The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) approved Grand County’s request for a variance from some of the provisions of the state’s Safer at Home public health order. According to a letter from Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director of CDPHE, “This variance approval is granted based on the facts and circumstances today as you have described them in your request. If the county were to exceed 100 cases per 100,000 population in a two week period (15 cases in two weeks), the variance is automatically rescinded. Additionally, CDPHE reserves the right to modify or rescind this variance approval as circumstances warrant. This approval is in effect until the final expiration of PHO 20-28, which will be extended in some capacity beyond the current expiration date next week” (June 1).
Short-term lodging including vacation-style home and condo rentals like those using VRBO and Airbnb online platforms are able to resume business if they follow strict sanitation and disinfection protocols to protect public health and safety. Owners will also be required to communicate the current guidelines to guests, including social distancing practices and face covering recommendations. Please direct short-term rental questions to the Grand County STR Office, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (970) 725-3737
Places of worship will be able to increase the number of participants up to 30 people, provided that social distancing is practiced at all times between individuals and family groups. The facilities must implement certain safety protocols including face coverings, public health signage and environmental cleaning. Places of worship are encouraged to continue online or drive-up services if practical and make reasonable accommodations for vulnerable populations.
Gyms, health clubs, workout, and other recreation facilities can conditionally open their facilities for limited use, including classes, IF strict physical distancing practices are possible, there is no sharing of equipment, and regular disinfection and cleaning occurs. Best practices and guidelines can be found in the Grand County Recreation Playbook and must be adhered to. As with all of these, this phased opening opportunity is completely voluntary.
Short-term rentals, places of worship and fitness facilities that choose to open for use may do so under the requirements and guidelines set forth in the Grand County Public Health Order dated May 29, 2020.
Brene Belew-LaDue, Grand County Public Health Director, emphasizes, “these requirements and guidelines are part of our local pandemic suppression plan designed to protect public health and be responsive to COVID-19 conditions and healthcare capabilities in Grand County. There is the potential to increase or decrease these requirements based on changing conditions and data.”
All Grand County residents and visitors are strongly urged to protect themselves and others by washing hands frequently, staying home if sick, staying six feet apart from others, wearing a face covering if in public, and limiting gatherings to under ten people. If you have symptoms such as a fever, dry cough or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider for guidance. Dr. Darcy Selenke noted, “if our citizens fail to comply with the public health protective measures and our case count increases, we will have no choice but to return to more restrictive orders.”