From stay at home to safer at home, local businesses, public officials adjust to new health order
After being closed since March 26, Summit Canyon Mountaineering on Sixth Street in Glenwood Springs reopened for curbside pickup Monday.
“We’re not really expecting it to be anything great, but we’ve already had a sale this morning,” said owner Carl Moak.
The COVID-19 crisis forced the small business owner to layoff his entire staff, however, since last week, Moak has been gradually bringing employees back on.
“We are anticipating being fully staffed starting next week,” Moak said.
Gov. Jared Polis’ safer at home executive order allows retail businesses to reopen their interior space to customers on May 1.
However, in Garfield County, retail businesses like Summit Canyon Mountaineering will have to wait until May 4 to do so.
According to Garfield County Public Health Director Yvonne Long, local businesses must fill out an online form detailing their plans to maintain social distancing requirements and a clean work environment.
“We just need a plan for how you really plan on opening up your business and allowing that very minimum amount of people in,” Long said.
Upon completing the online form, businesses will receive a receipt from Garfield County Public Health, which they’ll need to display either on a door or window.
According to Long, as of Monday afternoon, the county had received over 150 plans from local businesses.
“If we get complaints down the road of non-compliance … we can go back to that plan and pull it up and go to that owner,” Long said. “That’s the biggest enforcement piece.”
Glenwood Springs City Councilor Steve Davis, who also owns Hookers Fly Shop downtown, believed adhering to social distancing requirements was critical but also doable.
“A mom and pop shop that has such a small footprint can easily monitor the appropriate social distancing and cleanliness standards you’d hope to see everywhere,” Davis said.
On Monday, medical, dental and veterinary offices were also allowed to reopen for elective procedures.
Dr. Lauren Roper, who owns New Castle Dental, said despite being allowed to conduct elective procedures, her practice would continue to only perform emergency ones for the time being.
According to Roper, New Castle Dental did not have enough personal protective equipment on hand, yet, to handle both elective and emergency dental procedures.
“We put in an order for some more [personal protective equipment] last week and immediately got an email saying items were still back-ordered,” Roper said.
While the governor’s safer at home order provides reopening guidelines for many businesses, it also allows counties and municipalities to impose stricter standards.
Thursday, the Glenwood Springs City Council will discuss more restrictive measures it has already implemented locally like requiring residents to wear face coverings.
“I want to open as quickly as possible within the governor’s restrictions,” Councilor Tony Hershey said.
Hershey, however, was not in favor of imposing any additional restrictions locally, that would go above and beyond the governor’s executive order.
“I hope that people continue to take it upon themselves to be cautious,” said Councilor Paula Stepp. “Let’s take this one step at a time…and slowly open things up.”
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Several Carbondale businesses are scrambling to relocate and others are just plain calling it quits following plans for one of the town’s oldest strip malls to be redeveloped.