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The Town of Estes Park is committed to following the guidelines of public health agencies to help control the COVID-19 pandemic. Operational updates, messages from officials, and resources are included below.
Estes Park, shining light on a determined path
By Mayor Todd Jirsa and Town Administrator Travis Machalek
We’ve entered another week of uncertainty and more negativity in the news, so together we want to reach out with some thoughts to help everyone keep a positive perspective. We’re isolating ourselves for the greater good, but it’s difficult. With last week’s orders telling most of us to stay home and keep physical distance from our friends, neighbors and colleagues, it could be tempting to feel divided.
In fact, once again the amazing people of Estes Park have come together in creative ways to seek out the needs of our people and fill those needs by any means possible. Our community actually grows in times like these. We grow as individuals and we grow together.
The community is here to help... whether you’re facing loneliness from physical isolation, or you’re facing the loss of your job, or you’re facing fear or stress as an essential service or medical provider. Reach out and you will find help.
One of the best resources is the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center’s “Caring during COVID-19” -- a compilation of local non-profit and services for Estes Valley residents at www.epnonprofit.org. You’ll find everything from food, to counseling, to student support and mentoring. From virtual medical and dental services to enrichment programs. On top of actually helping us get through this situation, the work of these local organizations is inspiring and heartwarming. Whether or not we call on them for support, they are shining a light for all of us.
At the Town, we’re committed to keeping your utilities on -- your water flowing and your lights on. It doesn’t matter if you can’t pay your bill right now.
The Town has allocated $250,000 in community relief funds to help fill critical needs in the form of food, housing and business/organizational support. Our community relief task force fields requests for grant funds, and is composed not only of Town staff, but local nonprofit leaders who share critical insight into community needs. This weekend, we approved the first relief grant submitted by the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center in the amount of $28,000 to support a food distribution program by the American Legion. More information about funding eligibility and guidelines is available at www.estes.org/covid-19.
Last week, we lit the star on Prospect Mountain as a sign of hope and togetherness. Thanks to our Power & Communications staff for making that happen. If you’re out and about gathering your essentials in the evening, we hope this star brightens your path and reminds you that physical distancing does not require emotional and intellectual distancing. Please reach out -- your community is here.
March 26 COVID-19 updates State and County stay-at-home orders and paid parking implementation postponed
Shortly after Larimer County issued a stay-at-home order yesterday, a similar order was issued statewide by Governor Polis. Both the state and county orders apply to Estes Park. The Governor's order defers to more protective orders issued by local public health authorities. Larimer County's order is more protective and detailed, and should be used for planning purposes. For more information, including a developing list of FAQs and a form to ask questions on the order, please visit the county website https://www.larimer.org/health/stay-at-home-order.
Voting is essential business! Don't delay...
Voters are asked to complete and return their Municipal Election Ballots as soon as possible. In an effort to maintain social distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Clerk's office is encouraging voters to return ballots through the mail or use the Town's drive-up ballot drop off at the main entrance to Town Hall on MacGregor Avenue, adjacent to Bond Park. The drop-off location is available through Monday, April 6, weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Election judges will also be available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, April 7. Please remain in your vehicle and an election judge will retrieve your ballot. Stay-at-home orders do not restrict voting or mail delivery as essential functions. More at www.estes.org/elections.
Paid parking implementation postponed, and permit update
In light of the unknown economic impact of COVID-19 on our community, the Town is postponing plans to implement seasonal, selective paid parking until 2021. Until further notice, 2019 Residential Parking Permits will remain valid for use in 2020. For anyone interested in continuing the conversation on paid parking and permits, the "Let's Talk Parking" series will continue online April 2. Visit www.estes.org/parking for more information.
Need someone to talk to?
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is stressful for people. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. Talking to someone can make all the difference. Summitstone Health, in partnership with the Health District of Northern Colorado, is able to help. If you are in crisis, please use the crisis help line at 970-494-4200 ext. 4 or text TALK to 38255 to receive mental health crisis support.
March 25 COVID-19 updates Larimer County has issued a stay-at-home order effective tomorrow
The order is effective March 26 at 5 p.m. through April 17. It allows residents to leave home for food and essential services, and clearly defines these services. The stay-at-home order could help dramatically decrease the length of other restrictions by slowing the spread of COVID-19. Learn more: https://www.larimer.org/health/stay-at-home-order.
"We are certain that the sooner we take these dramatic measures, the sooner we will be able to resume normal activity. But we need all residents of Larimer County to come together and do this for the sake of their friends, family and the community as a whole," said Gonzales. "Your actions at this moment will save lives and reduce the economic impact of this crisis on our community."
Town Board Appropriates $250,000 for community relief efforts during COVID-19 pandemic
At its March 24 meeting, the Town Board of Trustees appropriated $250,000 for community relief efforts. Town staff will be working with partnering agencies to determine how Town funds can best be leveraged and dispersed to meet identified needs in the community. Based on direction from the Board, efforts will be focused on needs related to food insecurity, housing, and support for local businesses and organizations. Funding decisions will be made in consultation with the Town Board.
Larimer County Community COVID-19 Symptoms Monitoring
We are sharing this important resource from the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment: Due to the limited availability of COVID-19 testing, we've created a COVID-19 Symptoms Monitoring Dashboard for Larimer County residents. If you've had symptoms of COVID-19 recently or are currently sick, please visit the dashboard and complete the reporting form. The public can view the collective data by symptoms onset and by location, and this gives us an additional tool to monitor the spread and impact of COVID-19 in Larimer County. Thank you! Report symptoms and view the dashboard: https://bit.ly/larimercovidsymptoms
March 24 COVID-19 Updates
Town facility closures
Town facilities will remain closed to the public through April 17. The Town will reassess that date on a weekly basis. With the exception of Town Hall and Visitor Center restrooms, the Town’s public restroom facilities are now closed.
Don’t delay - vote now!
Voters are asked to complete and return their Municipal Election Ballots as soon as possible. In an effort to maintain social distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Clerk's office is encouraging voters to return ballots through the mail or use the Town’s drive-up ballot drop off at the main entrance to Town Hall on MacGregor Avenue, adjacent to Bond Park. The drop-off location will be available beginning Friday, March 20, and continue through Monday, April 6, weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Election judges will also be available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, April 7. Please remain in your vehicle and an election judge will retrieve your ballot. More details at www.estes.org/elections.
March 24 Town Board meeting reminder on how to participate
The updated Town Board agenda for March 24 is available at www.estes.org/boardsandmeetings. The board will meet virtually and their meeting will be streamed at www.estes.org/videos. Since the public will not be able to attend and comment in person, public comments on agenda items are requested by noon Tuesday March 24, by emailing email@example.com or by leaving a voice message at 970-577-4773 where the comments will be transcribed for the board and added to the meeting packet. The quasi-judicial Elkhorn Lodge development plan items are expected to be postponed until such time that adequate public participation is possible. The recording of this meeting will be posted within 2 business days at www.estes.org/videos.
The Town of Estes Park and Larimer County have issued orders requiring the closure of short-term accommodations in the Estes Valley effective Monday, March 23 at noon through April 17. This is in consideration of Estes Park’s unique situation as a mountain visitor destination and our resident population with a high median age. A news release and complete orders are available at www.estes.org/covid-19.
Town Administrator Travis Machalek commented on this difficult decision:
"We have seen how fast this virus can spread in resort communities throughout our state. Summit County, Gunnison County, and San Miguel County have all recognized the danger posed by large numbers of people visiting small communities during this crisis and have acted boldly to protect their communities. I believe that Emergency Order 01-20 is necessary to protect the health and safety of the residents of Estes Park.
"I issued this order, in conjunction with the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment’s order, to affirm the Town’s commitment to protecting the health and safety of our valley residents and to underscore the potential severity of the consequences of inaction. This was an incredibly difficult decision. I am fully conscious of the impacts these actions have on businesses and their employees, having seen how accommodations-initiated closures have already played out in our community. Our friends and neighbors are affected, but everyone’s health comes first.
"Our next step is responding to the impact of the virus itself and the impact of the steps we are all taking to prevent its spread. Mitigating these negative impacts on the economic well-being of our residents, our businesses, and our town will not be an easy task, but it is a critical one and we are committed to see this through. We are fortunate to have many partners in this effort, and together, we will ensure our community emerges from this challenge stronger than ever."
Mayor's request to close RMNP, and the RMNP closure
On behalf of the Town of Estes Park, yesterday Mayor Jirsa sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior requesting the immediate closure of Rocky Mountain National Park to help reduce visitation to our area, supporting public health recommendations and helping to focus local resources on the immediate needs of our community. View the letter at www.estes.org/covid-19. The National Park later announced its closure effective March 20: www.nps.gov/romo.
March 24 Town Board meeting
The board agenda for March 24 is available at www.estes.org/boardsandmeetings. The board will meet virtually and their meeting will be streamed at www.estes.org/videos. Public comments on agenda items are requested by noon Tuesday March 24, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a voice message at 970-577-4773 where the comments will be transcribed for the board. The quasi-judicial Elkhorn Lodge development plan items are expected to be postponed until such time that adequate public participation is possible.
Update from the Police Department
The men and women at your Estes Park Police Department are dedicated to addressing today’s unprecedented challenges with resilience and confidence. The effects of this swift-moving pandemic are wide-ranging, but our commitment to serve our community is absolute. Our professional staff members are passionate in their efforts to serve. Operational plans are reviewed and revised daily to ensure we can continue our community-oriented services and meet the needs of our community in this most trying of times. Our officers, civilian employees and administrative leaders are taking precautionary measures to stay well and healthy, with a focus on continuity of operations. Our department’s work ethic and outlook is built on the foundation of invaluable experience from previous community hardships. As fellow community members of Estes Park, we are together in this effort. We will emerge stronger. We are Mountain Strong.
Town facilities and events
Town facilities are currently closed through March 31, with a reevaluation by Friday 3/27. We expect this will be extended. Town events have been canceled through April 18.
Municipal Election reminder
Ballots for the Municipal Election, April 7, 2020 arrived this week at the Post Office in Estes Park for delivery. In an effort to maintain social distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Clerk's office is encouraging voters to return ballots through the mail or use the Town’s drive-up ballot drop off at the main entrance to Town Hall on MacGregor Avenue, adjacent to Bond Park. The drop-off location will be available beginning Friday, March 20, and continue through Monday, April 6, weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Election judges will also be available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, April 7. Please remain in your vehicle and an election judge will retrieve your ballot. More details at www.estes.org/elections.
PDF: Town of Estes Park Emergency Order to close short-term lodging, dated March 21
Larimer County and Town of Estes Park Issue Orders Limiting Visitors to Estes Valley Through Closure of Accommodations
Larimer County, CO --- 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/file/d/1Vi7sJimUYaELZwgBme0oH8vvf1w2QM1V/view?fbclid=IwAR1ZE13BK5BtXQv-4lf40cwnZJO0MOanJA2sLAsuBBudbltRn6WrcsL1gTs
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.
PDF: Declaration of Local Emergency - COVID-19
March 19, 2020 update - COVID-19 First positive COVID-19 case in Estes Park, new public health orders and Town operations
Estes Park now has one confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident, as reported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). CDPHE has issued new public health guidelines, restricting gatherings of 10 or more people with few exceptions. Larimer County Public Health Director Tom Gonzales has recommended the Town encourage visitors not to travel to Estes Park. The Town is working with community partners to coordinate necessary messaging.
Town operations may continue as they are currently, with many staff teleworking, others working in offices and the field with social distancing measures. Facilities are closed to the public and events have been canceled through April 18, at this time. Other than Town Board meetings, all other meetings have been canceled or postponed. Social Distancing Public Health Order.
Review of the March 18 Town Board actions
At its March 18 special meeting, the Town Board met to discuss COVID-19-specific operational provisions for the municipal government. The board first received an update from the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. Public Health Director Tom Gonzales gave an update on public health recommendations, the status of confirmed cases in Larimer County (5 cases, at the time), the considerable delay in receiving COVID-19 test results, and the benefits of proactive measures in our community.
The Board unanimously approved a policy to cover COVID-19-related leave for Town staff, to continue to encourage the use of leave and isolation to reduce the risk of spreading illness among the staff and community, as well as provisions for staff to take care of children during school and daycare closures.
Finally, the Town Board unanimously passed a resolution amending the Municipal Code to allow the Town Administrator to enact emergency declarations during situations such as COVID-19 when actions are necessary more quickly than the Town Board can gather to meet. The ordinance provides for holding emergency meetings on short-notice, for holding virtual meetings when necessary, for declaring states of emergency and disaster, and issuing emergency rules, regulations and orders. The ordinance provides certain authorities to the Town Administrator during disasters or emergencies, with checks and balances maintained by the Town Board at all times. More information is available in the Town Board packet materials at https://dms.estes.org/weblink/0/edoc/126753/PACKET%20Special%20Town%20Board%202020-03-18.pdf.
Town Administrator Machalek signed an emergency declaration for the Town of Estes Park today. In accordance with the Town Board's action March 18, this declaration allows actions by the Town Administrator in response to the emergency to manage the incident and take community mitigation measures. The declaration is available at www.estes.org/covid-19 and linked directly at https://drive.google.com/file/d/19YnnI19RZfPuSRQVww7K1RUrncRaSWKG/view.
In light of new public health orders, staff will be working with the Town Board to determine how it wants to proceed with its next meeting, March 24. More details on this meeting to come.
Community Development operations
The Estes Park Building Division will discontinue in-home inspections until further notice. Those inspections mainly include water heater, furnace, window and door inspections. A permit is still required for this type of work and permits can be applied for and paid for online. Inspections will resume when it is deemed safe for the community. Staff will continue to inspect new residential and commercial projects as long as it is safe to do so. Staff are still reviewing plans and issuing permits. As a way to provide customer-oriented alternatives for this step, staff are considering increased temporary use of contractor affidavits to fill some gaps in service. Affidavits can be emailed and thus avoid the need for social proximity. Not all construction can rely on affidavits, but this will reduce the economic impact of reduced building inspection services in the field while ensuring public health and safety per current orders and guidelines.
Chief Building Official Gary Rusu is available by email or phone. Please contact him with any questions or concerns: 970-577-3728 or email@example.com.
Ballots for the Municipal Election, April 7, 2020 arrived today at the Post Office in Estes Park for delivery. In an effort to maintain social distancing and minimize the spread of COVID-19, the Clerk's office is encouraging voters to return ballots through the mail. The return ballots require standard postage of $0.55. The Town Clerk's office is establishing a drive-up ballot drop off at the main entrance to Town Hall on MacGregor Avenue, adjacent to Bond Park. The drop-off location will be available beginning Friday, March 20, and continue through Monday, April 6, weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Election judges will also be available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, April 7. Voters are asked to park in one of the designated drop-off parking spaces and an election judge will be available to accept your ballot.
The Larimer County offices on Brodie Avenue are not accepting ballots for the Town of Estes Park Municipal Election. All ballots must be received by 7 p.m. April 7, when the polls close, in order to be counted - postmarks do not count. Swearing-in of newly elected Town Trustees will be at the April 28 Town Board Meeting.
Community partner updates
The Town is establishing a repository of local partner updates and resources at www.estes.org/covid-19 and www.estes.org/covid-19partners. We will update this resource as partners provide us with new information. Currently, information is shown as provided by Safeway, Estes Park Health, Rocky Mountain National Park, the YMCA, Visit Estes Park, the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation, Estes Park Schools, Upper Thompson Sanitation, Estes Park Sanitation and Estes Valley Recreation and Park District (Community Center). We also link to the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center where you can learn about the services offered by nonprofits and how you can help, if you are able.
In need of food or other help?
Business closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have put many of our community members out of work, at least temporarily. During this difficult and uncertain time, we wanted to ensure that residents of the Estes Valley were aware of some places they could turn to if they are finding it difficult to afford food for themselves and their families. Resources and services provided by area nonprofits during COVID-19 are available on the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center's website: https://www.epnonprofit.org/covid-nonprofit-resources.html
Keeping the lights on -- Town utilities and COVID-19 A message from Mayor Todd Jirsa As we watch the world around us change and alter our daily lives to avoid an invisible threat, I want to reach out with a message of reassurance about the basics you rely on at your home and business… water, electricity and internet. I can assure you that these Town of Estes Park services will continue to serve you and your most basic needs. Water and electricity are services we often take for granted. But during uncertain times like these, you may find yourself wondering if your water or electric service will be affected. This also goes for the customers coming online with the new Trailblazer Broadband internet. We do not know yet how many people COVID-19 will directly affect in Estes Park, but we can be certain it will affect our community more than it has already. The Town of Estes Park has extensive experience maintaining its utility services during emergencies - and you have told us repeatedly that we excel here. We take great pride in that. Our Water and Power & Communications teams plan, prepare and train for continuing our operations during tough times. We’ve also taken measures to ensure your tap continues to run our high-quality drinking water, and your lights come on at the flip of a switch... Continuity of operation plans ensure we have the staff available to keep water and electricity and internet available around the clock, and that we’re able to respond quickly to your customer service needs. As we watch more and more facilities around us shut down, you can be certain that Town of Estes Park utilities will not. You should also rest assured that the Town will not disconnect any services to customers unable to pay their bills during this hardship -- commercial or residential. Our staff will assist you with a payment plan. We have tightened up our operations in many ways to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Our employees are dispersed, both in offices and in the field. Some are teleworking, others are practicing social-distancing to reduce the risk to our teams and the critical services they provide to the community. Business-related travel outside of our service areas is now prohibited. Finally, our staff is supported with paid leave to stay home if they feel ill, to ensure they don’t feel pressure to work further reducing the risk to our customers. Our team is proud to support our customer communities, and our motivation to provide the services you need is only increased during challenging times like these.
March 17 operational update - COVID-19 The Town of Estes Park strongly encourages following public health recommendations on social distancing. Don't shake hands. When possible, increase the distance between people to six feet to help reduce spread. Consider cancelling trips and not attending public gatherings. Follow CDC guidelines on travel. Larimer County has issued a public health order to cancel or postpone gatherings of 50 or more people. The county is also urging the following:
People at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (aged 60 or over, those with underlying health conditions, and pregnant people) not attend events, public areas, and business locations where 10 or more people will be gathered.
Avoid all nonessential travel. Travel in and out of the community is highly discouraged.
State Order: Governor Polis has issued an order restricting the operations of restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters for the next 30 days. While we know this is an important step, we understand this will be difficult for the businesses and their employees. https://www.colorado.gov/governor/news/state-health-department-issues-public-health-order-closing-colorado-bars-restaurants-gyms?fbclid=IwAR2GESDiLIXs_qSAb937X9451hA7ToC7Z9jfXTOqehUjl6sl6uUn55z6ums
Utility bill grace period: In light of the Governor's order, the Town is working on a policy to provide assistance to commercial utility customers, ensuring no services are disconnected due to delayed payments during this hardship.
Support our local restaurants when you can! https://www.facebook.com/groups/EstesParkDelivers/
Special Town Board Meeting tomorrow: The Town Board will hold a special meeting March 18 to discuss provisions for COVID-19 Town operational issues, emergency declarations, and have a discussion on holding virtual meetings in the future. The agenda is available at www.estes.org/boardsandmeetings, and the meeting will be streamed/recorded via www.estes.org/videos. Public participation is encouraged by commenting in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 970-577-4777. Those who choose to attend will be asked to follow social distancing guidelines in the board room.
Avoid scams: It didn't take long for bad people to leverage COVID-19 for criminal purposes. Cybersecurity researchers have identified several fake COVID-19 tracker maps that infect people's computers with malware when opened. The tactic is one of many ways hackers and scammers are capitalizing on people's fears about coronavirus to spread malware. There are reports from all over the world of increased activity of this nature, all under the disguise of COVID-19 information.
Electric rate hearing postponed: The electric rate hearing is tentatively rescheduled to June 23, pending board action. Background and updates at www.estes.org/electricrates.
Applications to Community Development: Department staff will be available by advance appointment Wednesday, March 18 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Estes Park Events Complex, with special provisions for social distancing, to accept applications and payment for the next submittal cycle. Please email email@example.com or call 970-577-3721 in advance to schedule a few minutes with Community Development staff during this time frame.
COVID-19 operational updates from the Town of Estes Park
According to public health officials in Larimer County, there are still no documented cases of COVID-19 in Estes Park at this time. However, we understand that testing facilities are operating on delays and we must be proactive in doing our part to help limit the spread of COVID-19 to help protect our staff and our community. Our primary goals are to support the public health and welfare while keeping our staff well and maintaining our ability to continue providing our municipal services to the community.
The Town will close all of its facilities to the public beginning March 17 to continue through March 31, with reevaluation to occur by March 27. Access to Town-operated public restroom facilities will remain open with enhanced cleaning practices. Town staff will continue working in their offices or in the field, or by teleworking, practicing social distancing measures and assisting the public via phone and email. Our goal is to maintain town services as much as possible. Closures include Town Hall, the Estes Park Visitor Center, the Estes Park Museum and the Estes Park Events Complex. Cancellations for the Events Complex are extended through April 18, to include cancellation of Bigfoot Days (April 18). Please contact these departments directly if you need to reschedule a meeting or event: www.estes.org/staff-directory.
The Town is currently evaluating options to hold the Town Board meetings virtually and at this time, the meetings are still scheduled with current information available at www.estes.org/boardsandmeetings. The Town Board will also hold a special meeting March 18 to discuss COVID-19 related business to ensure the Town can continue municipal services during the pandemic. Advance public input on the Town Board meeting is encouraged via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings are streamed and recorded via www.estes.org/videos. The Estes Valley Planning Commission meeting March 17 has been canceled.
Ballots are being mailed this week, as scheduled, for the Municipal Election. Voters are strongly encouraged to vote by mail. The Town is also making special provisions to accommodate an outdoor ballot drop-off on MacGregor Avenue in front of the main entrance to Town Hall. More details to come.
The Town of Estes Park is not a public health agency and therefore will not be providing original information on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects in our community. Our goal is to connect the public with the experts in this area. We strongly encourage the community to follow these agencies’ updates and public health guidelines, including washing hands frequently, staying home if you’re sick, and social-distancing (maintaining at least 6’ of separation from others) in all situations. We especially encourage high-risk individuals to diligently follow tailored guidelines to mitigate their risk of getting sick.
a. CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
b. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
c. Larimer County Department of Health and Environment: https://www.larimer.org/health/communicable-disease/coronavirus-covid-19
We urge visitors and prospective visitors to follow the advice of the CDC, State and County Health departments in limiting travel to help reduce spread of the virus. Businesses in Estes Park may have varied operations, so please check with individual businesses on their operational status.
As we all watch the COVID-19 situation unfold across the world and now, in our own county, I wanted to reach out to provide some updates and encouragement on behalf of the Town government. It helps me rest easy to know that so many community partners are once again pulling together to face adversity. It's something we can count on. I hope this helps you rest easier, too. We don't want to contribute to the sense of panic that we're seeing in some places, and we want to see our community continue to flourish while taking some precautions. In fact, the Town is taking some precautions that we want to share with you now...
Our goal at the Town of Estes Park is to continue to serve the community with critical municipal services while doing our part to ensure the health of our fellow community members and visitors. No town services are adversely affected by COVID-19 at this time, and we hope to keep it that way. We have been carefully monitoring this rapidly-evolving situation and listening to the expert advice of our public health partners.
Based on current public health recommendations for social-distancing measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Town of Estes Park has elected to cancel all non-critical public meetings, programs and facility rentals at public-facing Town facilities through April 13. Facilities included are Town Hall, the Estes Park Events Complex, Estes Park Visitor Center and Estes Park Museum. Cancellations include Town Board study sessions, advisory boards and educational programs. Staff are making every effort to notify affected groups, and groups are encouraged to contact their normal staff liaisons with any questions. Decision-making meetings such as those of Town Board and Planning Commission have not been canceled at this time.
Town facilities remain open with normal operating hours at this time. The organization has taken extra measures to ensure our facilities are cleaned, our employees are following public health cleanliness guidelines, and our employees do not feel any pressure to come to work if they are sick. A decision whether or not to close any Town facilities would come after recommendations from public health officials. We appreciate your patience as we make necessary operational adaptations.
Customers in need of Town services are asked to contact staff via phone and email when possible. We ask that you do not come to Town Hall or other Town-operated facilities unless it is necessary, and please refrain from doing so if you are feeling ill. We encourage voters to return their completed Municipal Election ballots via mail, and conduct other town business online or over the phone when possible.
Town business travel is now restricted, to exclude any out-of-state travel or travel to the Denver metro area.
These new operational provisions are intended to help reduce community anxiety around the spread of COVID-19 and ensure we are doing everything we can to help. You can count on us to provide further updates on Town operations as this situation develops. We're in this together.
-- Mayor Todd Jirsa
The Town encourages the community to follow these agencies' updates on COVID-19 and guidelines for public health, including washing hands frequently and staying home when sick. The Town especially encourages high-risk individuals (including individuals over 60 years of age and those with chronic health conditions) to diligently follow guidelines to mitigate the risk of becoming ill.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
Larimer County Department of Health and Environment: https://www.larimer.org/health/communicable-disease/coronavirus-covid-19
-Call the Joint Information Center : 970-498-5500 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm)
-Text questions: 970-999-1770 (Staff try to respond within 4 hours during the day)