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In some still-open NPs, vandals & rulebreakers take advantage of confusion, short-staffing

Vandalism, illegal camping, overcrowding, and short-staffing issues are cropping up and overtaxing some units of the National Park System due to the coronavirus pandemic. The issues are reminiscent of those that arose during the partial government shutdown of 2018-2019.

While staffing problems during the government shutdown were due to furloughs, this time concerns over getting sick from park visitors and, in some cases, the need to stay home with children whose schools have closed, are leading to work force issues at some park units.

Complicating those problems is that Interior Department officials are not inclined to close parks unless local health or government officials request it.

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