Glacier National Park is taking the first steps to protect visitors and staff members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a Wednesday announcement, park officials said the Apgar Visitor Center and bookstore will be closed until further notice, and visitor information will be provided via “alternative means” at the Apgar Visitor Center Plaza, where there are outdoor bulletin boards.
This time of year, much of Glacier Park is inaccessible, so the National Park Service already provides minimal visitor services and facilities.
However, visitors still come to the park each winter to ski along the closed Going-to-the-Sun Road or to take in the views along Lake McDonald. That access remains, officials said, including roads and parking lots in the Apgar, Lake McDonald and St. Mary areas.
In addition, visitors can still find information at the park headquarters on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Closed for lunch 12-12:30 p.m.) Additional information and current conditions are available on the park’s website.
“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners at Glacier National Park is our No. 1 priority,” park officials said in a written announcement. “The National Park Service is working with the federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We will notify the public when we resume full operations and provide updates on our website and social media channels.”
Park officials asked that visitors “do their part” to prevent spread of the virus by staying a safe distance from other visitors and groups, washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, covering their mouth and nose if they cough or sneeze, and staying home if they feel sick.
High-risk individuals, such as the elderly and people with underlying conditions, “should take extra caution and follow CDC guidance for those at higher risk of serious illness”, the park’s announcement added.