Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of Nov. 8
Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.
1. Summit County and state officials urge everyone to get tested, stay home for the month of November
With novel coronavirus cases skyrocketing across Colorado, Summit County officials are urging everyone who wants a test to get a test, regardless of symptoms.
Free testing is now available throughout the county with free walk-in testing available in Silverthorne and two clinics open through Vail Health and Centura Health in Frisco. The push for greater testing is an effort to help the county improve its positivity rate, which is the percentage of tests that return positive. The rate is at 18.4%, according to a presentation by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials. That exceeds the 15% positivity rate permitted in Summit County’s current level orange designation.
In addition to getting tested, state officials are encouraging everyone to not interact with other households for the rest of November, wear a mask and stay home if they have symptoms of the virus.
The town of Breckenridge released a recording from a Breckenridge Town Council executive session held illegally Nov. 3, regarding a transit center and workforce housing project proposal by Breckenridge Grand Vacations.
At the public portion of the meeting, Breckenridge Grand Vacations CEO and co-owner Mike Dudick proposed partnering with the town to move the transit center near the Watson Street roundabout and Park Avenue on land that he would provide for free. Workforce housing units on the Gold Rush lot also were proposed.
Council members then asked questions about the proposal before going into executive session, where the project was discussed privately among council members and staff. Immediately following the executive session, Mayor Eric Mamula said the council decided it would not be interested in either the transit center or workforce housing proposals.
While entering an executive session to discuss negotiations is allowed, Colorado Open Meetings Law permits only limited discussion as it pertains to negotiations and prohibits any type of decision-making, informal or otherwise.
Summit County’s move into the safer-at-home level orange stage of response to the novel coronavirus means more local businesses are being asked, once again, to be flexible.
Summit County officially moved into level orange on Nov. 6. The move means all noncritical businesses must operate at 25% capacity, or as many as 50 people indoors, whichever is fewer.
A.J. Brinckerhoff, owner of Angry James Brewing Co. in Silverthorne, said he expects the changes to have a big impact on his sales, but he understands the reasoning behind them.
Diane Burris, the owner of Cool River Coffee House and Cafe in Breckenridge, said the restrictions aren’t likely to affect her sales that much, as the shop does a lot of carryout.
Some of the anxiety around securing a place in line for Keystone Resort’s opening day were dissipated by its new reservations system, which kept lift lines short throughout the day. For guests who did receive access to Keystone on Nov. 6, that meant a lot of skiing or snowboarding could be completed with minimal time spent in line.
Keystone will not reveal the number of guests currently allowed on the mountain, as parent company Vail Resorts considers that number to be proprietary information.
Some frustration was expressed by those who objected to the withholding of that number, and other complaints were lodged by those who weren’t able to take part in the opening day festivities due to the full reservation queue.
On the day priority reservations went live on its system, Vail Resorts season pass customers reported lines of more than 120,000 people in front of them in the waiting room to book, resulting in a process that took hours.
— John LaConte, Vail Daily
5. Why another statewide lockdown is unlikely, even as Colorado’s coronavirus situation worsens each day
Coloradans are more likely to encounter someone with coronavirus now than at any point during the pandemic, state health officials say. Hospitalizations because of COVID-19 have surged to a new high. The state’s health care capacity is at risk of being overwhelmed in a matter of weeks.
Yet Gov. Jared Polis has declined to place Colorado under statewide lockdown status as he did in the spring, when the prevalence of coronavirus appears to have been less than it is now.
“This is not about lockdowns. It hasn’t been about lockdowns since March or April. It’s about an aggressive, balanced approach that’s not being implemented,” Polis said in an interview with The Colorado Sun, echoing Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force.
— The Colorado Sun
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