COVID-19 Cases Are At A Record High In Colorado – Is It Still Safe To Ski?

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Just as winter break is about to begin – COVID-19 cases are at a record high in Colorado. With 32 counties in level red – including Summit and Denver – is it still safe to ski? Registered nurse – Lauren Bryan – suggests skiing as one of the safer things you can do this winter. As long as you adhere to state-mandated public health guidelines and take precaution – the slopes are yours to enjoy. All doubts aside – here’s what Rocky Mountain ski resorts are doing to ensure your safety this winter.

Photo Courtesy of Breckenridge Ski Resort on Facebook

According to Bryan, “Skiing is an outdoor activity, many people already wear a mask, there’s space between people, and there’s no prolonged contact with others on the slopes. All of these are good things and fall in line with current public health precautions.”

20 ski resorts are already open in Colorado – welcoming new-comers and experts alike. “We need to reconnect with the outdoors, we need to feel normal and energized as we carve down the mountain with crisp alpine air in our faces,” Chief Executive Officer of Vail Resorts Rob Katz,  states.

Photo Courtesy of Breckenridge Ski Resort on Facebook

Excellent news for outdoor enthusiasts – updates on the COVID-19 dial suggests being outside as much as possible.  As of December 7, “The Dial still strongly encourages that people at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 remain at home or in the great outdoors as much as possible but allows levels of business and activities based upon disease prevalence and other metrics in each county,” the CDPHE states.

Doing your part to adhere to guidelines also ensures ski resorts remain open. Washing your hands, maintaining six feet apart and quarantining when necessary are best practices. As for the ski resorts, extra precautions are taken into account to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Two out of the four resorts in Aspen are open this season – Snowmass and Aspen Mountain. According to Communications Manager Liz Rovira, “Everyone is required to wear a mask.” She also explained that lines may be longer this season due to new gondola and chairlift procedures.

In our talk with Rovira she was most excited to share more about the new Aspen Snowmass App – which provides a contactless experience. As she described – the app allows guests to access restaurants, lift tickets and more without ever having to step inside a building. For additional precaution – the resort has also implemented more hand-sanitizing stations and cleaning protocols for high-touch surfaces.

Effective December 14, guests ages 10 and older staying a minimum of one night are expected to provide a travel affidavit. In addition, “Travelers must receive a negative COVID-19 result within 72 hours of arrival and have been symptom-free for 10 days prior to travel.” Although these requirements seem harsh – the esteemed resort’s guidelines are to ensure everyone enjoys a safe and healthy ski season.

Photo Courtesy of Aspen Snowmass on Facebook

Bernadette Finck from Leadville, Colorado – has already hit the slopes at Breckenridge and Keystone this winter. “Skiing in 2020 is different but I feel completely safe,” she said. “The reservation system is easy, and I can usually get the day I want!”

As part of the 34 North American, Vail Resorts – both Breckenridge and Keystone are also taking extra precautions. From health screenings to physical distancing – Vail Resorts believes a conservative approach is best whether you’re riding the gondola or attending ski school.

“The lift lines are a bit longer because you can only sit with your party on the lift. I feel very safe skiing this year and hope the resorts can stay open all year with these precautions!” said Finck.

Throughout the 2020/21 ski season, free COVID-19 testing sites will be available in Avon, Breckenridge and Vail. For more information and updates on COVID-19, visit covid19.colorado.gov.