Winter Park Reports Largest Colorado Ski Area Coronavirus Outbreak With 109 Cases

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
A face mask on a statue of a cowboy shows how to stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic in Winter Park, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.

Winter Park resort reported the largest in a string of COVID-19 outbreaks among staff at ski areas.  

The resort has 109 positive cases, more than six times the second highest total, according to new data from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. The cases are linked to employee housing, the data show. The cases didn’t involve interactions with guests, Winter Park and the Grand County Public Health Department said in a joint statement released Monday.

“This declaration allows more state resources to be pulled in to aid with suppressing COVID activity in the [Winter Park] employee group,” the statement read. “WPR, GCPH and CDPHE will continue to monitor the outbreak until two incubation periods (28 days) have passed with no new outbreak-related COVID-19 positive cases.”

The mountain continues to operate normally, Winter Park spokeswoman Jen Miller said in an emailed statement.

“We have strict employee quarantine and isolation procedures and a zero -tolerance policy for any employee who violates quarantine or isolation orders,” Miller wrote.

Employee outbreaks at ski areas are climbing as the season progresses and crowds on the mountain grow. The first major dump of snow brought a crush of skiers and snowboarders to the state’s resorts last weekend, leading to long lift lines that went viral. More snow is expected for the President’s Day holiday weekend. 

In total, there are 13 active outbreaks at ski resorts, which is defined as two or more cases. The second-highest total after Winter Park is Monarch Ski Resort with 17 cases. Steamboat, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Copper Mountain all have active outbreaks.