County targets Winter Park, Fraser for COVID-19 restrictions
In an unusual move, Grand County Public Health will begin implementing Level Red restrictions for “target areas” on the eastern side of the county.
Beginning Saturday and lasting through at least Feb. 26, Level Red restrictions will be implemented for Winter Park Resort based restaurants and specific businesses identified as places where outbreak transmission has occurred in Winter Park and Fraser.
Grand County Public Health said it will not identify the businesses enacting these restrictions because the transmission occurred among local patrons. Businesses not targeted in these restrictions can continue their operations in accordance with all Level Orange restrictions.
This is the first time Grand has implemented COVID restrictions confined to certain parts of the county and at individual businesses
The restrictions come after a 100-plus person outbreak was reported among employees at Winter Park Resort. Nearly half of all reported cases in Grand have come from the Fraser Valley.
The targeted businesses will move to take out, curbside, delivery, to go or outdoor dining. Up to five members of the public are allowed inside at a time to pick up food or place an order, given specific precautions are taken by the facility to maintain a 6-foot distance. Outdoor dining is limited to one household per group.
All indoor events within Fraser and Winter Park, both public and private, are not allowed under these new restrictions, though worship is still allowed. Any other indoor events will need to be approved by Grand County Public Health.
GCPH said it has determined that recent high disease activity and outbreaks can be attributed to community spread among individuals who are considered primary residents. Illness among visitors is not reflected in Grand County’s case counts.
“We are focusing on where the greatest amounts of transmission are taking place in an effort to avoid further impacts on the county as a whole,” officials said in a statement.
In the second week of these restrictions, transmission rate trends will be reassessed. If there is a notable downward trend, the Level Red restrictions will be lifted.
Health officials said Winter Park Resort and other restaurants in the area have been proactive in implementing these measures.
“I know that our community can do better and I want to challenge everyone to do whatever is necessary to move us to Level Blue because right now we are moving in the wrong direction,” Grand County Public Health Director Abbie Baker said in the release. “Only then can we be on the right path toward recovery.”
There have been 101 COVID-19 cases in Grand County in the last week, with 40 cases being reported on Thursday alone. Grand’s case rate remains in Level Red at 651 cases per 100,000 people. The rest of the county continues to operate at Level Orange restrictions.
Five people are currently hospitalized due to COVID. The most recently reported positivity rate for Grand from Feb. 1 to Feb. 7 was 17.5%.
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Grand Concerts is hosting its first live event in 17 months featuring the Boston Brass on Friday at the Headwaters Pavilion in Winter Park.