A recent outbreak of COVID-19 at the Royal Gorge Route Railroad may have exposed up to 2,400 people from throughout the state, which likely includes some residents of Chaffee County.
Andrea Carlstrom, Director of Chaffee County Public Health, reported at Thursday afternoon’s COVID-19 county roundtable that “we do expect to see some impact” regionally as well as locally, and the railroad acknowledged on Facebook that more employee cases may still be identified.
Fremont County’s Department of Public Health and Environment reported that three employees at the attraction tested positive and that guests who visited the railroad from Nov. 18-20 may have been exposed. The Department urges those people to reach out to their public health offices for testing and guidance.
The Royal Gorge Route has been operating the train at 25 percent capacity since reopening on May 23. “More than 80,000 people have safely ridden the train since the date when COVID-19 protocols were implemented,” the railroad responded in a release.
The organization is adhering to CDC, state and county COVID-19 protocols, including temperature checks, heightened sanitation, and the use of masks. Staff and guests are instructed to stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
“We strive to keep everyone safe and healthy, and we aim for zero transmission,” said Mark Greksa, owner of the train. “We are proud of our staff and grateful to our guests for following COVID guidelines. There are inherent risks in riding our train and in life — we will continue to do our very best to follow and continuously improve upon our safety protocols.”
Royal Gorge Route Railroad officials say they are working with the Fremont County Department of Public Health to review its COVID-19 prevention procedures.
“The Royal Gorge Route employs more than 200 people and is committed to keeping people safe, healthy, and employed, said Greksa. “We are working tirelessly to stay open to take care of our staff and keep the economy running.”
The train remains on its published schedule and is running daily.