Grand Canyon Closes After Reports Of Positive COVID-19 Case In Staff

The Grand Canyon is the latest national park to close to help stop the spread of the virus.
Posted at 2:38 PM, Apr 02, 2020

Grand Canyon National Park is no longer allowing visitors as the popular tourist park closed indefinitely over the coronavirus.

The Grand Canyon issued the announcement Wednesday night saying the park would remain closed "until further notice." 

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the decision to close the park was made after the Health and Human Services Director and Chief Health Officer for Coconino County, Arizona sent over the recommendation. It came after officials were made aware of a positive coronavirus case in the area. Fox News reports the positive case is a park employee.

The Grand Canyon's statement read in part, "The health and safety of park visitors, employees, residents, volunteers, and partners at Grand Canyon National Park is the Service's number one priority."

But the Navajo Nation and local governments in Arizona had been requesting for days for the park to close to lessen the spread of COVID-19.

The tribe's president said, "We are experiencing constant traffic through Navajo communities, and we simply cannot afford any additional outbreaks among our Navajo people."

Many other national parks have closed amid the pandemic including Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Great Smoky Mountains after parks saw an increase in visitors not following social distancing orders.