Larimer County, CO & Town of Estes Park, CO (Rocky Mountain NP) Issue Orders to Limit Visitation

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Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

Larimer County & Estes Park, Colorado (Rocky Mountain National Park) has issued a public health orders to limit visitors to the Estes Valley area.

Rocky Mountain National Park has been closed due to Coronavirus.

“The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and the Town of Estes are limiting visitor services in the Town and discouraging visitation. The town’s hospital has also urged the Town to shut down hotels, motels, and vacation rentals to limit the number of tourists into the Town. The orders from the Town and Larimer County limit accommodations in the Estes Park area. These orders go into effect on March 23 at 12 p.m. through April 17, 2020. There are exceptions for local workers, long-term residents of short-term facilities, and those who are ill or quarantined.”

  • Larimer County, CO 3/21/20

Colorado mountain towns were overrun with backcountry skiers and riders yesterday.

Please watch the below video from Loveland Pass, CO yesterday with 1,000+ backcountry recreationists congregated together.

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Where Larimer County, CO is Located:

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Location of Rocky Mountain NP & Estes Park CO.
Larimer County, CO.

Larmier County, CO Press Release:

Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and the Town of Estes Park have issued public health orders limiting visitors to Estes Park by closing short-term accommodations within the Estes Valley to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The orders were issued March 21 and take effect March 23 at 12 p.m. With the same goal in mind, many accommodations throughout the Estes Valley have already voluntarily closed, a commendable step.

The age and health of a significant portion of the population in Estes Park places it at risk of serious health complications from COVID-19. Although most individuals who contract COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, people with mild symptoms and asymptomatic persons with COVID-19 may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk.

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and the Town of Estes are limiting visitor services in the Town and discouraging visitation. The town’s hospital has also urged the Town to shut down hotels, motels, and vacation rentals to limit the number of tourists into the Town. The orders from the Town and Larimer County limit accommodations in the Estes Park area. These orders go into effect on March 23 at 12 p.m. through April 17, 2020. There are exceptions for local workers, long-term residents of short-term facilities, and those who are ill or quarantined.

The complete orders may be viewed at www.estes.org/covid-19 and here – Fourth Public Health Order

Town Administrator Travis Machalek commented, “This is an incredibly difficult decision made with the health of the people in our community in mind – our number one priority. We hope that the sooner we take these measures, the sooner we can celebrate the reopening of our businesses.”

“The Estes Valley is a cornerstone of our Larimer County community and as we’ve seen in other Colorado mountain areas, these actions are essential to protect the health of the people in the area and minimize the impacts of this pandemic locally,” says Public Health Director Tom Gonzales.

COVID-19 is spread like the flu. You can help slow the spread of viruses by:

  • increasing distance between people to six feet to help reduce spread,
  • considering canceling trips and not attending public gatherings,
  • washing hands frequently with soap and water,
  • covering coughs and sneezes,
  • staying home when sick, and
  • avoiding close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms.

Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the public health response adjusts as more is learned about this virus. While there is plenty of news and media information available, LCDHE is encouraging Larimer County residents to view the latest credible information on COVID-19 at www.larimer.org/coronavirus  or www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts at @LarimerHealth.

 

Town of Estes Park, CO COVID-19 operational updates and public health resources

March 21 COVID-19 Updates

The Town of Estes Park and Larimer County have issued orders requiring the closure of short-term accommodations in the Estes Valley effective Monday, March 23 at noon through April 17. This is in consideration of Estes Park’s unique situation as a mountain visitor destination and our resident population with a high median age. A news release and complete orders are available at www.estes.org/covid-19.

Town Administrator Travis Machalek commented on this difficult decision:

“We have seen how fast this virus can spread in resort communities throughout our state. Summit County, Gunnison County, and San Miguel County have all recognized the danger posed by large numbers of people visiting small communities during this crisis and have acted boldly to protect their communities. I believe that Emergency Order 01-20 is necessary to protect the health and safety of the residents of Estes Park.

“I issued this order, in conjunction with the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment’s order, to affirm the Town’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of our valley residents and to underscore the potential severity of the consequences of inaction. This was an incredibly difficult decision. I am fully conscious of the impacts these actions have on businesses and their employees, having seen how accommodations-initiated closures have already played out in our community. Our friends and neighbors are affected, but everyone’s health comes first.

“Our next step is responding to the impact of the virus itself and the impact of the steps we are all taking to prevent its spread. Mitigating these negative impacts on the economic well-being of our residents, our businesses, and our town will not be an easy task, but it is a critical one and we are committed to see this through. We are fortunate to have many partners in this effort, and together, we will ensure our community emerges from this challenge stronger than ever.”

Mayor’s request to close RMNP, and the RMNP closure

On behalf of the Town of Estes Park, yesterday Mayor Jirsa sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior requesting the immediate closure of Rocky Mountain National Park to help reduce visitation to our area, supporting public health recommendations and helping to focus local resources on the immediate needs of our community. View the letter at www.estes.org/covid-19. The National Park later announced its closure effective March 20: www.nps.gov/romo.

March 24 Town Board meeting

The board agenda for March 24 is available at www.estes.org/boardsandmeetings. The board will meet virtually and their meeting will be streamed at www.estes.org/videos. Public comments on agenda items are requested by noon Tuesday March 24, by emailing townclerk@estes.org or by leaving a voice message at 970-577-4773 where the comments will be transcribed for the board. The quasi-judicial Elkhorn Lodge development plan items are expected to be postponed until such time that adequate public participation is possible.

Update from the Police Department

The men and women at your Estes Park Police Department are dedicated to addressing today’s unprecedented challenges with resilience and confidence. The effects of this swift-moving pandemic are wide-ranging, but our commitment to serve our community is absolute. Our professional staff members are passionate in their efforts to serve. Operational plans are reviewed and revised daily to ensure we can continue our community-oriented services and meet the needs of our community in this most trying of times. Our officers, civilian employees and administrative leaders are taking precautionary measures to stay well and healthy, with a focus on continuity of operations. Our department’s work ethic and outlook is built on the foundation of invaluable experience from previous community hardships. As fellow community members of Estes Park, we are together in this effort. We will emerge stronger. We are Mountain Strong.

Town facilities and events

Town facilities are currently closed through March 31, with a reevaluation by Friday 3/27. We expect this will be extended. Town events have been canceled through April 18.

Municipal Election reminder

Ballots for the Municipal Election, April 7, 2020 arrived this week at the Post Office in Estes Park for delivery. In an effort to maintain social distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Clerk’s office is encouraging voters to return ballots through the mail or use the Town’s drive-up ballot drop off at the main entrance to Town Hall on MacGregor Avenue, adjacent to Bond Park. The drop-off location will be available beginning Friday, March 20, and continue through Monday, April 6, weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Election judges will also be available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, April 7. Please remain in your vehicle and an election judge will retrieve your ballot. More details at www.estes.org/elections.


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