By Jamie Leary

DILLON, Colo. (CBS4) – Summit County Public Health is working with the state to avoid more restrictions as its positivity rate exceeded 10% on Wednesday. Prior to a meeting with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment the same day, County Manager Scott Vargo told CBS4 he hoped the state would give the county time to see results of plans implemented before pushing it into more restrictive measures as it has done with other counties.

Ski resorts stepped up efforts to remind people, they need to heed the current restrictions.

(credit: CBS)

“All the minor of inconveniences of wearing a mask and trying to keep our distance, is for the health of our economy, it’s for the health of the community, it’s to keep the ski season going,” said Katherine Fuller, Communications Director at Arapahoe Basin.

While Arapahoe Basin is the first resort in Colorado to have full approval from the state for re-opening, it’s one of four ski areas in Summit County, and the ski season depends on the county’s ability to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.

RELATED: COVID-19 Outbreak Affecting 22 Summit HS Students Linked To Parties, Officials Say

(credit: CBS)

“Shutting the ski season down again, you know it’s not just about us. It’s really about the community and the impacts that would have on the community,” Fuller said. “That’s to get our people back to work that’s to get our community back on its feet economically, and that’s to get our skiers and riders back on the mountain. Yeah it’s really important that we all kind of work together to make it happen because the much broader than just us.”

In a blog post over the weekend, Arapahoe Basin’s COO, Alan Henceroth, pleaded with community members to get back on track;

To Summit County Residents: 

Like much of the rest of the country, COVID rates are going up in Summit County. Over the last two weeks, Summit’s cumulative rate of cases was the 6th highest in Colorado. If this rate doesn’t go down over the next two weeks, more severe restrictions will be put in place, hampering our ability to ski, work and enjoy life. 

Conventional wisdom tells us that these cases are being brought in by outside tourists. Turns out that is almost completely false. Contact tracing has told us Summit County residents are spreading COVID to other Summit County residents. Nearly all of this is happening through socialization – an evening party, drinks after work, hanging too close with too many people. Many of the transmissions have occurred in the late evening, after partying, when peoples’ guards are down. If we want to enjoy winter in Summit County, we are going to have to turn things around quickly. Keep your face coverings on. Maintain your physical distances. Keep your groups small. The time to act is now.

The Public Health Department said Wednesday it would be issuing a press release on Thursday regarding its standing on the state dial framework.

Jamie Leary

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