Following hours of discussion, Chaffee County commissioners voted unanimously to extend the local disaster emergency declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic through April 7.
Salida, Poncha Springs, Buena Vista, Salida and Buena Vista school districts, county staff and several businesses spoke during the meeting Tuesday.
The order gives power to Chaffee County Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom to set policy to protect public health.
They also took input to create a standing county public health order in regards to COVID-19.
“Chaffee County Public Health anticipates that, due to the contagiousness of the COVID-19 virus and the fact that numerous travelers from around the world visit our area, Chaffee County will see cases of the virus and its transmission within the community,” Carlstrom said. “Developing social distancing policies prior to an extensive outbreak has been a proven means of helping to contain COVID-19 outbreaks.”
The order states;
• Any gatherings in bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms, spas, pools and hot springs are suspended until April 7.
• All public and private events and gatherings are limited to 10 people or less.
• Chaffee County retail establishments such as grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, and food pantries, are strongly encouraged to follow Colorado Department of Health and Environment Guidance to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Such guidance includes establishing curb-side pickup for customers, encouraging social distancing between customers, establishing limits for customers within the store dependent on size of retail establishment that encourages social distancing and increased hygienic practices.
• All short-term lodging, including hotels, motels, short-term rentals bed and breakfasts establishments, lodges and retreats shall minimize operations unless authorized by writing by the Public Health Director for emergency or quarantine purposes or to provide lodging for essential personnel or for other emergency travel or lodging purposes, such as travel and lodging purposes not for leisure.
• Visitors of Chaffee County are directed to return home and persons considering visiting Chaffee County should remain home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
• Use of school facilities for public benefit shall be at permission and consultation of the Public Health Director.
• Publicly-scheduled meetings for the County shall take place virtually allowing the public to participate online or via teleconference.