Grand County to increase COVID-19 restrictions (updated)
In a 2-1 vote, the Grand County Commissioners decided Thursday to move the county’s COVID-19 restrictions from Level 2 to Level 3.
The biggest change across Grand, which has been in Level 2 (yellow) since the state’s framework was introduced, will be smaller capacity limits for businesses. Businesses — specifically those reliant on hunting operations — have until Nov. 22 to fully implement the change, though they can institute Level 3 (orange) precautions sooner.
Acting as the Board of Health, Grand County Commissioners Rich Cimino and Merrit Linke voted in favor of moving to Level 3, while Kris Manguso dissented. During extensive discussions, the county heard from business leaders, including the ski resorts and town managers. Most were in favor of moving to Level 3.
According to Grand County Public Health, on the heels of this decision, 21 new local cases of COVID-19 were found in the last 36 hours. The number of people on quarantine or isolation has reached 534. Additionally, local health care facilities were notified that multiple Front Range hospitals could not accept transfers of ill patients from Grand County.
The hope is to move back to Level 2 by Dec. 1, which Grand County Medical Director Dr. Darcy Selenke was optimistic could happen if COVID case numbers go down.
Restaurants, retail and places of worship can have up to 25% capacity under Level 3 restrictions. Indoor events are capped at 50 people while outdoor events will be capped at 75.
The county plans to approve a COVID-19 mitigation plan with further actions to slow the spread of coronavirus at Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioner’s meeting.
The plan will be available at http://www.co.grand.co.us/COVID19 for the public to review.
Editor’s note: This story was updated with additional information about the new restrictions and reasoning behind the decision.
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The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Colorado Highway 125 in Grand County while crews work to clear the route of mud, debris and snagged trees piled up on various bridges and guardrails.