Summit County Emergency Blog

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Activated during disasters and emergencies to provide critical public information. Administered by the Summit County Office of Emergency Management.

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Mar 12

County and Towns Postpone Large Events Through May 1

Posted on March 12, 2020 at 6:56 PM by Julie Sutor

Government-sponsored events of 50 attendees or more will be canceled or postponed until at least May 1, effective March 13

Based on recommendations from Summit County Public Health, Summit County and the towns of Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne will cancel all events sponsored by local government agencies that have anticipated attendance of 50 or more people, through at least May 1. This action will take effect Friday, March 13.

All six organizations will also endeavor to cancel or postpone smaller gatherings that are nonessential. They will work to conduct meetings and public events remotely via conference calls, video conferencing or other means.

“We know that social distancing is one of the most important strategies in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland said. “Our leaders are in agreement that we should be aggressive in our efforts to protect the health of Summit County residents and visitors. Being an international tourism destination creates vulnerabilities that other communities will not face, so it’s important that we lean in and implement measures that may be more stringent.”

Local governments encouraged private-sector organizations in Summit County to seriously consider similar measures immediately. They should also prepare for the possibility that if Summit County does experience community spread of COVID-19, Summit County Public Health may mandate the cancellation of events and gatherings that exceed a certain threshold number of attendees.

“This may feel like a major step to some members of our community, but we need to be proactive in limiting the impact of this virus in Summit County,” said Elisabeth Lawrence, County Commissioner. “We know this measure will cause inconveniences, and it’s disappointing to cancel events that we have spent many months planning. And it may have negative economic impacts. But it gives us a better shot at keeping people healthy and safe, which is our top priority.”

County and town managers are directing their respective staffs to identify all applicable events on their organizations’ calendars, determine whether remote options are feasible for any events, contact event partners and attendees about cancellations and contingency plans and share updates with the general public.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists social distancing as a critical way for individuals to protect themselves and vulnerable members of the community from COVID-19. Individuals should avoid contact with people who are sick. This is especially important for individuals over 60 and those who have serious underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease and cancer. These at-risk populations should also avoid crowds.

The cancellation/postponement of local government-sponsored events may be extended after May 1, depending on local circumstances. If a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in Summit County, it could last for weeks or even months in the community. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, Summit County Public Health officials may recommend or order further community actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Local government organizations emphasized that residents and visitors also have important roles and responsibilities related to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in Summit County.

“The actions of the Towns and County will only be effective if our community members are working in partnership with us,” said Frisco Town Manager Nancy Kerry. “Every individual and family must take commonsense, science-based steps to protect themselves, and by extension, everyone in Summit County.”

Summit County Public Health and its local partners strongly urge all residents and visitors to take the following actions: 
  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow shirt sleeve, not your hand. If you use a tissue to cover your cough or sneeze, throw it in the trash immediately afterward and then wash your hands properly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and personal items (including cell phones) in your home and workspace using regular household cleaning products.
  • Practice sensible social distancing: replace handshakes and hugs with elbow bumps and namaste-style greetings; don’t spend extended periods of time in enclosed spaces with large groups; keep a distance of at least six feet between yourself and people who may be ill.