By Ben Warwick

GUNNISON, Colo. (CBS4) – A mountain community among the hardest hit by coronavirus in Colorado has issued the strongest penalties yet for violations of its stay-at-home order. Gunnison County is warning of fines and jail time for those who violate the order.

(credit: CBS)

As of Tuesday morning, Gunnison County has 95 COVID-19 cases. With the small population of the state, that makes it one of the most impacted communities per capita in our state. A new public health order directs tourists to not come into the town. It also tells residents to not leave home unless it is critically important.

Backcountry skiing is included in the order.

The penalty for violating the order is a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 18 months behind bars.

The move is not unprecidented for the small mountain community. During the Spanish Flu outbreak in 1918, the town put up physical barricades to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the town. The plan worked, as Gunnison saw a much smaller outbreak of the virus.

RELATED: Gunnison Looking At History As Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads

The county’s order runs through the end of the month. Gov. Jared Polis extended the statewide order on Monday night until April 26.

RELATED: Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Outbreak In Colorado

Ben Warwick

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