Ongoing testing of Yellowstone employees yields no positive cases of COVID-19

Photo By: Ron Richter

After conducting COVID-19 surveillance testing on Yellowstone employees for the second week in a row, all tests have come back negative, according to a news release from the National Park. 

On June 4-5, health officials from Park County, Montana, tested 179 employees from the National Park Service and concession companies operating in the park. This brings the total number of employees tested in the past 10 days to 222. Moving forward the park will continue to test employees in partnership with both Montana and Wyoming.  

As introduced in the park’s reopening plan, the surveillance testing will continue throughout the summer and target employees who are first responders and those who work directly with the public.  

Additionally, the park sampled wastewater systems in Gardiner, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful between May 18-26. Lab results indicated 0% prevalence of COVID-19 in those systems during those time frames. Additional samples will be taken on June 13 and 15, which will give the park a better idea of COVID-19 increases due to reopening.   

“I want to thank the states of Wyoming and Montana and our county health officials for partnering with us to increase surveillance testing capacity,” superintendent Cam Sholly said. “This proactive testing is the only way for us to detect cases early and respond quickly to any employees who have the virus.”  

Visitation for Wyoming Entrances (June 1-10) 

Vehicle traffic from June 1-10 of the Wyoming entrances (East and South) was 67% of the traffic for the same dates for those entrances in 2019. The park recorded 14,728 vehicles through the Wyoming entrances June 1-10, 2020, versus 22,139 vehicles on June 1-10, 2019. 

Visitation for Montana Entrances (June 1-10) 

Vehicle traffic entering the Montana entrances (North, West, and Northeast) on June 1-10 was 49% of the same days in 2019. The park recorded 27,347 vehicles through the Montana entrances June 1-10, 2020, versus 56,051 vehicles on June 1-10, 2019. 

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