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CDPHE strongly advises residents, recent visitors in four mountain counties to keep social distance

Eagle, Summit, Pitkin & Gunnison Counties
Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 13:41:50-04

DENVER -- If you live in, or have visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin or Gunninson Counties in the last week, you are strongly advised to minimize social contact.

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment issued that advisory Sunday.

CDHPE says there has been extensive spread of COVID-19 in those four mountain counties, which all have ski areas popular with locals and international clientele.

As of March 15, a total of 39 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in those four counties.

COVID-19 Cases

Eagle County18 Positive Tests
Pitkin County13 Positive Tests
Gunnison County6 Positive Tests
Summit County2 Positive Tests

The CDPHE advisory recommends that residents and recent visitors stay home as much as possible, work from home, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and their co-workers or customers, and only go out in public for necessities.

"I'm a 40 year local and it's kind of caught us all a little by surprise," said Paul Genelin, a longtime Eagle County resident. "But we're not going to live our life in fear, we're going to continue moving on."

Genelin, and his college age son, Matthew, stopped briefly in Idaho Springs Sunday afternoon.

When asked how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting them, Matthew, a med-student, said, "We're all online now. Everything (at school) is online. It's kind of minimized how much we can go outside."

Idaho Springs businessman Randy Watson, the owner of The Frothy Cup, a coffee roaster and bakery said some people might push back against the health department's advisory, but he thinks it's a smart idea.

"We're trying to slow down the spread of the virus, and social distancing is the right thing to do," he said.

Watson said he and other restaurant owners are spending more time cleaning tables and chairs, and other points of contact.

He posted a flier on his front window to let customers know he's following the latest CDC guidelines.

Idaho Springs resident Kyla Ewers told Denver7 she's glad Clear Creek County wasn't included in the health department's advisory.

"I just think it's absolutely crazy that all the ski areas have been closed. I've never seen this before in my life," she said. "I just hope that everybody's okay and stays healthy."