Climbing coronavirus cases in Colorado’s high country aren’t tracking back to ski resorts |

Climbing coronavirus cases in Colorado’s high country aren’t tracking back to ski resorts

Health officials in eight counties, including Grand, have not traced positive tests back to lift lines, chairlifts or ski slopes

Jason Blevins, Colorado Sun

Colorado’s resort communities are teetering on the edge of increased restrictions as a potential surge in COVID-19 cases from the busy holidays looms. But public health officials in eight tourism-dependent communities have not linked any outbreaks to ski areas.

“It’s not the activity of skiing that is the risk but all the things that go along with it,” said Lindsey Mills, a spokeswoman for San Miguel County.

San Miguel County has seen an increase in visitors testing positive for COVID-19, but the county’s epidemiological team has not tracked transmission back to the slopes, lines or chairlifts at Telluride ski area. But post-ski socializing, that’s a problem.

“When your guard is let down with alcohol that is where we are seeing spread,” Mills said.

That’s the refrain across the high country as public health directors brace for a possible surge in cases after the busy December holiday. Cases may be climbing — a New Year’s Eve party in Aspen boosted Pitkin County’s case count by nine, for example — but contact tracing tends to find transmission indoors. And controlling vacationers in private homes is virtually impossible, leaving health officials screaming themselves hoarse over safety protocols and imposing ever-restricting rules on businesses.


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