Summit County reduces gathering size to 6, imposes more restrictions on restaurants, short-term lodging and offices |

Summit County reduces gathering size to 6, imposes more restrictions on restaurants, short-term lodging and offices

Summit County’s two-week incidence rate is in the red stay-at-home level on the state’s COVID-19 dial.
Screenshot from Colorado COVID-19 Dial Dashboard page

KEYSTONE — Summit County amended the local public health order Friday evening, placing further restrictions on gathering sizes, office capacity, short-term lodging, and restaurants and bars.

The amended order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, according to a news release.

The order is in response to rising case numbers in Summit County, which has a two-week incidence rate of 371.2 new cases per 100,000 people. That rate falls into the stay-at-home level of response, according to the state’s COVID-19 dial dashboard.

The biggest change in the amended order has to do with gathering sizes. Previously, gathering sizes were limited to 10 people at one time. Now, the order limits indoor gatherings to six people at a time with outdoor gatherings limited to 10.

Short-term lodging facilities also are limited to no more than 10 people at a time, according to the release. To ensure compliance, short-term lodging owners and entities responsible for booking must validate and confirm the identity and group size of all renters upon arrival, according to the release.

In addition to limits on the number of people who can gather at a time, the order also requires that gatherings consist of no more than two household groups.

The limit on gatherings applies to restaurants, as well. A restaurant party can make up no more than six people, consisting of no more than two household groups.

Noncritical, office-based businesses, which have been operating at 50% occupancy, are now required to operate at 25% occupancy, according to the release. The order encourages all office-based businesses to do remote work and reduce in-office occupancy whenever possible.

A noncritical, office-based business is defined by the state as any commercial business that is conducted in an office and not a production environment, and is not included in the state’s list of critical businesses.

County officials have been warning of tighter restrictions for weeks now as cases continue to rise.

On Tuesday, Public Health Director Amy Wineland said she already had met with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials to discuss the county’s plans to mitigate the spread of the virus, leading to Friday’s new order. 

After reviewing the order’s effect on the county’s case numbers, state officials will be able to decide if Summit County will officially move backward in response levels. The total process will take about four weeks to allow time for numbers to decrease. 

“If our cases continue to rise, we will be forced to take steps backwards and have much more tighter restrictions and lower capacity limits for many of our industry partners and businesses in the community,” Public Health Director Amy Wineland said at a Board of Health meeting Thursday, Oct. 22. “I really do think we can turn this around; our community has done it before.”

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