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News for September 28, 2022

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Brings Back Mask Mandate in All Park Buildings

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee) officials are once again requiring visitors to wear masks inside the park.

As per a report, the new mandate comes at a time when the CDC sees an increase in cases of COVID-19 in various East Tennessee counties.

On Wednesday, park officials announced through its website that they would require masks in all public facilities everywhere. 

“Consistent with CDC guidance regarding areas of substantial or high transmission, visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask inside all park buildings,” the announcement reads.

The Tennessee counties surrounding the park include Blount, Cocke, and Sevier. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are classified as high-risk zones. Additionally, Knox County is also a high transmission zone.

The announcement emphasized that masks are required regardless of the vaccination status.

Since the NPS federal mask mandate was reversed earlier this year, public lands managers delegated the authority to make decisions based on site-level conditions, according to Dana Soehn, management assistant for the National Park Service.

“We will continue to monitor community transmission levels, and if rates fall back to medium or low for Blount and Sevier Counties for seven consecutive days, we will remove the masking requirement,” NPS said in their statement.

Great Smoky Mountains park officials first implemented the mask requirement within the park in January 2021. It was dropped a few months later. However, it returned in August 2021 as cases of the Omicron variant began to appear.

For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm.

This story originally appeared on Outsider

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Great Smoky Mountains National Park Brings Back Mask Mandate in All Park Buildings! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/tennessee/great-smoky-mountains-national-park-brings-back-mask-mandate-in-all-park-buildings/