to all NPS buildings, public transportation systems and outdoor spaces where physical distancing is limited.

The updated mandate is in line with the CDC recommendation and will be in effect until further notice.

"Visitors to national parks are coming from locations across the country, if not across the world. Because of this, and recognizing that the majority of the United States is currently in substantial or high transmission categories, we are implementing a service-wide mask requirement to ensure our staff and visitors' safety," NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge said in a statement.

Capt. Maria Said, an epidemiologist in the NPS Office of Public Health, added, "Masking in addition to being vaccinated will help prevent the spread of new variants and protect those who are more at risk of severe disease. This simple act of kindness allows us to be safe while we continue to enjoy the benefits of our national parks."

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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