Community Adapts Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- There are now 77 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Colorado and one fatality. The Colorado Department of Public health reports a woman in her 80s with underlying health conditions died from the virus Friday in El Paso County.

While there are no confirmed cases in Mesa County as of right now, lawmakers, events, and local businesses feel the impact of coronavirus preparations.

With democrats and republicans in Colorado scheduled to hold county conventions soon, lawmakers are working on legislation to keep county election processes safe.

“It’s kind of going to give them the ability to do those things on the fly,” said state Sen. Ray Scott, who represents Mesa County. “Let’s just say, for example, we have somebody that has some type of illness and they cannot attend a particular meeting, the county may allow them to vote remotely from another location.”

In Grand Junction this weekend, The Home Improvement and Remodeling Expo continues despite an advisory from Mesa County Public Health. The event’s organizer saying, vendors were set up over a day before the advisory was issued.

“By the time the Mesa County Health Department sent out the advisory to think about cancelling events that are larger than 250 people, we had already gone ahead with our show, had everything set up,” said Traci Weinbrecht, the event’s organizer.

Weinbrecht says Two River’s Convention Center staff are upping their sanitizing of bathrooms, door handles, and other areas in the convention hall. Weinbrecht asks anyone who may be feeling sick this weekend, to not attend the expo. Vendors are also doing their part.

“Our vendors are wiping down their own booths, they’re making sure their hands are washed constantly,” said Weinbrecht.

A local business owner in downtown Grand Junction says she is concerned there might be less people out and about. But for her, it’s all about taking extra precaution while keeping her doors open.

“The only thing we’ve done as an extra precaution is we’ve suspended any tours of our wine-making room and kitchen facilities,” said Diana Tap, owner of The Zesty Moose on Colorado Ave.

The Zesty Moose is a local winery and market. Tap and her husband say they’re worried winery tourism might be impacted in warmer months, but all they can do for now is follow cleaning protocol and hope for the best.

“We’re cleaning our facility with wipes, sanitizing, making sure everything is clean,” said Tap. “We’re doing the same thing we normally do with our business.”

Another major public space of concern in the Grand Valley is the The Fruita Community Center.

Staff at The Fruita Community Center are taking extra precautions with disinfecting all parts of the facility including gym equipment. Staff say they intend to keep their doors open as of right now.

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