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Making summer plans while staying safe

Traveling safely this summer around Colorado
Posted at 5:57 AM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 07:57:19-04

FREMONT COUNTY — Fremont County received approval on Monday on a third variance, opening libraries, museums, and allowing 250 people to gather at an outdoor venue with social distancing in place.

With many counties continuing to reopen on a larger scale, and summer in full swing, Coloradans may be considering their seasonal plans. However, there are a few things to consider before hitting the road and heading to your favorite mountain town.

Gov. Jared Polis encourages people to ask the following questions before participating in an activity:
How many other people will be participating in this activity?
Is the activity outside?
How long will the activity take?
Do I feel 100% healthy?
How will I get there? Biking, walking, and driving in a car are all safer than public transportation.
Do I live with someone who is more vulnerable to COVID-19, and would be at high risk if I happened to bring the virus home?
What is the value of this activity to me versus the risk I am taking?

The Colorado Tourism Office also has five simple steps to protect Coloradans and visitors alike:
Maintain 6 feet of physical distance Wash hands often
Wear a mask in public
Stay home when sick
Get tested immediately if you have symptoms

In places like Canon City, tourism is a huge economic driver that they have been missing for months. Fremont County Commissioner Dwayne McFall said they have had 36 cases of coronavirus in the county as a whole, with 26 people recovered.

"I think we're doing a good part out here in rural Colorado, it's a lot different than the metro areas obviously... our local businesses also depend on those tourists... I hope people just use common sense, that's all it takes," McFall said.

The Royal Gorge in Fremont County is open to the public at a limited capacity with lots of precautions in place. On Monday, they were 50% down in the number of visitors when compared to last year, and they are not expecting the crowds they have seen in past summers. However, they are being optimistic, and hoping to see more tourists start to come out with time.

"We set our budget for being 30% down in visitation. So, we're hoping that as the days go on and the weeks go on and variances lift a little bit that we will see an improvement... Because we are an open air park, we have a lot to offer people, we believe in a safe way," said Peggy Gair, the public relations manager at the Royal Gorge.

News5 met visitors at the Royal Gorge from Oklahoma, Florida, and Las Vegas, as well as fellow Coloradans. Gair said around 90% of the people coming to the Royal Gorge are from Colorado.

CLICK HERE to see the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's travel information. In addition, Coloradans traveling this summer can check the What's Open in Colorado online guide, or call 800-COLORADO to talk with a travel counselor.

You can also explore this tool to learn about the risks and benefits of social activities.