Currently we are under the governor’s “safer-at-home” phase, which requests the following:

Stay at home unless absolutely necessary to travel. Stay within your zip code.

Wear face mask cloth coverings whenever you are out in public to help protect our most vulnerable populations and business employees and practice social distancing.

No gatherings of more than 10 people.

Sick people may not go to work – please stay home.

Chaffee County has established a three-phase safe business opening timeline through our Public Health Department by working with county leaders, municipalities, school districts, EMS, Human Services and Economic Development Council (EDC) representatives.

This timeline projection remains dependent on state directives and orders. All businesses are asked to fill out the Safe Business Checklist at on its COVID-19 page.

The purpose of the checklist is to educate and provide guidelines to local businesses to ensure they are safe and healthy to operate for employees and general public. All businesses will need to receive the Safe Business Certificate when they reopen.

Chaffee will not open up everything in one day or even one month and is dependent on ongoing COVID-19 test results. We are working to reopen the county’s economy, be prepared for the tourist influx, while preserving the welfare of our residents and maintaining critical emergency and health care capacity.

The EDC is actively organizing industry groups to prepare for business to return. This preparation involves integrating public health procedures for COVID-19 prevention with the everyday procedures of the business.

Chaffee County has a multitude of businesses and entrepreneurs that have created their own niche not necessarily identified by a single industry. We want all to reopen and will continue to work with groups, individuals and industry representatives to support next steps. It is in the best interest of the county to get back to work safely.

We are also asking community members to please wear a face mask in all public contact situations and at businesses. Our future success depends on investing and practicing these new safety standards to become sustainable practices.

Rusty Granzella is a Chaffee County commissioner.

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