Romer: Brighter days ahead
The pandemic has brought instability to each of our lives. The unpredictability of each month coupled with the significant sacrifices everyone has made during the pandemic has had a toll on our community and our businesses. In many ways the last nine months have perhaps been the most challenging of our lives, and we (finally) find ourselves at a turning point. Brighter days are ahead.
Two highly effective vaccines are now available to our front-line workers and should be available to the general public in the upcoming months. While this is incredibly good news, it is also important to know that we are still many months away from achieving herd immunity. Until that time, it is incumbent upon community members to make the continued effort to keep your five commitments of containment during the next six months and most importantly through our winter holiday season.
With everyone playing an active role in decreasing their risk and curbing the spread of this virus, it will allow our medical providers and public health team members the time and space to vaccinate community members.
Equally important to combating the virus, our community is coming together to further help combat the financial challenges many have suffered. Eagle County government (with assistance from Vail Valley Partnership and Basalt Chamber) have launched a business grant program to bring some relief to small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Nationally, the central elements of a hard-fought and long overdue compromise are in place: more than $300 billion in aid to businesses; a $300-per-week bonus federal jobless benefit and renewal of soon-to-expire state benefits; $600 direct payments to individuals; vaccine distribution funds and money for renters, schools, the Postal Service and people needing food aid.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently adopted some revisions to the quarantine time period. Except for people who have contact with high-risk individuals (such as people who live or work in residential or congregate living facilities), most people will see reductions in their quarantine time if they are exposed to a known COVID-19 case and do not develop illness. This updated guidance is as follows:
- A 7-day quarantine period with a negative test conducted on or after day 5, or
- A 10-day quarantine period without a test, or
- A 14-day quarantine for people who have contact with high-risk individuals
All of these updates could not come at a better time to offer much needed support to our community. In the coming weeks and months, our collective efforts will be focused on bringing an end to the pandemic. This will require a lot of work and continued commitment from everyone.
Although our path forward is still long, there’s much to be hopeful about and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Protecting our front line is critical in the fight against this deadly virus and it will take months for all Coloradans to be able to access the vaccine. Please continue to do your part by wearing your mask, only interacting with those who live in your household, and keeping 6 feet apart from others.
For 56 years, Vail Valley Partnership has believed in supporting our local businesses and communities and the power of all of us working together. Until we can all gather in person again, we hope that you share our sense of purpose and optimism in the future. Here’s to 2021 and brighter days ahead.
Chris Romer is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at www.vailvalleypartnership.com.
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