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Masks back on in national park

Masks are returning to the Skyline Drive.

Citing high community transition rates of COVID-19 in and around the Shenandoah National Park, officials say they will follow National Park Service policy and CDC guidance by requiring face masks be worn in all Shenandoah National Park buildings.

The ruling takes effect Monday, August 22, 2022.

“We monitor local community levels and respond when transmission levels are high,” Park Superintendent Pat Kenney said. “The trigger to require masking is when the majority of the counties that the park resides in move into high transmission status.”

The CDC community levels are released weekly and adjustments in requirements will be made accordingly, he said.

Officials said the change means all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, while in common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service.

That includes park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops, and restaurants.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Kenney encouraged visitors to check the park website,, before visiting for the latest information about current conditions.

Visitors to the park are asked to follow signs and instructions from park staff and volunteers.


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