Yellowstone Park officials report 190 negative COVID-19 tests of employees - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Yellowstone Park officials report 190 negative COVID-19 tests of employees

(NPS, Jacob W. Frank)

CASPER, Wyo — 190 Yellowstone employees tested negative for COVID-19 in fourth round of surveillance tests, according to a National Parks Service (NPS) release on June 30. 190 NPS employees and concession operators were tested June 17-18, with assistance from local and state health officials.

“Initially, one concession employee tested positive and was immediately isolated,” the release stated. “The employee was retested twice more, and both tests came back negative. The state health office described the initial test as a ‘false positive’ and the employee has returned to work.”

“According to the county health officer, a small percentage of ‘false positives’ are normal in widespread surveillance testing,” the release added.

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The NPS says it has tested 577 Yellowstone employee since late May. The week of June 22, 162 tests were conducted, and those results are pending. Moving forward, the park will continue to test employees in partnership with Montana and Wyoming.

As introduced in the park’s reopening plan, this surveillance testing will continue throughout the summer and target employees who are first responders and/or work directly with the public. More information about the surveillance testing effort is available in the park’s news release from June 4.

Additionally, the park sampled wastewater systems in Gardiner, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful between June 13 and 16. Lab results indicated 0% prevalence of COVID-19 in those systems at the time they were sampled. Additional samples were taken at Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful between June 27 and 29, which may give the park a better idea of COVID-19 increases due to reopening.

National Parks Service

Visitation Statistics for June 16-29, 2020

Vehicle counts
2020 percent of 2019 visitation

June 16-29, 2020June 16-29, 2019
Wyoming Entrances
(East and South)
Montana Entrances
(North, West, Northeast)