As pandemic worsens, NPS faces growing load of infections

At the National Mall in Washington, at least four National Park Service employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days as the pandemic hit its highest level yet in the nation’s capital.

At Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, officials said they’ve had 28 confirmed cases within the park.

And in California, parks this week once again started closing campgrounds and other facilities in response to restrictions imposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

With the pandemic worsening, NPS is under growing pressure to step up its protections for employees as its caseload grows.

NPS officials have declined to disclose the specific number of cases, citing the privacy of employees, but a public health official told the NPS advisory board in September that about 150 staffers had tested positive since March.

The park service has declined to provide an updated number.

More employees have tested positive this year as most parks have remained open during the pandemic, complying with orders from both President Trump and Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

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