Local health order in Clear Creek County bans outside traffic to county roads

County roads in Clear Creek County are being limited to area residents only as part of a local public health order taking effect this weekend.

The order, issued Thursday by the Clear Creek County Board of Health restricts access to county roads for non-county residents, according to county officials.

Despite a statewide stay-at-home order, backcountry ski and snowboard destinations in the mountains, including in Clear Creek County, have been filling up with people driving long distances and defying the order, which directs Coloradans to stay close to home. The east side of Loveland Pass, as well as other mountain locations, have been filling up with recreational users.

Recreational gatherings pose a threat to county residents and to emergency responders and public safety officials, according to the county health order, while also diminishing the county’s capacity to serve its own residents.

“To slow the spread of COVID-19 in Clear Creek County, this order limits travel access on county roads to non-county residents for purposes outside necessary travel as defined by the state stay-at-home order,” said Christine Crouse, a county spokeswoman, in an email.

The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The use of road blocks, traffic control devices, signs and other measures will be part of the restriction. A valid driver’s license, showing proof of residency, will be used for access and to establish compliance. Critical business and other critical functions as defined by the order will allow travel by non-residents. Recreation is not a critical component.

People failing to comply face a fine up to $5,000 and up to an 18 month jail sentence. The order was adopted Thursday by the Clear Creek Board of Health.

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