Gilpin Commissioners petition State to close Golden Gate State Park due to fire danger
October 30 – Stricter State Board of Health regulations will reduce casino capacities and table games
By Randy Beaudette
Gilpin Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) October 30, 2020 special online meeting featured subjects such as an update on Public Health Order #20-13 as it relates to Gilpin’s Protect Our Neighbors Status, and a letter to the State to consider closing of Golden Gate State Park.
Board-Chair Gail Watson opened up the meeting at 9:00 am along with Commissioners Ron Engels and Linda Isenhart. Joining online were County Manager Abel Montoya, County Attorney Brad Benning, Deputy Clerk Sharon Cate, and members from the Senior Leadership Team.
Gilpin County Public Health Coordinator Bonnie Albrecht announced that Gilpin County has thirty positive cases with one case currently improving in the hospital and three outbreaks throughout the County. Percent positivity rate is 6.5% meaning that of all the County residents tested, 6.5% came back positive regardless of where the tests were conducted. According to Ms. Albrecht, Public Health is looking into expanding the testing in the community to asymptomatic and the casinos. The biggest issue currently is that the State lab the County utilizes is falling behind on tests and in some cases the results are lagging as much as seven to eight days. The County has contacted a private lab to support the testing which will be utilized in the upcoming weeks.
Gilpin County Emergency Manager Nathan Whittington provided an update from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Red Cross has terminated temporary sheltering operations in Gilpin County from the nearby fire zones. There still are one hundred seventy-seven animals sheltering at the Community Center Barn.
Board of Health
With the case count rising, the state has been showing interest in Gilpin County particularly in regards to the local casino industry. An amendment to the Public Health Order (PHO# 20-13) that attempts to prevent a rise in COVID cases and maintaining Gilpin’s “Protect Our Neighbors” status has been adopted and is currently in effect. A recap of the new amendment will introduce new mitigation measures focusing on activities related to the casinos. A reduction in capacity from five hundred to two hundred fifty, prohibiting certain table games like roulette and craps, terminating alcohol sales at 11:00 pm, and adopting the state’s requirement of limiting attendees at private gatherings to ten people or two separate households.
State Park Closing Request
The Gilpin County Commissioners penned a letter to Governor Polis and Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials requesting to close Golden Gate State Park to hunters and other visitors. Justification for the closing request, the letter cited the extremely high fire danger, a rise in COVID cases in the county, and the county-wide shortage of first responders available for fire related emergencies.