Update: As of Dec. 30, the National Park Service made masks optional again at the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in light of a change to the community level from high to medium.
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (WBOY) — Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is requiring that guests wear masks indoors again.
According to an update on the National Park Service’s website that was posted on Friday, Dec. 23, those visiting Harpers Ferry will once again be required to wear masks in park exhibits and buildings and on park shuttle buses, regardless of their vaccination status.
The reason given was that Jefferson County is an area with high COVID-19 Community Levels, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC defines an area as having high COVID-19 Community Levels using the following metrics:
- Has had 20 or more new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 people over the last seven days.
- Has 15% or more of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients over the last seven days.
- Has had 10 or more new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population over the last seven days.
- Has 10% or more of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients over the last seven days.
The CDC says the higher of the new COVID-19 hospital admissions and percent inpatient beds occupied by patients with COVID-19 indicators and is adjusted up by one level if the new COVID-19 cases indicator is 200 or more cases per 100,000 population in the last seven days.
According to the update, there are also a number of areas of the park that are closed due to COVID-19, including the Black Voices/African American History, A. Burton Fine Watch Repair/Burton Jewelry Store, Civil War Museum, Harper House and Officer’s Quarters exhibits.
The Schoolhouse Ridge South trail is also partially closed, though the website said that’s due to sinkholes.
West Virginia’s COVID-19 State of Emergency is set to end on Jan. 1, 2023.