Summit County Emergency Blog

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

View All Posts

Mar 15

Standing Public Health Order Relating to Public Events

Posted on March 15, 2020 at 8:08 PM by Julie Sutor


MARCH 15, 2020

1. Purpose, Effective Area.  This Public Health Order is being issued to limit the health impacts of COVID-19.  This Order sets forth requirements for group gatherings and additional guidance to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  This Order is effective within the entirety of Summit County, including all towns within the County.

2. Effective Date and Time, Limitations. The Public Health Order will become effective at 10:00 p.m. on March 15, 2020, and will remain in effect until further notice.  This Order prohibits all large events of more than 50 people (see information below regarding restaurants). Events or gatherings of less than 50 attendees are also prohibited unless measures are taken to minimize risk as provided for herein.

3. Legal Authority.  This Order is adopted pursuant to the legal authority set forth in sections 25-1-506 and 25-1-508, 25-1-509, Colorado Revised Statutes as well as all other applicable laws, rules, regulations, orders and declarations. Under this authority, the Summit County Public Health Director has the duty to investigate and control the causes of the epidemic or communicable diseases and conditions affecting public health; to establish, maintain, and enforce isolation and quarantine; to exercise physical control over the property and over the persons of the people within the territorial limits of Summit County; and to prohibit the gatherings of people to protect the public health; all as the Public Health Director may find necessary for the protection of the public health.  Immediate issuance of this Order is deemed reasonable and necessary under the existing circumstances and necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare.

4. Definition. For purposes of this Order, an “event” is defined as a gathering for business, social, or recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; assemblies; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities. 

An event does not include activities that are primarily individual in nature or occur in small groups or in non-congregate settings, such as places of employment or primarily small-group sports like hiking or skiing, as long as social distancing occurs, particularly in areas where congregating in groups is unavoidable, such as lift lines.   An event does not include patronizing restaurants, as long as restaurants adhere to the requirements for social distancing and follow the mandatory mitigation measures stated below in Section 6.

5. Large Events and Gatherings (More than 50 attendees). Under this Public Health Order, all events or gatherings in Summit County with more than 50 attendees are prohibited. 

6. Events and Gatherings with Less Than 50 Attendees. Events with fewer than 50 attendees are prohibited unless the event organizer or venue owner takes the following required steps to mitigate risks.
a. Proper hand hygiene and sanitation measures must be readily available to all attendees, employees, and vendors and frequently utilized by all employees and vendors. 
b. Environmental cleaning guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must be followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high touch surfaces frequently)
c. Social distancing recommendations must be met, include limiting contact of people within 6 feet from each other for 10 minutes or longer, and any other applicable social distancing requirements that are promulgated.
d. Employees must be screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and excluded if symptomatic.
e. Organizers of events must ask attendees if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and, if they do, prohibit symptomatic attendees from attending the event.  This screening for COVID-19 symptoms should occur daily for all event attendees.  
f. Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions that are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 must be encouraged not to attend (including employees).

7. General Information for all Persons. The Public Health Director strongly recommends that residents and visitors cancel or avoid all non-essential events, regardless of size, where appropriate social distancing and preventative measures may not occur.

In consultation with the Summit County Public Health Director, Summit School District Re-1 has dismissed all classes through April 3, 2020.   

These actions are some of the most available and effective tools to help slow the spread of the virus in our community – and, importantly, to reduce the number of potential deaths caused by COVID-19. By slowing the spread, we have a chance to protect our family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk for severe illness. In particular, this includes all adults over age 60 and anyone with an underlying health condition. 

These actions will limit the cascading impacts on critical services due to high absenteeism if large numbers of workers become ill. This Order and actions will help hospitals, first responders, and other healthcare services continue to provide services for those who need them (along with utilities, human services, and businesses) in the coming weeks and months. Collective action can save lives and is in support of the most vulnerable in our community. The more united we can be in preventing the spread the greater the benefit for the whole community. 

8. Penalties. Failure to comply with this Order is subject to the penalties contained in Section 25-1-516 and 18-1.3-501, Colorado Revised Statutes, including a fine of up to five thousand ($5,000) dollars and imprisonment in the county jail for up to eighteen (18) months.

Amy Wineland, RN, MSN, ND, CPNP
Summit County Public Health Director
March 15, 2020