State officials warn all recent visitors to Colorado ski regions to self-quarantine

Skiers keep their distance from each other as they load the Breckenridge Ski Resort gondola in Breckenridge, Colo., Saturday, March 14, 2020. All state ski areas closed Sunday for at least a week under orders of Gov. Jared Polis (Liz Copan/Summit Daily News via AP)

AURORA | State health officials are strongly advising any resident or visitor of Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison counties to minimize contact with others to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus.

The advisory is regardless of whether those residents and visitors are experiencing any symptoms of the infectious disease. Health officials at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommend limiting contact with other people for the next 14 days.

The advisory targets people who have been in those counties for the past week.

“Community transmission is likely increasing across the state, so these measures are important to implement everywhere but are particularly urgent for residents and visitors of mountain communities that are already experiencing high rates of community transmission,” the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a news release Sunday.

At least 18 positive COVID-19 cases came from people who have spent time in Eagle County, 13 in Pitkin County, six in Gunnison and three in Summit County.

“We’re seeing extensive outbreaks in these communities,” said Rachel Herlihy, a CDPHE epidemiologist. “We are asking people to take this voluntary action to slow the spread of the disease in Colorado and keep people safe. If we do this now, our hope is that we can slow down the spread of this virus and lessen the potential stress on our health care systems and workers.”

On Saturday, Gov. Jared Polis ordered <> all down hill ski areas in the state to halt operations for one week because of the spread in mountain communities.