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Yellowstone and COVID-19

It’s springtime and usually that means our national parks – Yellowstone and Grand Teton – are opening up to the public. With the COVID-19 coronavirus, that’s not happening right now.

"We have never closed the park for a pandemic before," said Morgan Warthin, a public affairs spokeswoman for Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park, one of the nation's most visited parks, closed a few weeks ago. The park usually has thousands of people driving, hiking, taking pictures, or something similar, but now it's sitting idle, waiting to open its gates back up as soon as it can.

But in terms of the park reopening, the timeline remains uncertain.

"In terms of how we can safely open up the park, at this point in time, we aren't sure when that will be," Warthin said.

During the pandemic, the park has had to think not how they can get people to the park, but rather how they can get the park to people.

"Yellowstone National Park is thinking about how we provide for visitors," Warthin said. "But at this time, we are thinking about virtual visitors."

Warthin said the park is trying to reach people through educational materials through Facebook Live. She said education park rangers go on Facebook and have their regular lessons they would teach at the park, remotely to anyone who follows the feed.

The park still offers virtual tours as well as opportunities for the Junior Ranger Program.

To see what the park offers virtually, visit

Even in times like these, we can still experience what Yellowstone and these special parks have to offer.