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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO – April 23, 2020 – The Commissioners met to discuss the existing Routt County Public Health Orders on Lodging restrictions and Public Gatherings.
Commissioner Chair Tim Corrigan started the meeting with this statement, “I think there has been much confusion between the Governor’s Public Health Order and Routt County’s Public Health Orders. At no time did the Routt County Board of Health issue Stay at Home Orders and decide which businesses could stay open or not. That Order came from the Governor and we need to comply with State Orders. We have, however, issued three Public Health Orders to help reduce the spread of COVID-19: a prohibition of short-term lodging; a limiting of public gatherings to five people; and site mitigation plans for essential businesses.”
The first Order considered was the Lodging Order. The Commissioners commended the Lodging Association’s support for maintaining community health and they received an email from Lodging Association Chair Barbara Robinson stating, “The Lodging Community is willing to be patient with a later opening date in order to protect our most valuable summer season. In the interest of the well-being of the community, an opening date of May 22 to June 1 is suggested. We do not expect a large number of visitors at first and see this as a soft roll-out giving us time to react if needed.”
To help them make their decision, the Department of Public Health gave the Commissioners a COVID-19 update. Dr. Harrington, County Medical Officer and Kari Ladrow, Routt County Public Health Director outlined some of the metrics for easing Public Health restrictions like:
Returning to normal will be sped up if we have evidence-based effective treatment, evidence-based anti-body testing, a vaccine, and herd immunity. Public Health showed a new dashboard to help the community monitor our community health.
After much discussion, the Commissioners decided to extend the Lodging Order to May 31 and to let the Routt Public Gatherings Order expire because the Governor’s “Safer at Home” Order already limits public gatherings to 10 people.
At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Monger said, “It is important to continuously monitor and evaluate. If the Governor’s Order is not stringent enough and we are dissatisfied with community health, we can issue new orders.”
Commissioner Melton emphasized, “I am deeply concerned that we need to make sure we maintain 65% social distancing as the Governor has outlined under “Safer at Home.” We need to remind our residents that the Governor’s “Safer at Home” Order is not a lifting of all Orders. There is always a risk that we go backwards. Everyone needs to understand that personal responsibility is paramount.
We need an extreme level of effort of businesses and citizens to reduce community spread. Under “Safer at Home,” staying at home is still recommended when possible, as well as wearing facemasks, keeping social distancing, and hand washing. And we still have Orders in place to ensure that businesses and other organizations implement mitigation strategies to keep our community safe.”
Public Health Orders can be found on Routt County’s COVID-19 website.