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Colorado governor orders ski areas closed on coronavirus outbreak

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks during news conference Friday, March 13, 2020, at the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management in Colorado Springs. Polis on Sunday announced the closure of ski areas in parts of the state hard-hit by the coronavirus. (CHRISTIAN MURDOCK / AP)
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks during news conference Friday, March 13, 2020, at the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management in Colorado Springs. Polis on Sunday announced the closure of ski areas in parts of the state hard-hit by the coronavirus. (CHRISTIAN MURDOCK / AP)
By Vincent Del Giudice Bloomberg News

DENVER – Colorado Gov. Jared Polis ordered the closing of all ski areas, popular resorts located in a region that official data show account for 35 of the state’s 101 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus.

The order is in effect for one week, Polis said.

In Eagle County, home to Vail Ski Resort and Beaver Creek Resort, 18 residents and two visitors tested positive, according to data from the state health department. High country counties Summit, Pitkin, Larimer and Routt also reported confirmed cases, state data show.

“It is with a profound sense of pain and grim responsibility that I take the agonizing action that this moment demands,” Polis said in an executive order issued late Saturday. “I take solace in knowing that while we will be temporarily closed for business, we will be saving the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands of Coloradans in the days and weeks ahead.”

Denver County, home to Denver International Airport, a main transit point, reported confirmed cases among 20 residents and one visitor, data show.

Earlier Saturday, Vail Resorts suspended operations of all its North American mountain resorts and retail stores from March 15-22, CEO Rob Katz announced.

Last week, Polis advised people ages 60 and over to avoid the high country because of limited medical resources, according to local media.

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