Letter: COVID guidelines at Steamboat Resort are very concerning | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: COVID guidelines at Steamboat Resort are very concerning

The article “Steamboat Resort has less stringent COVID restrictions for guests, employees than other Colorado ski resorts” is quite disturbing. There are so many issues it is hard to know where to start.

Regarding staff, “Outdoors masks are generally not required if unvaccinated, though they may still be required if social distancing can’t be maintained, if working in close contact with another person for longer than 15 minutes or if a mask is requested by a guest.” If you are close enough to an unvaccinated person to ask them to wear a mask, it’s too late.

Phrases such as “generally require” and “encouraged but not required” invalidate the idea of a policy. While Routt County Public Health Director Roberta Smith said she feels the resort was “forward thinking,” that opinion seems to apply only to the staff. What about the guests?

“Unvaccinated guests at the resort will be required to wear a mask when indoors unless seated while dining, though guests will not be asked their vaccination status, according to guidance sent to staff last week.” So basically there is no requirement for guests to wear masks indoors.

“There won’t be any reservation systems for lift access or capacity limits on lifts or the gondola.” Will we then be forced to ride a lift or gondola with an unmasked, unvaccinated person or persons or not be granted access to the mountain short of skinning up? Last season’s protocol, where you could ride only with household or known skiers, worked very well. Why the change?

As there will be no way to verify a person’s vaccination status, not having last season’s option sets a dangerous precedent. As a local in the “COVID vulnerable” category, is my risk increased so we don’t inconvenience our guests? Exactly who/what is the resort protecting?

Consider Deer Valley:

“While on Deer Valley property, masks or facial coverings are required to be worn while indoors by all guests and staff, regardless of vaccination status, except when eating or drinking while seated at a table. Single layer buffs and perforated or vented masks are not allowed.

“Facial coverings are not required outdoors or while riding chairlifts, but are required while riding the Jordanelle Gondola.

“Guests unwilling to comply with Deer Valley’s guidelines will be asked to leave Deer Valley property.” That is prudent and enforceable policy.

Frank Powers

Steamboat Springs

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