Summit County commissioners propose easing some restrictions in ‘roadmap to recovery’ |

Summit County commissioners propose easing some restrictions in ‘roadmap to recovery’

A sign is pictured on Interstate 70 near Copper Mountain on Tuesday, April 21, encouraging the public to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Liz Copan /

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include that nonessential retail businesses will be able take orders for curbside pickup if the new guidelines are approved. It also has been updated to correct that the revised public health order must be approved by Public Health Director Amy Wineland, not the Board of Health.

FRISCO — The Summit Board of County Commissioners and the Recovery and Resilience Committee on Tuesday outlined a “roadmap to recovery” to ease restrictions and continue combatting the coronavirus.

The proposal is in response to Gov. Jared Polis’ announcement that the state will be transitioning from the stay-at-home order to the “safer at home” phase of social distancing, which aims at easing restrictions without completely lifting them. Under the new phase, Coloradans would be encouraged to stay home as much as possible, but it is no longer a requirement.

The recommendations keep many social distancing practices in place, while allowing for many workplaces to operate. People are encouraged to use caution when they leave their homes and continue to maintain social distancing measures. 

Summit County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence said the recommendations were created under the guidance of Public Health Director Amy Wineland and the governor’s office guidelines.

Lawrence believes the next phase can work only if everyone is on board. 

“This only works if personal responsibility is involved,” she said. “Everyone is expected to do their part in this.”

At its 3 p.m. meeting Wednesday, the Summit County Board of Health will review the following recommendations:

  • People older than 65, sick people and people with underlying health conditions must stay home as much as possible. 
  • Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, and people must maintain a 6-foot distance when with others outside of their immediate household.
  • Nonessential retail businesses will remain closed but can take orders for curbside pickup as well as continue online or over the phone sales and provide products through the mail.
  • Real estate agents can conduct showings in person, but open houses are prohibited.
  • Child care services will be open with strict precautions to prevent transmission of the virus.
  • Elective medical and dental procedures are allowed with strict precautions.
  • Restaurants and bars can continue to offer takeout and delivery. Dine-in services are not allowed.
  • Nonessential office workplaces can open May 4 with up to 50% of staffing. Employers are encouraged to telecommute as much as possible, and workers must maintain a 6-foot distance while at work. 
  • Car sales are allowed in person as long as they are scheduled by the dealership to prevent gatherings of more than 10 people. 
  • Car rentals are allowed.
  • The Summit Stage main line will resume operations with buses limited to fewer than 10 passengers. Para-transit services will continue for people who need transportation to work and essential services. All riders will be required to wear facial coverings. 
  • Places of worship are allowed to open as long as people maintain a 6-foot distance and gatherings are limited to fewer than 10 people at a time. 
  • Second homeowners cannot visit their homes unless it’s necessary for maintenance or other essential activities. 
  • Trailhead parking will be limited, and parking enforcement will continue. 

The county is continuing to try to prevent visitors from coming to the area by keeping ski areas closed and banning short-term lodging through May 31. Schools also will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Areas where large groups of people tend to congregate — like playgrounds, gyms and movie theaters — will remain closed. 

The county will continue focusing on widespread testing of individuals that are showing symptoms. Tuesday was the first day of Vail Health’s testing clinic at Howard Head Sports Medicine in Silverthorne, a partnership between the county and the hospital system that will dramatically increase testing. People with symptoms can email to book an appointment. 

As long as people continue to do their part, Lawrence said the county will be able to get back to life sooner rather than later. 

“The only way that we are going to be able to come out of this any quicker and get Summit County up and running again is if people are doing their part,” she said.

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