15 Colorado Counties Will Move to Red Level ‘Severe Risk’ Tomorrow | Ski Resorts Will Not Have to Close, State Confirms

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis added a new color to the COVID-19 protection level dial yesterday. ‘Level Purple’is defined by hospital capacity and access to personal protective equipment and will be enacted when Colorado’s health care system is at risk of collapsing. |  Photo courtesy CDOH/Twitter

Summit County, Colorado confirmed yesterday that the county would be moving to Level Red on the state’s ‘stay at home’ covid-19 dial. The decision has many concerned about how that will affect the only just begun ski season.

The red tier, which was originally the highest tier with the harshest restrictions before being superseded by a new purple tier, prohibits gatherings of any kind and indoor dining at restaurants and was essentially a ‘stay at home’ order. However, in an email from the Colorado State Joint Information Center last night, officials confirmed that the level “does not affect ski resort on-mountain operations specifically.”

Ski areas in Level Red, or severe risk, counties must suspend indoor dining and provide takeout and grab-and-go or outdoor dining, “but may still operate their lifts according to their approved plan.” Facilities “essential for health and safety like restrooms” can also remain open, and riders are allowed indoors “to warm or shelter from inclement weather.”

15 Colorado counties are moving to a revised Level Red after the governor announced in a press conference Tuesday that the state will be intensifying covid-19 restrictions in Colorado areas with concerningly high new daily case counts. 

“We clearly need a more drastic shift in behavior,” Polis said, after addressing increasing numbers of coronavirus cases and associated hospitalizations across Colorado.

The previous color-code covid-19 dial—which was understood as green is good, orange is bad, and red is really bad—has been revised with new restrictions and now has a new color on it—purple. 

Level Purple means ‘extreme risk’, which will bring a stay-at-home order to whichever county is at that level on the dial. 

Level Red on the dial has new restrictions such as a ban on indoor dining and events, an 8 pm last call, and additional capacity limits on gyms, 5280 Magazine reports. The reduction in gyms’ capacity is to 10% from 25%, with a limit on 10 total people down from 25.

Here’s an infographic that describes each restriction level in detail:

Photo courtesy Steamboat Pilot & Today

The counties with ski areas moving to Level Red (Severe Risk) are:

  • Clear Creek – Loveland Ski Area
  • Routt – Steamboat Ski Resort
  • Summit – Breckenridge Ski Resort, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, and Keystone Resort
  • Boulder County – Eldora Mountain

Gov. Polis says that the intensification of these restrictions is meant to save lives, keep Colorado’s healthcare system from getting overwhelmed, and protect the state from economic collapse. Counties are also able to envoke additional restrictions where they see fit.

“Let’s do this Colorado,” Polis said “We need to reach down into that reservoir of will power that we have and show the resolve to simply avoid socializing with others, to wear a mask, to be careful and cautious so we can save lives and get our economy going.”

This could be Colorado’s last-ditch effort to avoid a statewide stay-at-home order, which could shut down ski areas.

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