County enacts newer, more stringent restrictions

The county just revised its public health order (March 16) with newer, more stringent restrictions. The highlights include no gatherings of more than 10 people will be allowed. All bars and restaurants are to be closed except for take out and delivery. Some businesses have exemptions and can stay open such as grocery stores, medical offices, liquor stores, gas stations and dispensaries. Hotels and short term rentals are to cease operations. Public transportation is considered an event in this order, so no more than ten people can be on a bus. Visitors are directed to leave the county immediately. Here is the order in full below. We will have more details later.




Pursuant to Colo. Rev. Stat. § 25-1-506 and other applicable authority, this Order sets forth guidance and requirements for, as well as limitations on, group gatherings to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


On March 10, 2020, the Governor of Colorado declared a state of Emergency related to the presence of COVID-19 in the State. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has confirmed that COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the State of Colorado, and community transmission of the illness has been confirmed in Gunnison County.


The purpose of these amendments are to amend and clarify the existing Order in response to inquiries received from elected officials and the public, and to expand protection for At Risk Persons (as defined in this Order).  For the avoidance of doubt, this Order should be construed to eliminate all non-essential services or sales of goods, and should be construed in the light most favorable to preventing the community spread of COVID-19.


On March 12, 2020, Gunnison County declared a Local Disaster Emergency related to COVID-19.  The County anticipates extending this Local Disaster Emergency pursuant to a meeting of the Gunnison County Board of County Commissioners on March 17, 2020.


On March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a National Emergency due to COVID-19.


On March 15, 2020, large municipalities across the nation, such as New York City, have announced the closing of all bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery services.


On March 15, 2020, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (“CDPHE”) issued a statement strongly advising visitors to and residents of Gunnison County to minimize social contact and recommending that visitors return home rather than remain in the County.


The age, condition, and health of a significant portion of the population in Gunnison County places it at risk of serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19. Although most individuals who contract COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, persons with mild symptoms and asymptomatic persons with COVID-19 may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk. A large surge in the number of persons with serious infections can compromise the ability of the healthcare system, particularly in the high-country counties currently affected by community transmission, to deliver necessary healthcare to the public.


The limitations on business activities, large gatherings and use of social distancing decreases the risk of COVID-19 transmission to our most vulnerable populations, and is especially important for people who are over 60 years old and those with chronic health conditions due to their higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. This Order will reduce the likelihood that many individuals will be exposed to COVID-19 at a single event, and will therefore slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.


This Order is adopted pursuant to the legal authority set forth in sections 25-1-506 and 25-1-508, Colorado Revised Statutes. Under these laws, the Gunnison County Public Health Director has the duty to investigate and control the causes of epidemic or communicable diseases and conditions affecting public health and to establish, maintain, and enforce isolation and quarantine, and in pursuance thereof, and for this purpose only, to exercise physical control over property and over the persons of the people within the jurisdiction of the agency as the agency may find necessary for the protection of the public health.


This Order shall apply to all unincorporated areas of Gunnison County, Colorado and all incorporated (municipal) areas that do not have their own public health agency, to wit:  City of Gunnison, Town of Crested Butte, Town of Mt. Crested Butte, Town of Marble, and the Town of Pitkin, Colorado.


All events must follow the requirements stated herein.




For purposes of this Order:


An “Event” is a gathering for business, social, or recreational activities, or a location that engages in or allows for such activities; that takes place indoors or outdoors, including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; assemblies; places of worship; conventions; fundraisers; restaurants (regardless of capacity); community recreational centers; ice rinks; libraries; child care centers; and similar locations and activities.


“Event” does not include activities that are primarily individual or occur in small groups or in non-congregate settings, such as places of employment or primarily small-group sports like cross-country (Nordic) and downhill skiing, as long as social distancing occurs particularly in areas where congregating in groups is unavoidable, such as ski lift lines.  “Event” also does not include places of employment for federal, state, local and special district employees, employees of public utilities or utility service providers (e.g., electric utility providers, internet service providers, water and sewer service providers), grocery stores (e.g., Clark’s, Safeway, or City Market), hardware stores, gas stations, medical service providers (e.g., hospitals, doctor’s offices, veterinarians, medical clinics, dental offices, physical therapists, pharmacies) or discount department stores (e.g., Wal-Mart, Dollar General).


  1. ORDER


  1. All Events of ten (10) people or more, including employees and attendees, are prohibited.


  1. All Events at the following locations are prohibited, regardless of the number of attendees:Day care centers, child care centers, home child care centers, private schools (including pre-schools), private day schools, community recreational centers, ice rinks, and libraries.


  1. All Events at bars, taverns, taprooms, and restaurants are prohibited, regardless of the number of attendees, except that such establishments may provide takeout and delivery of food so long as such establishments are otherwise in compliance with this Order.For the avoidance of doubt, this means that bars, taverns, taprooms, and restaurants should be and hereby are closed, except for takeout and delivery food service.  Service of alcohol by the drink at bars, taverns, and restaurants is hereby prohibited, except that such facilities may serve alcohol on a package basis if otherwise permitted by law.


  1. All Events at retail establishments are prohibited, regardless of the number of attendees, except for the types of retail establishments excepted by this Order:Federal, state, local and special district facilities, public utilities or utility service providers (g., electric utility providers, internet service providers, water and sewer service providers), grocery stores (e.g., Clark’s, Safeway, or City Market), hardware stores, medical service providers (e.g., hospitals, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, veterinarians, medical supply companies, dental offices, physical therapists, pharmacies), gas stations and discount department stores (e.g., Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree).  Retail establishments may continue to operate by continuing online or over-the-phone sales, except such goods ordered through such means must be delivered by mail or by delivery to a customer’s home or vehicle and outside of the retail location.  Package liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries may continue to operate so long as they are otherwise in compliance with this Order.


  1. All short term lodging, including but not limited to hotels, motels, short term rentals (30 days or less), bed and breakfast establishments, lodges and retreats shall cease operations, unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Public Health Director for emergency or quarantine purposes, or to provide lodging for essential federal, state, county or local personnel.


  1. All public transportation, included but not limited to bus service but not including commercial air travel, is considered an Event for purposes of this Order.


  1. Visitors to Gunnison County are directed to return home immediately upon the issuance of this Order by the fastest and safest available means, and persons considering visiting Gunnison County should remain home.Although non-resident homeowners are expressly exempt from this Paragraph G, non-resident homeowners are strongly encouraged to leave Gunnison County and return to their primary place of residence.


  1. The County and District Courts are hereby exempted from this Order, except that Gunnison County strongly encourages the Courts to:Consistent with any Court directives, a) vacate and reschedule all civil and domestic relations proceedings, especially civil jury trials (unless such proceedings can be conducted telephonically); b) vacate and reschedule criminal and traffic matters to the maximum extent possible consistent with defendants’ Constitutional rights.


  1. Residential and commercial construction sites may otherwise continue to operate so long as in compliance with this Order if they receive an express, written exemption from the Public Health Director after providing her sufficient information, in her sole discretion, to acertain compliance with this Order.Residential home and repair services (electrician, plumbing, propane delivery, trash, recycling and sanitation services, residential and commercial cleaning and home care services) may continue so long as they are in compliance with this Order.


  1. Events with fewer than ten (10) people, including employees and attendees, and including gatherings at all restaurants regardless of capacity, are prohibited unless event organizers take the following steps to mitigate risks:


  1. Older adults (age 60 and older), including employees, and individuals with underlying medical conditions that are at increased risk of serious COVID-19, including employees (collectively, “At-Risk Persons”), are not permitted to attend.For the avoidance of doubt, an “At-Risk Person” who is a federal, state, local or special district government employee, an employee of a medical service provider, an employee of a place or house of worship, or an employee of a public utility or utility service provider may report to his or her job site or other location(s) if necessary to perform his or her official job duties, so long as such location(s) are otherwise in compliance with this Order.  An At-Risk Person may also enter into a medical service provider’s office or facility, hardware store, grocery store or discount department store for the purpose of obtaining medical care, food, clothing or other necessary items if such location is otherwise in compliance with this Order.  However, At-Risk Persons are discouraged from engaging in such activities wherever possible.


  1. Social distancing recommendations must be met. These include limiting contact of people within 6 feet from each other for 10 minutes or longer, and any other guidance. See Section III, below.


  1. Employees must be screened for coronavirus symptoms each day and excluded if symptomatic.


  1. Proper hand hygiene and sanitation must be readily available to all attendees and employees.


  1. Environmental cleaning guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily or more frequently).




Further guidelines for social distance are available at  Gunnison County Public Works and any other appropriate government agencies (e.g., Highway Patrol, Colorado Department of Transportation) are hereby directed and encouraged to erect or provide appropriate highway signage to alert travelers to this Order.




If you have questions regarding this Order, please contact the Gunnison County Health Hotline at 970.641.7660.


Gunnison County is tasked with protecting the health and welfare of the citizens of Gunnison County, Colorado by investigating and controlling the causes of epidemic and communicable disease.  This Order is necessary to control any potential transmission of disease to others. See section 25-1-508, Colorado Revised Statutes.  Immediate issuance of this Order is necessary for the preservation of public health, safety, or welfare.


Any person aggrieved and affected by this Order has the right to request judicial review by filing an action with the Gunnison County District Court within 90 days of the date of this Order, pursuant to section 25-1-515, Colorado Revised Statutes.  However, you must continue to obey the terms of this Order while your request for review is pending.


This Order is in effect until midnight Mountain time April 8, 2020, and is subject to continuing review by the Public Health Director.




___________________________________              _________________________

Joni Reynolds                                                             Date

Public Health Director



I, __________________________________, hereby acknowledge receipt of this Order.



____________________________________                       ________________________

Sign                                                                                         Date




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