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WOW: GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK CLOSED AMID PANDEMIC

The Grand Canyon has closed indefinitely to visitors as of today, joining other national parks seeking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.’
The staff at the park had been shutting down visitor services a little at a time as the federal government initially rebuffed its request to shutter completely. 

The park’s restrooms, a grocery store and bank at Grand Canyon Village was still being accessed by visitors Tuesday.

At the recommendation of a local health official, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt approved the park’s request, as they feared keeping the park open put employees, residents and tourists at risk.

The concern was due in part to a report that a  resident had tested positive for COVID-19 and spent time in isolation.  The resident had worked at a lodge run by a concessionaire. 

“It is a relief to a lot of people in the park and community members,” Grand Canyon spokeswoman Joelle Baird said. 
 
The closure includes a state highway that runs through the park’s South Rim entrance and the East Rim entrance and the East Rim on to the Navajo reservation.  The road will be open to local traffic only.

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