⭕ Masks are now required at Sandy Hook National Park

⭕ COVID hospitalization rates are high in Monmouth County

⭕ Other mask mandates remain in place in NJ

With COVID cases spiking in Monmouth County, the National Park Service is now requiring masks for all visitors.

A notice on the park website states: Masks are currently required in all federal buildings in Sandy Hook. Monmouth County is at HIGH COVID-19 community level, as identified by the CDC.

Bud McCormick
Bud McCormick

Masks are available for guests at the visitors center, which is also the only building currently open to the public.

Other buildings can be used for private events and tours. Anyone taking an inside tour will be required to wear a mask.

Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook, Monmouth County, NJ
Mike Brant - TSM

COVID rates have been rising

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID rates and hospitalizations have been on the increase in New Jersey and nationwide.

The latest tracking data shows most of New Jersey with a 'medium' transmission risk.


Transmission risk and hospitalizations are listed as 'high' in Monmouth, Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

Statewide, the CDC reports nearly 1,500 new hospitalizations for COVID for the week ending Jan. 6.

Other mask mandates

New Jersey's major hospital groups are started 2024 with new mask mandates to guard against COVID, but also against other respiratory illnesses.

While restrictions vary from hospital to hospital, the majority are now requiring that all staff, volunteers, patients and visitors wear a mask at all times inside the facility.

The CDC lists New Jersey as having "very high" levels of respiratory illness. That includes COVID, flu and RSV.

There is no statewide mask mandate in place, for now, and Gov. Murphy has not signaled he is considering it.

State Health officials are recommending that anyone showing symptoms of COVID, testing positive for COVID, or who had been exposed to COVID wear a mask when going in public.

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