Top 5 most-read stories on, week of Dec. 13 |

Top 5 most-read stories on, week of Dec. 13

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on for the past week.

1. State will not allow Summit County to move out of level red ahead of the holidays

Summit County won’t be moving out of level red restrictions for the foreseeable future.

At a Summit County Board of Health meeting Tuesday, Dec. 15, County Manager Scott Vargo said the county’s current public health order, which places it in level red, will extend past Friday, Dec. 18 — when it was set to expire. When the county initially moved into level red, state officials said it would be able to move into level orange once the county showed a two-week decline in its incidence rate.

The state, which determines where counties fall on the COVID-19 dial, has since changed its mind. State officials are now saying that the county must show two weeks of level orange numbers to move out of level red, which prohibits indoor dining and gatherings among more than one household.

Libby Stanford

2. Ski areas desperately need snow as drought intensifies in Summit County

Despite some recent snowfall, Colorado’s drought continues to wear on.

The U.S. Drought Monitor places the southern half of the county in extreme drought while the northern half is in exceptional drought, the worst level on the scale.

The Drought Monitor lists large fires, extremely low reservoirs, increased water temperatures and worsening pasture conditions as impacts of an extreme drought. For exceptional drought, the anticipated impacts include widespread dust storms and topsoil removal as well as large agricultural and recreational economic losses.

Precipitation has been below normal in Colorado since Oct. 1, and drought conditions have “expanded where long-term precipitation deficits continued to mount,” according to a Drought Monitor summary for Dec. 8.

Taylor Sienkiewicz

3. Summit County investigates COVID-19 outbreak at Breckenridge Grand Vacations

The Summit County Public Health Department is investigating an outbreak of at least 16 cases among sales team members and contracted workers at Breckenridge Grand Vacations.

According to a news release, the department began investigating the outbreak Nov. 25 after receiving several positive test results from employees, all of whom were tested between Nov. 18 and Dec. 1.

While company management had implemented rules for the sales office — requiring masks, symptom checks and disinfecting — some employees were disregarding those rules, according to the news release.

Libby Stanford

4. Vail Resorts cancels some guest reservations at Breckenridge

Additional capacity restrictions and limited open terrain are causing headaches at ski areas across Summit County, leading to canceled reservations at Breckenridge Ski Resort last weekend.

Vail Resorts officials announced the cancellations in a letter that notified employees their passes would not be valid this weekend at Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone Resort or Vail Mountain.

The letter informed workers that challenging conditions have limited the resort’s ability to open terrain and accommodate the number of guests planned for the weekend of Dec. 12-13.

— Vail Daily and Summit Daily staff

5. Summit County amends public health order to include 5 star program for restaurants

Summit County restaurants are now able to apply for the 5 Star Business Certification Program, allowing them to open with less restrictive capacity measures than are allowed in level red.

Although the program was included in Summit County’s amended public health order, which went into effect Saturday, Dec. 19, the county was still in the process of applying for a variance to implement the program locally. The variance was later approved.

Libby Stanford

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