San Miguel County Goes Into Code Red

San Miguel County Goes Into Code Red

Kaylee Gallegos, Staff Writer

     TELLURIDE — It has been eight months since COVID-19 took hold of Telluride.  Since then, San Miguel County has fluctuated from code green to code purple.  Presently we are in a level red indicating severe risk.  

     We entered the red level just following the Thanksgiving Holiday when it became apparent that COVID-19 has been here to stay.  This increase in county restrictions has some residents scratching their heads because it seems like even code red isn’t getting rid of the tourists.

    From my personal perspective at working at The Village Market, I am able to see all the tourists come in and out of Telluride. They come from all over. I tend to ask people why they are visiting Telluride and consistently people respond that they are here to ski or just enjoy our idyllic mountain town. The tourists behave as if COVID-19 is not happening. 

     I see customers with their mask not even properly worn. If they have a question, they all tend to pull down their masks to speak. Obviously, this is not the purpose of the mask. The influx of tourists is affecting the locals because they are putting us in more harm than we need to be in. Most of our town’s revenue is related to tourism and The Mountain Village Market is no different. There are locals who come in but tourists make a huge difference in the sales. Not only does it bring up the store’s sales but we are entering the busiest time of year for all stores and restaurants in Telluride. 

     One tourist from Florida who I helped checkout told me they were here “ to sled and maybe learn how to ski.” Tourists, and even some locals, do not follow the six feet distance rule. How is this pandemic going to end when people don’t follow regulations? You may ask why this matters; it matters because more of our locals are testing positive for COVID-19 and we all are put at an increased risk because of people who aren’t willing to follow CDC guidelines that keep us safe. We are affected by this because we are unable to go to school when numbers of positive cases rise. People, and especially tourists, need to understand how severe this pandemic is.