Letter: Local law enforcement leaders ask citizens to work together to keep communities safe
Dear Routt County, Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Oak Creek community members,
As your law enforcement representatives, we wanted to reach out to you and clarify how we can work together to keep our community safe during this COVID-19 outbreak. Our new “normal” means we can’t spend the last days of the season skiing on the mountain, eating in our favorite restaurants, and gathering with friends and
extended family to name a few of our favorite activities.
In order to reduce community spread and save lives of our fellow Coloradans, Gov. Polis issued a stay-at-home order until April 26, which means that you should not leave your homes except for critical activities including:
• Obtaining food and other household goods, including medicine, alcohol, and cannabis products
• Going to and from work if you are a critical/essential employee
• Seeking medical care
• Caring for dependents or pets
• Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
• Participating in outdoor recreation at a legally mandated safe distance of 6 feet or more from other parties
In addition to the state public health order, the Routt County commissioners issued an order that restricts lodging for visitors. It prohibits any new visitors coming to Routt County and staying in local lodging. The order stops visitors from using short-term lodging like hotels, motels, timeshares, short-term rentals like VRBOs and
Airbnbs and campgrounds.
While we cannot require second homeowners not to stay in their homes here, we urge our second homeowners to help us protect our small rural community. We also ask residents not to invite extended family and friends to stay in your home.
The commissioners, working with the County Regional Building Department, issued a construction guidance to ensure that all commercial and residential construction projects have COVID-19 site plans. The commissioners, along with Gov. Polis, recommended that we all wear facemasks in public as a way of reducing the spread of the virus.
Our role as law enforcement is to protect the public and that includes ensuring that the community follows these public health orders. It is much preferred that voluntary compliance is honored, but it should be understood that non-compliance with these orders could result in citations, fines of up to $5,000 or jail time up to 18 months.
We will continue to enforce all laws during this challenging time.
We all can play a role in containing the spread of the virus and taking care of our community. We ask you to take two essential actions:
1. Lead by example: Follow the public health orders and guidance
2. Stay with your household: Do your daily activities with your household
3. Report a public health infraction: If you see an infraction call our non-emergency dispatch at 970-879-1110.
We know our community knows how to come together during a crisis. We thank you for doing your part in keeping our community safe, healthy and vibrant.
Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins
Steamboat Springs Chief of Police Cory
Hayden Chief of Police Greg Tuliszewski
Oak Creek Chief of Police Ralph Maher
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