Top 5 most-read stories on SummitDaily.com, week of Feb. 7
Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.
A longtime fixture of the Kremmling community, Mike Wilson, died from acute cardiac arrest Saturday, Feb. 6 at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, according to the Summit County coroner. He was 69 years old.
Wilson was well known throughout Kremmling and Grand County from his years teaching in the West Grand School District and for his work as the photographer for the Grand Gazette newspaper.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Kremmling’s community newspaper honored Wilson and his commitment to the people of Kremmling through his amazing generosity and stellar work.
— McKenna Harford, Sky-Hi News
In Aspen, a group of 20 Brazilians planned to hang out in a rented vacation home in the picturesque ski town for a few weeks this winter while they got two rounds of coronavirus vaccine.
In Delta County, tucked in the western Colorado mesas, gobs of people from Michigan and Texas have signed up for vaccine appointments — most likely because they were confused and thought they were registering in Delta County, Michigan, or Delta County, Texas.
And in Steamboat Springs, locals are pointing fingers at second-home owners who buzzed into town to collect a shot, concerned that those part-time Routt County residents might have jumped ahead in line.
According to the state’s rules, it doesn’t matter what county, state or even country a person lives in when they sign up for a vaccine appointment, as long as they meet the criteria for Colorado’s current phase in the immunization priority list.
— Jennifer Brown, John Ingold and Michael Booth, The Colorado Sun
3. Park County residents frustrated after Anthem plan changes leave them without access to Summit County doctors
For the first time in 29 years, Fairplay resident Anne Slubowski isn’t sure who her doctor is.
On Jan. 1, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield transitioned Park County customers like Slubowski from the company’s typical individual insurance plan to the Pathway Essentials plan. The major difference with the new plan? Its network doesn’t include Summit County providers.
For most people across the state, not being able to access Summit County doctors isn’t a huge deal. However, for Park County residents like Slubowski and Nancy McDowell, who lives in Alma, the new plan is forcing them to start from scratch when it comes to health care coverage.
The new network includes providers in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Clear Creek, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park counties, according to the Anthem website.
Just eight minutes after opening Tuesday, Feb. 9, all of Summit County’s vaccine appointments were full, county spokesperson Nicole Valentine wrote in an email.
Even knowing that supply is limited, some people still are frustrated with the process for making appointments. The county uses SC Alert, a system that it previously used to let people know about emergency situations, road closures or controlled burns.
Now, the county is using the alert system to notify the public when vaccine appointments are available. However, there’s one problem: The system is delayed when sending out text messages, emails and phone calls.
It can take as long as 40 minutes for a person to receive a phone call about open appointments, meaning the alert could come long past when appointments are filled. On Tuesday, many people received their alert after all the appointments had been filled, Valentine said.
5. Summit County restaurateurs welcome the possibility of increased capacity, but staffing continues to be a concern
Staffing in the service industry has been an issue in Summit County as capacity restrictions have fluctuated dramatically over the past year between no in-person dining and 50% capacity, forcing some workers to call it quits and leave the area. Recent changes to the state’s COVID-19 dial mean counties can move between restriction levels faster than before, but it remains to be seen whether restaurants will have the staff to open at higher capacities.
At Silverthorne’s Jan. 27 work session, council member Mike Spry brought up the issue, stating that local businesses are concerned there is a “significant employee shortage” in the county. He pointed out the plethora of “now hiring” and “help wanted” signs on stores in town.
“Talking with the restaurant organization, their comments are, ‘We really want to go back to 50 people or 50% or fully open up, but we couldn’t do it if we wanted to right now,’” Spry said. “And those are some of the concerns that I think we’re going to need to really try to address on ‘How can we revitalize our community?’”
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