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Purgatory Resort restaurant sees COVID-19 outbreak over holiday weekend

Food services shutdown for dinner service at Purgy’s and Paradise Pizza
Two eateries at Purgatory Resort are closed as a result of an employee shortage caused by eight people isolating after contracting COVID-19. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

A COVID-19 outbreak involving eight employees at Paradise Pizza at Purgatory Resort was reported over the weekend.

The first case was reported Dec. 16, with additional staff members reporting they also tested positive in the following days.

Purgatory Resort is working closely with San Juan Basin Public Health on an outbreak investigation.

SJBPH spokesman Chandler Griffin said the case count could increase as the investigation continues.

Griffin said the investigation determined transmission was likely.

All known employees with positive cases have been put on isolation, and Purgatory made the decision to close facilities, he said.

“The outbreak that will be listed with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Wednesday is specific to the Paradise Pizza facility,” Griffin said.

Purgatory spokeswoman Amanda Anderson said in an email to The Durango Herald that the resort has decided to shut down Purgy’s and Paradise Pizza because of staffing issues caused by the outbreak.

“Due to staffing challenges related to COVID, dinner service at both Purgy’s and Paradise is suspended at this time,” she said. “As staff clear COVID protocols and are able to come back to work, we will reopen both outlets as quickly as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the ongoing situation.”

Griffin said SJBPH’s contact-tracing team is working to make sure it gets thorough information from the positive cases to follow up with people who may have been exposed.

“I think this really underscores the importance for not only residents and essential workers, but also tourists to mask-up in public indoor spaces and have a vaccine and a booster shot,” Griffin said.


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