Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of March 22
Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.
After 10 cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed in Summit County on March 23, Summit County officials released an amended public health order.
In order to further mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus locally, the amended public health order was implemented to better align with the state’s order. The amendments include reducing the maximum number of people allowed to congregate from 50 to 10, which includes indoor and outdoor gatherings. The amendment specifies that groups of skiers must be limited to 10 following a weekend when crowds of skiers gathered on Loveland Pass.
Health officials have stressed that these positive cases are not indicative of the spread of the virus in Summit County due to a shortage of test kits and that they are certain there are more people who have contracted the virus than have been tested.
In response to the viral videos of cars along U.S. 6 and up at Loveland Pass, Loveland Ski Area announced March 24 that uphill access to U.S. Forest Service land within Loveland’s ski area boundary would close effective the next day.
It was the latest development in a week when ski areas in and around Summit County took the unprecedented step of reaching out to the Forest Service to close access to public lands at the resorts. Last week, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Keystone Resort, Copper Mountain Resort and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area all closed uphill access to White River National Forest land due to a surge in uphill interest after Gov. Jared Polis’ executive order mandating the closure of ski area operations statewide.
“This is uncharted territory for us,” White River National Forest Mountain Sports Program Manager Roger Poirier said.
It’s no secret that small businesses are struggling due to the novel coronavirus. While the county has ordered all nonessential businesses to close their doors, some businesses have found creative ways to keep going and others have had to stand by the wayside.
Lua Tôn, owner of Colisco Wearables and The Flying Crane Boutique in Frisco, said that her online store is keeping her businesses going as she is able to provide clothing for pickup or delivery.
Ashlie Weisel of Frisco’s The Sunny Side Up Studio has gotten creative with her business by delivering canvases and other supplies to people’s homes. She set up an “honesty shop” outside where people can follow an honor system to take what they like and leave cash.
Some local business owners have suggested that others call the companies who they receive bills from and see if they can waive, discount or postpone bills. To aid local businesses, the U.S. Small Business Association is providing small businesses with loans of up to $2 million as part of their Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Local businesses deemed essential continue to operate, but the amount of business they’re doing is surprisingly low given perceived demand.
Although Summit County residents are doing their grocery, liquor and marijuana shopping locally, the absence of visitors in the community means sales are underperforming compared with March in previous years. Representatives from City Market, High Country Healing and Dillon Ridge Liquors all said there was a quick spike in sales before the countywide shutdown but then business declined.
“This is one of our worst sales years,” said JP Eco, assistant store manager at the Breckenridge City Market. “Once the tourists left in our town, our sales went down.”
On March 22, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order that requires noncritical workplaces in Colorado to reduce their in-person workforce by 50%. The executive order will took effect March 24 and continues through Friday, April 10, until 11:59 p.m.
Polis made this announcement during a press conference that was broadcast live on his Facebook page and said that if workplaces can reduce their in-person workforce beyond 50%, this is encouraged. He added that this does not apply to employers who can show that their employees work 6 feet or more apart from each other or to critical workplaces such as health care facilities. It also includes critical infrastructure, manufacturing, retail, services, news media, financial institutes, construction, defense, public safety and vendors to public services. Employers are also encouraged to set up their workplaces to function 100% remotely if possible.
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