Update 03/15: Echo Mountain is closed. Check out our more recent blog post here.
So you're scrolling through Instagram and you see a bunch of memes downplaying Coronavirus, but then your Mom tells you she saw on the news that it's a global pandemic and you need to lock yourself in your apartment while she figures out how to Optimus Prime you some TP and Hand Sanitizer.
Who's right? What do you do?
We get it! There is a lot of concern and certainly no shortage of questions going around about novel Coronavirus, aka COVID-19. Here's how we're looking it right now.
First, Employee and Guest Safety are at the very top of our priority list. When something like this comes up, we watch very closely to make sure we're keeping everyone safe and taking proper, logical, and level-headed precaution.
It's totally reasonable to take a little extra precaution to continue to keep risk low and decrease the likelihood of any sickness coming to Echo, including the seasonal flu! As such, we're following all recommendations of CDPHE and the CDC for ways we can continue to minimize risk and enjoy the rest of our winter.
As of right now, according to Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) the risk to the general public is considered Low. Some populations are more vulnerable to COVID-19, while others are less so. It appears the most vulnerable populations include people over the age of 60 and/or people with chronic illnesses.
Based on recommendations from CDPHE and the CDC, we ask that each employee and guest ask themselves the following questions:
- Have you or someone in your household gone on a cruise or traveled to a country on the CDC Level 3 Watch List in the last 30 days?
- At this time, these include China, Iran, South Korea, Venezuela, Europe and the UK. These may change. Visit the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date list.
- Have you been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Do you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
- Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we ask that employees not to come to work and guests not to visit Echo Mountain at this time.
If you answered “no,” please take the advice of CDPHE and the CDC:
- Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (count it out!). If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. --> Jimmy Kimmel shows us proper Hand Washing technique.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Use your elbow or sleeve if a tissue is not available. --> Dab on 'em.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. --> Ron Burgundy's #1.
- Stay home if you are sick and keep your children home if they are sick. --> Netflix and recover.
- Clean surfaces in your home and clean your personal items such as cellphones using household cleaning products. --> Channel your inner Mr. Clean.
- Consider an elbow bump instead of a hug or handshake. --> We're all about high fives, but elbow bumps can suffice for now!
In addition, our team has also enacted protective measures throughout Echo as extra precaution. Some of the big ones are:
- increased disinfection frequency of our public areas, including the Front Desk, Lodge, Brothers' Grille and all restrooms
- placed additional sanitizer throughout our facilities for guest and employee use
- added regular communication regarding personal preventative precautions (many similar to how we can prevent the spread of seasonal flu).
- We are making a big effort to reduce co-mingling of groups of guests that do not know each other and did not arrive together. This includes:
- Increasing spacing between individuals and groups at the Front Desk
- Encouraging guests to spend most of their time outside on the mountain (and discouraging guests from hanging out in the Lodge and restaurant for long periods of time)
- Increasing spacing between tables, chairs and benches, and encouraging guests not to sit near other parties that they don't know
- Additional employees throughout our facilities to check in on guests and help remind them of safe protocols
If you're interested in learning more about COVID-19 here in Colorado and across the US, here are some additional resources we like:
- Center for Disease Control COVID-19 webpage
- Center for Disease Control COVID-19 fact sheet
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment COVID-19 webpage
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment COVID-19 factsheet
Spring Skiing, Snowboarding and Tubing are here and we are stoked!