The Coconino County Board of Supervisors is urging Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to close Grand Canyon National Park to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The board says the closure is needed for the health and safety of local healthcare providers, residents and visitors. Supervisors are also urging other local and state officials to join them in calling for the park’s closure.
“The Grand Canyon is the crown jewel of parks across the County and country. However, it is important that the park adheres to proven guidance to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” the board wrote in a statement. “Social distancing measures in response to pandemics work. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, closures aimed to reduce the spread of infection have been proven to be extremely effective. Keeping the park open and allowing travelers from all over the world to come here and risk spreading COVID-19 is an unnecessary risk.”
Grand Canyon officials have closed most visitor services but have also suspended fee collection, which many residents fear could attract more visitors.
Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Great Smoky Mountains national park, among others, have also closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.