Faced with continued crowding at Jefferson County Open Space parks — coupled with an expected surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the county this week — the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says it is stepping up enforcement of “physical distancing” in open spaces.
“You may be healthy,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a post on its Facebook page. “You may think you’ll be fine. But what about the people around you? An elderly loved one? A loved one with an underlying medical condition that makes them at risk? We are asking you to physically distance yourself from others right now FOR THEM.”
The post repeated instructions Coloradans have been hearing from public health officials for weeks, reminding trail users that they could be spreading the coronavirus without knowing it if they have the virus but are asymptomatic.
The post shared three photos taken at Jeffco Open Space Parks, including one showing a line of hikers on the dirt road that leads to the top of North Table Mountain.
“As you can see from these photos that Jeffco Open Space rangers took (Sunday), many of you are not following the state order and protecting those at risk around you,” the post said. “You will be seeing more deputies working with our (Jefferson County Open Space) rangers to educate and enforce the state order for physical distancing at our open spaces.”
The post also urged open space visitors not to use trails when sick and to keep to groups of four or less.
“If you are sick, do not visit parks; stay home except to get medical care,” the post reads. “Do not gather in groups larger than four. Separate yourself at least six feet from other people at the trailhead and on the trail. Bring your own hand sanitizer/washing supplies; many of our parks lack running water. Sanitizer is not provided. Use discretion for park visits and public restroom use. Surfaces, handles, and fixtures are cleaned frequently, but are open to general public use.”