August 7, 2020
To the Winter Park Community,
I am inspired and motivated by how our community has come together to help neighbors and businesses get through the tough times imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have adapted to a new normal of take-out food, gathering in small groups, and wearing a mask anytime we are out of the house. It is because of this work that we have been able to reopen many parts of Winter Park and welcome back visitors.
However, we are not out of the woods yet. Due to the recent increase in cases as more people travel in and out of the area, Grand County has received a “high disease” designation. While many other places, such as Denver, also have this designation, it should not be taken lightly. This means that we need to keep taking precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Please continue to wear masks when in public buildings and when you are enjoying the outdoors if social distancing between people is not possible. Follow any directions that businesses provide when patronizing them. Wash your hands as frequently as possible.
All of us at the Town of Winter Park have our sights set on preparing for the winter season. Our economy relies on the tourism dollars brought during ski-season and closing down during that time could be devastating to businesses and the local workforce. We do not want to see that happen and need to take measures to ensure we maintain our “open” status.
Now, how do we make this happen on a governmental level? We saw the local mask mandate, along with those ordered by Fraser and Grand Lake, as an essential step to make health in Winter Park a priority. We also continue to work closely with Grand County and other local partners to monitor and mitigate the situation. Grand County recently received funding from the State to hire additional contact tracers and testing equipment to provide additional support to the Health Department. This will allow them to respond to outbreaks in a timely, targeted manner that will prevent the need for widespread closures. Locally we are working with Winter Park Resort and the Winter Park and Fraser Chamber to preserve our brand as a welcoming community and explore new ways to share and disseminate information quickly.
We are excited about these new prospects and keep exploring other technologies to help us understand the spread of the virus. This includes the possibility of partnering with Grand County and other towns to use methods such as routine testing of wastewater influent to pinpoint and monitor COVID-19. I know the Town of Winter Park and my fellow Council Members are very willing to look into any options that will ensure our health and stabilize our economy.
COVID-19 is still very much part of our daily reality, and we need to keep the proactive work going. With fall and winter quickly approaching, we want to make sure our community has the precautions and initiatives in place for these busy months. Anything we can do now will help us get back to normal more quickly.
Mayor Nick Kutrumbos