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When and how can Telluride non-resident homeowners come back safely?


Thank you to Dr. Sharon Grundy of the Telluride Medical Center, for this timely and informational Medical Minute update:

Many part-time residents are also patients of the Telluride Regional Medical Center. These are people we see year after year. They are a part of the med center family. 

Our community expands beyond who lives here year-round.

Telluride and the surrounding mountains live in the hearts of many people around the world — while only a relative few get to call this home year-round.

Many part-time residents are also patients of the Telluride Regional Medical Center. These are people we see year after year. They are a part of the med center family. 

Some part-time residents or second homeowners are asking when they can come back — and how can they do so safely and respectfully.

After all, for many, Telluride is not only their second home, or home away from home, it’s also the place they feel the safest, their happy place. We get it! 

So here’s where Colorado and San Miguel County stand today: Both our county and state have issued “Safer at Home” orders that limit travel into and around San Miguel County to Local Residents only. 

Side note: I love this info-graphic that can help people answer, wherever you are, the question: Am I safer at home?

The current San Miguel County Public Health Order states “visitors to San Miguel County are still not allowed and are directed to return home immediately by the fastest and safest available means.”

Why? We have very limited community resources. 

So far — and thanks to an abundance of caution, planning and community wide strategic efforts — our healthcare system has not been overwhelmed and we’ve been successful at keeping our staff and non-COVID-19 patients healthy. 

However, if you get coronavirus here, or bring it here with you, please understand: there are remarkably few Intensive Care Units and ventilators in the region.

In fact, our community is 65 miles away from the nearest hospital. If you were to become severely ill, you’ll find access to care limited. 

The main hospital that serves our community is Montrose Memorial Hospital and beyond that, St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction (2.5 hours from Telluride). Additional surrounding counties rely on those two medical facilities. 

For that reason, at this time, non-resident homeowners are only strongly encouraged to not travel to San Miguel County. 

If you decide against the urging of Public Health officials, the Public Health Order instructs non-resident homeowners, and residents who have spent extensive time away, to quarantine at home for 14 days. 

The quarantine or self-isolation period is meant to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.

The local order is explicit in detailing that those individuals who are coming to or returning to the area are not permitted to break quarantine for “Necessary Activities” or to access “Critical Businesses.” Not even a trip to the Post Office is permitted. 

You will need to be self-sufficient during this time. Meaning you’ll need groceries and to arrange for deliveries to that end. 

For definitions and the full public order, see here. 

And finally, if you’re determined to enter San Miguel County, be sure to read the Colorado State Safer at Home Order, review the San Miguel County Public Health website; and the individual ordinances of the township where your home is located. Links are provided below.

Note: Counties can be stricter, but not looser than State orders. Townships may be stricter, but not looser than counties. 

As State and County orders are likely to change again in June, be sure to check these resources frequently: 

Colorado Safer at Home
San Miguel County Public Health
Town of Telluride
Mountain Village

Wherever you are, the goal is to keep each other as safe as possible.


Dr. Sharon Grundy


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