On Thursday, Jan. 16, officials confirmed two cases of Norovirus at Yosemite National Park. Norovirus is highly contagious, and there have already been 170 reports of the gastrointestinal illness at the park this year. Both park visitors and employees have reported sick with symptoms consistent with norovirus.
Aramark, the company who has managed the park for the past for years, has been frequently criticized for failure to maintain adequate visitor services at the park such as concessions and shuttle services. Recently, the Ahwahnee Hotel’s four diamond rating dropped a stat by AAA, since Aramark became contracted for park management. The recent outbreak of this virus is further damaging their reputation, as it can imply unclean conditions in the park.
“The virus is highly contagious and spreadable by direct contact with an infected person, consuming contaminated food or water and coming into contact with contaminated surfaces.” -C.D.C.
The park took huge cleanup procedures in the parks food facilities, ranging from snack stands to hotels. In order to prevent further spreading of the virus, the park continues to undertake extensive cleaning and enhanced sanitation protocols. Officials have advised anyone who has recently visited the park who has experienced symptoms of the virus or who would like to report information linked to the case to email them.