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Summit County Emergency Blog

Emergency blog
Activated during disasters and emergencies to provide critical public information. Administered by the Summit County Office of Emergency Management.

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Mar 15

A Letter to the Community from Local Leaders

Posted on March 15, 2020 at 5:19 PM by Sarah Wilkinson

Dear Summit County Community Members,

Summit County does not yet have definitive clinical evidence of community spread of COVID-19, but we believe that the novel coronavirus is present in our population, based on its epidemiology and the experiences of communities across the state and nation. At this point, we believe it is safest to assume that any individuals showing symptoms of COVID-19 have been infected with the virus.

Given these circumstances, and the large number of visitors that have circulated through our community during recent months, it is critically important that our community members practice rigorous social distancing: maintaining at least 6 feet of separation from other individuals and avoiding groups. More than 80 percent of people infected by the novel coronavirus experience only mild symptoms. However, they can transmit it to high-risk individuals, who are older or have serious underlying health conditions such as cancer, lung disease or heart disease. For these high-risk individuals, COVID-19 can be life threatening, which is why we need to work together to protect one another.

We have an excellent health care system in Summit County, but its capacity is limited. It is essential that we avoid overwhelming the system so that it can support individuals who are very ill, including those with conditions that are unrelated to COVID-19. Testing for COVID-19 will continue in Summit County, especially for individuals in high-risk population groups.

Please work with us by following these social distancing guidelines:
  • Limit your exposure to and physical interactions with other people.
  • Avoid groups, socialization and gatherings with people outside of your household.
  • Stay connected with friends, family and neighbors via remote communication technology such as email, text, video chat and phone.
  • Get outside – alone or with members of your household. Take in fresh air, exercise and enjoy Summit County’s spectacular natural environment.
  • People who have difficulty leaving their homes are encouraged to find ways to stay active indoors, such as using online exercise videos.
  • Be kind to one another and remotely check in on friends, neighbors, family members and colleagues. We will get through this together.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water.
  • Avoid using public transit for nonessential trips.
In order to help facilitate social distancing, all public facilities at Summit County and the Towns of Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne will be closed to the public. Essential personnel, including those who are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, will continue to report to work. All first responders in Summit County will report for duty as scheduled. Local public transit services (Breck Free Ride and Summit Stage) will continue to operate on their normal routes for the time being. But community members are asked to use public transit only for essential trips, such as purchasing essential supplies like food and medications. 

Your public officials at Summit County and the Towns of Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne recognize that the uncertainty and pace of changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and its local impacts are disruptive, frightening and deeply challenging. We are actively working together, and with the State of Colorado and the federal government to identify the resources and strategies required to best support all of our community members. We will keep you updated as we learn new information or have new guidance to share.

One of the things that makes Summit County such a special community is the way we all pull together when faced with a challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest tests we have ever faced, but we know our community members are strong, kind, generous, thoughtful, resourceful and compassionate. And that’s what will get us through this.

If you need additional support with food, medication, referrals for mental health or any other issues related to basic needs, please reach out to our Human Services Department at 970-668-2940. If you are feeling heightened stress or anxiety related to COVID-19, contact Colorado Crisis Support: call 844-493-TALK (8255), text TALK to 38255 or visit www.ColoradoCrisisServices.org

Sincerely,
Summit County Board of Commissioners
Town Councils of Blue River, Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne