News Flash

Summit County Government

Posted on: April 22, 2020

Summit County Announces Roadmap to Recovery

Peak One

Summit County will ease social distancing restrictions April 27; widespread testing and contact tracing will identify and contain new pockets of disease

Contact: Bentley Henderson, Assistant County Manager, 970-453-3401

SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Board of Health, which is comprised of the Board of County Commissioners, launched a Roadmap to Recovery process Tuesday, convening a community recovery committee and outlining a proposed easing of social distancing restrictions, beginning April 27. Recently expanded community testing and contact tracing will allow public health experts to identify and contain new pockets of COVID-19.

"We absolutely recognize how difficult and stressful the past six weeks have been," Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. "The world has been changing before our eyes, and Summit County has been hit especially hard. We deeply appreciate the efforts of all our residents to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We believe those efforts are paying off, so we are now going to begin a careful, step-by-step resumption of economic and social activity."

Summit County held the first virtual meeting of a new Summit County Recovery and Resilience Committee, a group of local leaders and stakeholders representing a broad cross section of the community, including lodging businesses, nonprofit organizations, local governments, restaurants, retail businesses and ski areas.

The committee will provide input and expertise on a broad range of issues related to the phased resumption and recovery of activity in local workplaces, public spaces and businesses. Public health experts and County staff will collaborate with local elected officials, business leaders, employers, nonprofits and other stakeholders to develop and recommend plans that will allow for a gradual easing of restrictions, while developing strategies and tactics to limit disease transmission.

"We’re striving to identify the right measures to keep our community members safe and healthy, while allowing our residents to reconnect with one another and our businesses to restart their engines," Public Health Director Amy Wineland said. "Achieving this balance in an economy like ours that’s built on visitors will require a lot of creative problem solving. But we have all the right people in the Zoom."

In partnership with Summit County Public Health, Vail Health began offering drive-through COVID-19 testing on Tuesday. The organization will continue offer testing to any symptomatic Summit County residents on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ill individuals can email summitcovidscreening@vailhealth.org to schedule an appointment. Vail Health collected test samples from 47 Summit County residents Tuesday. Centura has also indicated that it may expand its testing capabilities in Summit County in the near future.

"Widespread community testing and contact tracing are both critical to our ability to detect infection, contain it and prevent future economic disruptions, so these new developments are extremely encouraging," Wineland said. "It’s important to understand that this virus will be with us for months to come, and we’ll likely see infections that will result in poor outcomes. That’s why we need to continue protecting the most vulnerable members of our populations, and they need to continue practicing extreme social distancing."

The Summit County Recovery and Resilience Committee will convene for a virtual meeting open to the public at 1 p.m., Monday, April 27. Summit County will publish an agenda and online attendance instructions in the coming days.

During the committee’s first meeting, participants received information on a number of proposed measures aimed at responsibly relaxing current local public health restrictions. The recommended restrictions closely align with the State of Colorado Safer at Home guidance, and the Summit County Public Health director will present them to the Board of Health for consideration Wednesday, April 22.

The following are the recommended restrictions for a new public health order that would take effect Monday, April 27:

  • Sick individuals, people over 65 and those with underlying health conditions must stay at home to the greatest extent possible.
  • Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited. In gatherings of any size by individuals from multiple households, all individuals must maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing from one another and wear face coverings.
  • Non-essential retail businesses may take orders from customers online or over the phone and provide products via mail, home delivery or curbside pickup. Summit County will provide businesses with an online application form through which proprietors may submit social distancing protocols that would safely allow for activity by members of the public inside a physical establishment when restrictions are further loosened in the future.
  • Real estate agents may conduct showings for buyers by appointment. No open houses are permitted.
  • Child care will be open to serve members of the local workforce, with strict precautions to limit the transmission of disease among children and from children to staff and family members.
  • Elective medical and dental procedures will be allowed, with strict precautions and protective equipment to prevent the transmission of disease.
  • Restaurants and bars are allowed to be open for takeout and delivery. Patrons are not allowed to dine onsite, due to high risk of disease transmission among patrons.
  • K-12 and higher education schools will remain closed to in-person instruction and learning. Congregation of large groups is prohibited, and these age groups tend to carry the disease to more vulnerable segments of the population, even when they are not exhibiting symptoms.
  • Some personal services will be allowed, with appropriate protective measures. Summit County will work to align its restrictions and allowances with any state guidance when those details become available.
  • Non-essential office workplaces will be allowed to open May 4 with up to 50 percent of normal staffing; employers are still strongly encouraged to maintain telecommuting to the maximum possible extent. Any offices with multiple persons in a single facility must maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing among employees and institute other protective measures, such as handwashing requirements and regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
  • Short-term lodging, including hotels, motels, timeshares and short-term rentals will remain closed to guests through May 31, because local community response and health care systems are not able to accommodate an influx of visitors.
  • Auto sales are allowed online and in person. In-person automobile shopping and sales must take place by appointment only, scheduled by the dealership to prevent gatherings of 10 or more people in a room at one time.
  • Car rentals are allowed.
  • Limited public transit will be restored. The Summit Stage main line routes will resume service, with buses limited to fewer than 10 passengers. The Summit County Transit Department will maintain the existing expanded paratransit services, available to any workers who require transportation to work or essential services. Some seats on public transit vehicles may be roped off in order to maintain adequate social distancing. All riders and operators on all vehicles must wear face coverings at all times.
  • Ski areas will remain closed in order to discourage residents of other counties and states from visiting Summit County.
  • Places of worship are permitted to be open, but they must maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet among congregants and limit gatherings to less than 10 people at one time. Remote, online services are strongly encouraged. Individuals over 65 or with underlying health conditions are strongly discouraged from attending services in person. 
  • Second homeowners are not permitted to visit their second homes unless necessary for maintenance or other essential activities. Any individual whose primary residence is outside Summit County is not permitted to visit or stay in Summit County for recreation or leisure.
  • Because of epidemiological evidence of risk of COVID-19 transmission, and an inability to limit the size of gatherings, the following facilities and establishments will remain closed to the public: playgrounds, recreation centers, entertainment venues, movie theaters, theaters, gyms, fitness centers and studios, community centers.
  • Trailhead parking is limited, and parking enforcement activities will continue.


The Summit County Board of Health will meet at 3 p.m., Wednesday, April 22, to consider the recommended changes to the Summit County Public Health Order. Members of the public are invited to attend the meeting virtually. UPDATE (3:10 p.m., Wednesday, April 22): The remote meeting has reached capacity. We are recording the meeting for later viewing by members of the general public who were not able to make it into the meeting. 

  • To join the meeting, visit https://zoom.us/j/167578083
  • To join via phone, dial 669-900-9128 or 346-248-7799
    • Meeting ID: 167 578 083
    • Press # to bypass the Participant ID


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