Media Contact: Jordana Sabella, Pitkin County Public Health Planning, Prevention & Partnership Manager
May 8, 2020
Pitkin County, CO - The Pitkin County Public Health Order set to go into effect beginning Saturday, May 9th has been slightly revised from a previous version released earlier this week. One of the most notable changes is the elimination of the requirement for non-resident homeowners and their visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Another change allows long-term lodging and rentals of over 30 days to begin to accept reservations.
While Pitkin County’s Public Health Order will more closely align with the State of Colorado’s “Safer at Home” order, the Board of Health this week asked staff to seek a variance for restaurants to open at 30% capacity as early as May 20th. The current public health order has restaurants opening at reduced capacity on May 27th. The proposed variance must be approved by the Board of Health, Pitkin County Commissioners and the Aspen Valley Hospital Board before it can be forwarded to the state health department for consideration.
In the meantime, officials ask the businesses and the community to focus on the additional freedoms and responsibilities coming with the new public health order effective May 9th. They include:
Gathering sizes increasing from 5 to 10
Businesses can reopen if compliant with COVIC-19 Safety Plan
Masks required in public buildings and if within six feet of someone outside for longer than 10 minutes
Travel for recreational purposes should be limited to the Roaring Fork, Crystal, and Fryingpan River valleys.
These directives join the states Safer at Home directives which include:
Businesses other than essential businesses can open
Elective surgeries allowed
Restaurants open for take-out or delivery only
Guidance provided for different industries
Face Coverings required in workplaces
A complete guide to Pitkin County’s Roadmap to Reopening is available at www.pitkincounty.com/covid. The most recent virtual Community Meeting where officials walked through the details of tomorrow’s revised public health order is also available at www.pitkincounty.com - click on the YouTube link.
Pitkin County Government has also convened a Business Recovery and Liaison effort to guide businesses through the process of gradually reopening according to public health guidelines. Businesses will be required to complete a Business Safety Plan with Pitkin County that includes a sign that will go into business windows indicating that they will comply with business safety guidelines as they reopen.
So far two virtual town hall meetings have been held that have succeeded in answering many questions that are arising about the process. Questions and answers from the business community have been compiled in an FAQ that can be found at www.pitkincounty.com/covid. Additional questions from the business community about the gradual reopening may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Commitments being asked of the community to keep the County safe and open.
As more people gather in public places and businesses reopen Public Health officials will be carefully monitoring for any possible increase in cases of COVID-19 in the community. If cases pass a threshold that could overwhelm local healthcare facilities a tightening of restrictions will once again be considered.
The Public Health Department reminds the community to continue to commit to the Five Commitments of Containment in order to allow the gradual reopening of the community to continue. They include: Maintaining 6 feet of social distancing, washing hands often, wearing a face mask in public, staying at home if sick, and getting tested immediately if you have symptoms.