News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: March 23, 2020

Summit County Issues Amended Public Health Order to Mitigate COVID-19 Spread

CDC illustration of ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

New restrictions update and clarify orders and recommendations on social distancing, business activity

Contact: 970-668-9730

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County issued an amended public health order Monday morning, providing greater specificity and clarity on restrictions and recommendations designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Summit County; it also aligns with orders from the State of Colorado that have taken effect since the issuance of the previous Summit County Public Health Order. The amended order is effective 12 noon, Monday, March 23.

“This level of restriction is new territory for all of us,” Summit County Manager Scott Vargo said. “There are some scenarios we hadn’t contemplated, some questions that have come up from the community and some new developments at the state level that we needed to sync up with. This new order clarifies our intent and addresses in finer detail some of the measures we’re implementing to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The new order includes the following changes and clarifications:

  • The order imposes tighter limits on public gatherings, reducing the maximum number of people who may congregate together from 50 to 10, in accordance with CDC and state limits.
  • The order specifies that restrictions apply to both indoor and outdoor gatherings, including groups of people skiing together.
  • The order removes hours-of-operation restrictions on all establishments providing essential retail and goods and services.
  • The order includes news media organizations as essential services, which are permitted to remain open.

As under the previous order, most retail businesses are not allowed be open to the public, except for the delivery or curbside pickup of goods. Businesses providing essential goods and services, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, liquor stores, banks, auto mechanics and dealerships, marijuana dispensaries and hardware stores are exempt from the closure order. The new order clarifies that hair and nail salons, spas, body art establishments (e.g., tattoos and piercings) and massage establishments are deemed non-essential and must remain closed; it identifies laundromats and communications services providers, such as mobile phone retailers, as essential.

All dine-in activity in all restaurants, bars and cafeterias in Summit County remains prohibited. Restaurants will continue to be allowed to provide delivery and take-out options. The new order allows restaurants and bars to deliver alcohol, in accordance will all applicable state and local laws; it also provides for take-out lines of up to five people indoors, as long as they are able to maintain interpersonal distances of at least 6 feet. However, Summit County Public Health encourages establishments to restrict carry-out lines to outdoor areas where possible.

Summit County Public Health strongly recommends that all patrons make payment transactions, including tips, electronically over the phone or online during the ordering process. Officials are discouraging the physical exchange of credit cards, cash or checks during any pickups or deliveries.

All lodging businesses, including hotels, motels, timeshares and short term rentals (e.g., Airbnb, VRBO) are required to be closed, except to members of the local workforce using lodging units as residences. All lodging businesses are prohibited from taking any new reservations for dates sooner than May 1. In accordance to Gov. Polis’s executive order, all public and private elementary and secondary schools will remain closed through April 17.

“These actions are some of the most effective tools we have to help slow the spread of the virus in our community,” Vargo said. “By slowing the spread, we have a chance to protect our families, friends, coworkers and neighbors from illness. And for some of our most vulnerable community members, these measures could literally be life saving.”

Should the State of Colorado enact public health orders that are more restrictive than the most recent Summit County order, the state regulations would prevail.

All these changes are effective until further notice, when Summit County Public Health has determined that this degree of social distancing is no longer required.

As of 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Summit County had nine positive COVID-19 cases.

The Summit County Department of Human Services is providing support to community members who need assistance with food, medication, housing, transportation and other basic needs. Anyone who needs help meeting basic needs should call 970-668-2940 or 970-668-2942.

View the amended order.


View the Order
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