MINERAL COUNTY- During a special meeting of the Mineral County Commissioners Saturday, Nov. 22, the board in partnership with the Silver Thread Public Health District Director Tara Hardy, a decision was made to move the county into Orange status on the State’s COVID Dial and to cancel the Chocolate Festival.
For weeks, Mineral County had zero positive tests or active cases and was at “level blue” – the lowest level on the dial. But on Nov. 24, San Luis Valley Public Health Partnership announced that Mineral County had 11 active cases and that Mineral County had moved from “level blue” to “level orange.”
In a statement made on the website and on the Mineral County Facebook page the board had this to say, “The Mineral County Board of County Commissioners met in an emergency meeting Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, to address the ongoing COVID situation in Mineral County. With the rapid increase in positive cases since Tuesday, the Nov. 17, the Commissioners have instructed Tara Hardy, Silver Thread Public Health District Executive Director, to immediately drop Mineral County to ORANGE on the COVID dial (for more information https://covid19.Colorado.gov/covid-19-dial). This drop specifically addresses group sizes, capacity limits and the closing of bars in Mineral County. The upcoming holiday week and desire for friends and family to gather, the Commissioners want to spread the message that prudence and diligence is important to stop the rise in cases and protect Mineral County residents as well as our friends in neighboring counties. We are asking all residents and visitors to stay home if you are feeling unwell in any way.
The Commissioners are grateful that the residents of the County have displayed their diligence and safety precautions for the last 8 month and are urging everyone not to let up. If you have questions or other concerns, please feel free to email the County Administrator at [email protected] and the questions/concerns will be forwarded to the appropriate official to be addressed. If you are feeling unwell please call Silver Thread Public Health at 719-658-2416, after hours call Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990. Thank you for your understanding and attention to this important matter.”
Mineral County and Creede Chamber of Commerce Director Kathleen Murphy also released a statement on their website and Facebook page stating, “Dear Members, it is with sadness that I must share we will not be having Chocolate Festival this year. This was not an easy decision to make. Typically, this event draws large crowds from the Valley and COVID cases are on the rise. As you may know, Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment created a “COVID Dial” which provides guidance to the counties and gives communities a tool to make life in the pandemic more sustainable.
As I type this, Mineral County is at the Blue Level, which provides the least restrictions to our businesses and event gatherings, while our neighbors to the east are moving up the dial. Part of the organization’s mission is to encourage, foster and protect the growth and integrity of our area through careful economic and community planning and promotion.
The longer we maintain the Blue Level, the community has the potential for greater economic benefit. To help offset this loss, we are working on a “shop local” campaign to assist in promoting Membership Businesses to both our locals and loyal visitors. If you have something special you would like shared, email me the details. Our new Winter Landing Page is performing well and directing web traffic to other portions of our webpage. While at this time, it is too early to know what will become of Cabin Fever Daze (CFD), there is talk of incorporating Chocolate Festival to the CFD weekend. Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we navigate through COVID. As always, I am here to support you.”