This is a message to our communities in San Miguel County. As you know, we are ramping up efforts to proactively prepare for and respond to the worldwide COVID-19 crisis. We find ourselves taking drastic measures that we never anticipated, and as we do so, we want to reach out to all the families, individuals, businesses and organizations from Telluride to Egnar to let you know that we share your concerns and your fears. As we face these challenges together we remain absolutely confident that we will overcome this together. We have all faced challenges before — perhaps not collectively at this magnitude — but if we choose love and compassion over fear and uncertainty, we will emerge as a better, even closer community of San Miguel County.

We each have our own roles in this challenge. We each need to do our part. We appreciate the entire community’s willingness to step up even as we all face various levels of hardship. Our medical providers, first responders and public safety officers are capably and professionally serving at the front lines of this fight. Our essential services, utility providers, county and town(s) staff, schools and media are working together to ensure critical continuity of service. Our community leaders and fellow elected officials are filling in the many gaps that we cannot anticipate.

We thank businesses, event promoters and our community workforce who have all been incredibly responsive. We understand the economic uncertainty you and we all face as these public health orders are delivered. We applaud Telluride Ski & Golf, lodging companies and other local businesses that are providing for their employees and lending services to our broader community, even as they face massive revenue losses. And to those of you getting creative with social media — the Facebook “stay at home” and dance parties — keep it up! We need fun and laughter during this darkness. 

Yes, there is significant uncertainty, rumors are flying. Sometimes we can be proactive, other times we are scrambling to respond to local, state, national and international news that we cannot control. We must come together as a community to adapt to this new reality. We need to work together to make sure our vulnerable neighbors are being taken care of and kept safe, especially those with compromised immune systems, the elderly and injured. We need to care for our children when their parents must be an active part of this response. We need to ensure that our workers, suddenly out of work and without a critical paycheck, have their essential needs met. We need food for our food banks, we need volunteers, we need donations to the community accounts that are being established. Please consider what you can do to help while maintaining clean and safe practices. We need to be good to each other, to our neighbors and to our social media friends. We are all in this together, and more than ever each of us has an impact on all of those around us. 

We are working to provide backup for those at the front lines to ensure that our essential services — food, water and power — are maintained. We are making decisions with the best information available to keep our outbreak curve as flat as possible. We won’t know if we are successful until weeks from now, but we do know our best chance for success is coming together and precisely following the direction provided by the professional and knowledgeable team we have in place to deal with this emergency. We are working daily with our neighboring counties, state officials, the governor’s office and our federal delegation to secure access to additional resources. We are also working with community partners to establish funds to help those who are struggling with the economic losses.

We will keep the CORONAVIRUS INFO page at SanMiguelCountyco.gov updated with the latest information and community resources. Please sign up for our alerts and social media accounts to stay informed.

We will make mistakes. We will stumble, we will fall. We will learn from each mistake and we will adapt. This is not a time for criticism or placing blame. Let’s work together, take care of each other, help where we can and be ready when needed. We are being told that this will get worse before it gets better, and it may last for a very long time. We must get creative, and we must adapt.

As your county commissioners, we are in this with you. We have children at home, spouses out of work and at-risk health conditions. We also know that we represent the greatest communities on the planet, and we are all here for a reason, because we are in communities that feel like family. We can do this. We are San Miguel County. We love you all.

Hilary Cooper

Kris Holstrom

Lance Waring

San Miguel County Board of County Commissioners & Board of Health