In the midst of a pandemic, the town of Breckenridge, Colorado, is bracing for an increase in visitors over the next few weeks. The spring break weeks usually bring a high volume of guests looking to catch some spring skiing. A surge in visitors will put the town at risk of an increase in COVID-19 cases.
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Breckenridge officials are predicting that tourism will be near its normal levels for the spring break period. Mayor Eric Mamula is calling on residents to take extra caution to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Because visitors may not be following the same precautions in their home states, there is concern they will bring the virus with them.
“A lot of (our spring break crowd) now is coming from states that have decided to put the foot on the gas and stop any COVID measures at all. No more mask mandate in places like Texas. So there is some danger for us, and my fear is that we’re going to get people that come to town that believe COVID is no longer existent, whether they believed in it or not the first time, and they are going to be a bit of a menace to our front-line workers.”
– Breckenridge Mayor, Eric Mamula
Currently, Breckenridge has its own set of mandates in place to combat COVID-19. Officials have designated a “mandatory mask zone” that includes Ridge Street, Main Street, and Park Avenue. Masks must be worn indoors and outdoors at any establishments, transit, or lift line within this zone. Restaurants and retail are limited to 50% indoor capacity or 50 people, whichever comes first. Gatherings are also limited to 10 people from a maximum of two different households.
Town officials have hired private security during the spring break period. Security will patrol the town to make sure that people are following regulations but will not write tickets.
Officials fear another spike in positive cases as outsiders flock to the town. Summit County saw rises in cases after Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Since then cases declined but have plateaued for a period of time. A downward trend of cases is the goal, which will prove difficult with outsiders coming to Breckenridge. Anyone visiting should review the guidelines in place.