C&O Canal NHP Mask Use Update

Hello Level Walkers,

Here is the latest guidance from the National Park Service on mask use on federal lands.

Thanks, Steve

Dear Volunteers, 

The Department of Interior (DOI) has updated the guidance for mask usage. This update is relevant to park volunteers as well as federal employees. Those who are fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks past the final dose) are no longer required to wear a mask in federal buildings and on federal lands. See the full guidance in the forwarded email below.

DOI has not provided updated guidance to physical distancing requirements, so please continue to maintain physical distance from those outside your household while volunteering in the park. We will update you on any changes as we receive more information from DOI. 

Please note that even if fully vaccinated you are welcome to continue masking at your own discretion, but it is no longer a requirement for vaccinated individuals. It is the park’s priority to maintain the safety of our volunteers, staff, partners, and visitors. Please let your park staff program supervisor know if you have any questions about this new guidance. 

Thank you and stay well,
Emily Durán Hewitt

Volunteer Program Manager C&O Canal National Historical Park


Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s May 13 announcement regarding updated Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People, fully vaccinated federal employees, fully vaccinated onsite contractors, and fully vaccinated visitors to federal buildings and federal lands are no longer required to wear masks. 

For now, this change related to masking is the only change to federal workplace COVID-19 safety guidance – maximum telework and workplace occupancy limits remain in place – but we will continue to update based on public health guidance. 

To clarify what this announcement means for individuals:

  • If you are fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks past your final dose), you are no longer required to wear a mask.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated (less than 2 weeks past your final dose), please continue to wear a mask consistent with the requirements set forth in the DOI Workplace Safety Plan.

These changes are consistent with Executive Order 13991 on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, which charged federal agencies to “require compliance with CDC guidelines with respect to wearing masks” and with OMB memorandum M-21-15, which noted in its guidance on face masks that “agencies may provide for exceptions consistent with CDC guidelines.”

The Department will be updating its Workplace Safety Plan and related documents to reflect these changes. If you have any questions, please contact your servicing Human Resources Office.

Rachael S. Taylor

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary-Policy, Management and Budget