Jan 17, 2021 -- Posted by : goi70

Following a busy holiday season, public health officials in Colorado’s resort communities have been bracing for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases. According to an article by the Colorado Sun – there has been a slight uptick in cases in certain areas, though none have been linked to activities at ski resorts (thus far), and many of the state’s County health officials say that skiing and resort operations pose little COVID-19 transmission risk.

Vail Resort VP of Communications, Sara Olson, said in a statement, “A vast majority of skiers at Vail Resorts’ properties are following safety guidelines – with employees going above and beyond to remind skiers about masks and distancing. We’re grateful for their (Vail employees) hard work as well as our guests’ willingness to take personal responsibility. We need everyone’s cooperation, awareness, and attention so we can have what we all want – a successful ski and ride season.” In efforts to mitigate on-mountain congestion, Vail Resorts has had to implement capacity limits for skiers and riders this season; that limit is based on a combination of available acreage and lift capacity. Winter Park has taken similar measures, and has no open reservations for weekends through March (however, cancellations have left open slots most days).

Regarding Winter Park, Grand County Public Health Director, Brene Belew-LaDue says that the County hasn’t seen any cases linked to Winter Park Resort or Granby Ranch, however their team has recorded positive cases among resort employees, that have been tracked to off-mountain living arrangements; the same has also been true for a handful of employees based a Summit County resorts.

Overall and to this point, the worse anticipated conditions at Colorado’s ski resorts and in Colorado’s ski towns have been avoided. These successes are largely attributed to the close working relationship between Resorts and County Public Health Offices, as they have been able to identify areas where transmission is most likely to occur (lift lines, dining areas, etc.) and deploy tailored strategies to minimize the risk: such as sanitizing stations, capacity limits, distancing, ventilation improvements, disinfecting, etc.

The consensus among health personnel that ski resorts do not pose a greater COVID-19 transmission risk, is an important one - as Joni Reynolds, Gunnison County’s Health Director notes, “Skiing is important for health – physical, emotional, and psychological.” We are on the right path, though the pandemic is not over yet. Stay safe and do your part to protect your neighbor!


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