By Mary Jo Coulehan
Pagosa Springs Area
Chamber of Commerce
To mask or not to mask. As indicated by last week’s town council meeting, mask requirement is a very polarized issue. Face coverings alone aren’t going to protect you, so other safety protocols such as frequent handwashing, not touching your face and distancing is encouraged.
Although not required, face covering in Pagosa is encouraged. If your business requires face covering, are your employees trained on what they might say to encourage people to wear a mask in your establishment? San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) has put out some guidelines to assist businesses with this potentially “touchy” subject.
If someone enters your business, greeters or staff could ask if they have a face covering to put on? If they do, great. If not, does your business have one they could offer? The Chamber still has a variety of masks that are available for free to businesses to keep for their staff or to hand out to patrons.
If the person doesn’t have a mask and does not want to wear one, does your business have options to service your client: seating outdoors, curbside service, take-out service? Many people cannot wear a mask due to a disability. Businesses should honor that disability and make every effort to accommodate the client.
As mentioned, in addition to face coverings, does your business have sanitation protocols in place? How often are you wiping down or sanitizing door handles, light switches, merchandise? Do you have your area marked out for social distancing: people waiting in line, table arrangement, merchandise displays?
There is not one silver bullet to tackling this pandemic. In general, we should always be following sanitation protocols — before COVID-19 and since. Ensure that your business is the healthiest it can be for your employees and those who patronize your establishment.
Positive case numbers are increasing in Archuleta County after a very long period of no recorded cases. These records include both residents and nonresidents. SJBPH has these statistics on its dashboard: https://sjbpublichealth.org/sjbph-data-dashboard/.
Everyone wants to keep our community safe and we must all participate in this effort. If your business would like some masks, contact the Chamber at 264-2360 and we will have some delivered to you. In addition, the Visitor Center has Pagosa Springs bandannas that are also available for distribution. Contact them at 585-1200 to request some.
Park 2 Park Artisan and Food Market
We would like to thank all the vendors, shoppers and contributing businesses that helped make the Park 2 Park Artisan and Food Market a success. The significant changes that were made taught us some positive lessons which we will take with us in the years to come. Without the use of the town athletic field, this “spacing” would not have been possible. We welcomed many new vendors this year with stunning products.
A particular thank you to the Vets 4 Vets who helped out with park maintenance. It was great having them there promoting their Rise and Recover Together Pagosa shirts, caps and other vet merchandise. We appreciate some of our local businesses branching out to try this market venue. We also appreciate all the work of the Town Parks and Recreation Department and all its support helping us to prepare for this Fourth of July tradition.
We’ll see what next year brings us, especially with the actual Fourth of July day falling on Sunday.