Summit County’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ presents timeline for fight against coronavirus |

Summit County’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ presents timeline for fight against coronavirus

People wait in line to enter City Market in Breckenridge on Wednesday, April 29. To minimize the spread of the new coronavirus, nobody is allowed to enter the store without a protective face mask.
Liz Copan /

Summit County officials released a “Roadmap to Recovery” document Friday, outlining what the future could look like as the county battles the novel coronavirus.

County officials have been deliberating the contents of the roadmap in meetings for the past few weeks. The roadmap outlines three “stabilization stages.” The county has met the following criteria for the first stage: hospitals are able to safely treat patients without resorting to crisis care, testing is available for all people experiencing symptoms, active monitoring is in place for COVID-19 cases and clear protocol for physical distancing is in place.

The county has not yet reached the fifth requirement: A decrease in positive cases for 14 days. Instead, Public Health Director Amy Wineland said proxy data shows that the county is on its way to meeting this benchmark. For example, there have been no new cases among health care workers, there have been no outbreaks among health care workers, and hospital admissions for COVID-19 have been decreasing.

If all goes well, the county will move into stage two in four to eight weeks and stage three in four to eight weeks after that. Each new stage lifts some regulations, but Wineland has said that the county won’t be fully opened up without restrictions until researchers create a vaccine, which could take 18-24 months.

The county also used the roadmap as an opportunity to switch from the commonly used phrase “social distancing” to “physical distancing.” At Thursday’s county Board of Health meeting, commissioners agreed that the new phrase would encourage people to remain socially connected while physically distant.

“It’s the physical distance that really will help contain the spread of the illness, not necessarily being separated emotionally,” Wineland said.

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