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COVID-19 concerns prompt closure of Old Faithful Snow Lodge
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COVID-19 concerns prompt closure of Old Faithful Snow Lodge

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Yellowstone

Old Faithful Snow Lodge provides rooms during the winter months.

The Old Faithful Snow Lodge is closing Tuesday due to COVID-19 concerns, resort management company Xanterra announced Saturday.

An announcement was made last week that the lodge would not be open this winter for overnight stays but would remain open for food service and the gift shop.

Saturday's announcement posted to the lodge website went further, saying that "Due to recent incidences of COVID-19 sourced in the Old Faithful area, and out of an abundance of caution, we will close our Old Faithful Snow Lodge operations on Tuesday, October 13."

"This includes the rooms, food services and gift shop at Old Faithful Snow Lodge," the announcement said. 

People with reservations for stays that include Oct. 13 or later can request to relocate to Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel if space is available. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is the only park lodge that will be open this winter for overnight stays.

If a request to relocate isn't made, Xanterra said it will automatically cancel and refund reservations. 

People with in-house reservations, or arriving on or before Oct. 13 will be able to keep their rooms until Tuesday morning, according to the announcement.

Xanterra also stated that employees who tested positive or are symptomatic will be quarantined in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health guidelines, and that employees will be contacted as necessary as part of contact tracing efforts.

Yellowstone National Park announced in a press release at the end of September that 16 of roughly 2,000 employees had tested positive for COVID-19 since the first week of September. Of those employees, eight had yet to recover at the time of the announcement.

Before September the park had four positive cases among employees from May 18 through Aug. 30. 

The park saw record visitation in September when 837,499 vsits were made, which was an increase of 21% from Sept. 2019.

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