News Release

165 Yellowstone employees test negative for COVID-19 in third round of surveillance tests; Contractor on construction project tests positive outside the park; Update on visitor statistics

Lines of cars at the park's West Entrance.
Lines of vehicles at the West Entrance.

NPS / Jacob W. Frank

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News Release Date: June 17, 2020

Contact: Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WY - For the third week in a row after conducting COVID-19 surveillance testing on Yellowstone employees, all tests came back negative. On June 10, health officials from Park County, Montana, tested 165 employees from the National Park Service and concession companies operating in the park. This brings the total number of employee tests completed in the past 17 days to 387. Moving forward, the park will continue to test employees in partnership with both Montana and Wyoming.

As introduced in the park’s reopening plan, this surveillance testing will continue throughout the summer and target employees who are first responders and/or work directly with the public. More information about the surveillance testing effort is available in the park’s news release from June 4.

Additionally, a contractor working on a construction project in the park has tested positive. The individual reported symptoms at the job site, was isolated, and tested outside of the park. The individual does not live in the park. Contact tracing is being conducted by health officials, who at this point have not identified any close contacts with park employees or visitors. This individual was not tested as part of the Yellowstone employee surveillance testing program. The individual’s privacy will be protected, and no further details will be provided.

"This is why we have developed response protocols with our health experts and have required COVID-19 mitigation/response plans for all contractors," said Superintendent Cam Sholly. "The contractor took the appropriate actions by immediately isolating the employee, sending him for testing, and notifying health officials." 

Visitation Statistics for June 11-16, 2020
  Vehicle counts 2020 percent of 2019 visitation
  June 11-16, 2020 June 11-16, 2019  
Parkwide 39,361 52,320 75%
Wyoming Entrances
(East and South)
13,092 15,064 87%
Montana Entrances
(North, West, Northeast)
26,269 37,256 71%

Last updated: June 17, 2020

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