Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and the Town of Estes Park have issued public health orders limiting visitors to Estes Park by closing short-term accommodations within the Estes Valley to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The orders were issued March 21 and take effect March 23 at 12 p.m. With the same goal in mind, many accommodations throughout the Estes Valley have already voluntarily closed, a commendable step.
The age and health of a significant portion of the population in Estes Park places it at risk of serious health complications from COVID-19. Although most individuals who contract COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, people with mild symptoms and asymptomatic persons with COVID-19 may place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk.
The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and the Town of Estes are limiting visitor services in the Town and discouraging visitation. The town's hospital has also urged the Town to shut down hotels, motels, and vacation rentals to limit the number of tourists into the Town. The orders from the Town and Larimer County limit accommodations in the Estes Park area. These orders go into effect on March 23 at 12 p.m. through April 17, 2020. There are exceptions for local workers, long-term residents of short-term facilities, and those who are ill or quarantined.
The complete orders may be viewed at www.estes.org/covid-19 and www.larimer.org/coronavirus. The direct link to the Town's order is https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Vi7sJimUYaELZwgBme0oH8vvf1w2QM1V.
Town Administrator Travis Machalek commented, "This is an incredibly difficult decision made with the health of the people in our community in mind - our number one priority. We hope that the sooner we take these measures, the sooner we can celebrate the reopening of our businesses."
"The Estes Valley is a cornerstone of our Larimer County community and as we've seen in other Colorado mountain areas, these actions are essential to protect the health of the people in the area and minimize the impacts of this pandemic locally," says Public Health Director Tom Gonzales.
COVID-19 is spread like the flu. You can help slow the spread of viruses by:
increasing distance between people to six feet to help reduce spread,
considering canceling trips and not attending public gatherings,
washing hands frequently with soap and water,
covering coughs and sneezes,
staying home when sick, and
avoiding close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms.
Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the public health response adjusts as more is learned about this virus. While there is plenty of news and media information available, LCDHE is encouraging Larimer County residents to view the latest credible information on COVID-19 at www.larimer.org/coronavirus or www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE's Facebook and Twitter accounts at @LarimerHealth.