Ski areas can remain open under new coronavirus restrictions

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FILE – In this Wednesday, May 27, 2020, file photo, a sign reminds skiers and snowboarders to practice social distancing while wearing a face covering in lift lines at the reopening of Arapahoe Basin Ski Resort, which closed in mid-March to help in the effort to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, in Keystone, Colo.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

DENVER | Ski areas in Colorado counties that are listed at Level Red, or “severe risk,” will be allowed to keep their lifts turning when new restrictions take effect Friday, according to state health officials.

Summit County, where Keystone, Arapahoe Basin and Breckenridge have already opened, is one of 15 counties across Colorado that will move to Level Red on Friday, The Denver Post reported. Copper Mountain, also in Summit County, is scheduled to open in two weeks.

The new dial level announced by Gov. Jared Polis on Tuesday “does not affect ski resort on-mountain operations specifically,” according to an email sent Wednesday evening by the Colorado State Joint Information Center. Ski areas in Level Red counties can operate their lifts according to their approved plan but must suspend indoor dining.

Facilities “essential for health and safety like restrooms” can remain open, and families also can go indoors for warmth or shelter from inclement weather.

Loveland ski area is in Clear Creek County, which also will be at Level Red. Winter Park is in Grand County, which is at Level Orange.