COVID-19

Colorado town tries to balance summer tourist season and COVID-19

Laura Palmisano Jul 17, 2020
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Laura Palmisano
COVID-19

Colorado town tries to balance summer tourist season and COVID-19

Laura Palmisano Jul 17, 2020
Heard on:
Laura Palmisano
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Tourism is a major industry for many mountain towns in the West. It’s a significant part of the economy in Lake City, Colorado. The town’s population swells from 400 to several thousand during the summer. The Colorado Tourism Office estimates visitors spent more than $16 million in the community last year.

However, this year is different for the town as it welcomes tourists during the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses are taking precautions, like asking people to wear masks. Local restaurants are required to keep indoor seating at 50% capacity, with tables 6 feet apart.

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COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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