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Grand Canyon National Park To Require Masks Inside Federal Facilities

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Officials at Grand Canyon National Park will go back to requiring masks for all individuals inside federal facilities. The new mandate applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff and visitors. The Park cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s notice of substantial community transmission of COVID-19 in Coconino County. Park officials also say there are issues with vaccination progress; 60 percent of scheduled vaccine doses had to be disposed of this week at the Grand Canyon Clinic due to patients failing to attend scheduled appointments.

Tempe and Flagstaff enacted mask mandates in city buildings regardless of people’s vaccination status effective today, while Phoenix’s will take effect nextweek. The mandates will make an exception for children under 6.

Meanwhile, five shuttle bus drivers at Zion National Park in southern Utah have quit over verbal abuse they’ve experienced from visitors angry about mask requirements on board. That’s according to the park’s superintendent. Zion is the third-most visited national park in the nation, and visitation is only increasing. The shuttle buses are the only vehicles allowed on the road through the main canyon during the busy season.  While mask mandates have been lifted in the rest of the state, face coverings are still required on the federally run shuttle buses. The park is working with the gateway town of Springdale to provide messaging on the mask mandate so incoming tourists will know the rules up front.

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