This is not a comprehensive document. We continue to receive additional guidance from the State and will continue to update regularly.
Q: Are masks required in Pitkin County?
A: Yes. Face Coverings. Non-medical, cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth are required to be worn in all buildings, public and private, that are open to the public. Face coverings are required to be worn outside whenever there is a risk of being within 6 feet of another person who is not of the same household for more than ten minutes. Children who are under the age of two years and anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance are exempt from this requirement.
Q: What is the difference between Pitkin’s variance and the State order?
A: Overall, Pitkin County’s goal is to align with the State’s public health orders and guidance. The variance gives more local control over the implementation of Pitkin’s ‘Roadmap to Reopening.’
The main differences are group size limitations; travel and public transit; local and public recreation; and areas of public accommodation such as restaurants, theaters, music venues, etc.
Q: Does Pitkin County need to reapply for a variance everytime the State releases a new order?
A: Yes, in phase 3 we will have to apply for a variance again, but the State has indicated that it will not be going to phase 3 anytime soon.
Q: What are the five commitments to containment? Must I adhere to these commitments?
A: Everyone in Pitkin County is asked to be vigilant in protecting yourself, your family, your employees and your community by pledging to the 5 Commitments to Containment. These actions taken by the entire community will help contain the outbreak and box in the virus:
- I will maintain 6 feet of distance from anyone not in my household
- I will wash my hands often
- I will cover my face in public
- I will stay home when I am sick
- I will seek testing immediately and self-report if I experience symptoms.
Q: When should I consider getting tested for COVID-19? What symptoms would I be exhibiting?
A: Getting tested is a responsibility for every symptomatic individual. Please go HERE for more information about how to get tested if you have symptoms that include:
- ONE of the following: fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell
- TWO of the following: fatigue, body aches, headache, sore throat, chills, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite
Q: Can we carpool?
A: We are encouraging people NOT to carpool. If you can’t use an individual vehicle, steps to follow include: bring hand sanitizer, reduce car capacity by 50%, passengers sit in the back, passengers need to wear cloth masks when more than 1 person is in the car, disinfect car at the end of the day or after different people use the car. Family members are exempt from passenger restrictions.
Q: Is there a 14-day quarantine requirement for people returning or visiting Pitkin County (visitors, non-resident homeowners, residents, etc.)?
A: No, Pitkin County does not require a quarantine for those returning residents or visitors. It is important that you follow social distancing, hygiene and mask requirements, and if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 please contact your primary care provider or Aspen Valley Primary Care at 970-279-4111. If you are uninsured or unable to pay, the test will be provided at no cost.
Q: What limitations are there on visitors to Pitkin County?
A: Any person that is not a Local Resident that travels to or visits Pitkin County must be free of any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 before arrival. If any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are present in the 10 days prior to arrival in Pitkin County, the Visitor or Guest must not travel to Pitkin County. All Visitors and Guests will self-screen for symptoms each morning during their stay in Pitkin County. Any Visitor or Guest that develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during their stay in Pitkin County will:
- Adhere to Self-Isolation requirements in Section I E of the May 9, 2020 Order even if this prolongs their stay in Pitkin County at the traveler’s expense.
- Contact your healthcare provider or Aspen Valley Hospital Primary Care at 970-279-4111 for guidance and to schedule COVID-19 testing as quickly as possible.
For guidance on questions regarding testing, please visit the Get Tested page.
General Business Questions
Q: What steps do I need to take to open my business?
A: All businesses should follow the following protocols prior to opening:
- Review the Pitkin County Roadmap to Reopening to verify you can open under the current public order.
- Review the guidance by sector, Business Safety Plan Checklist and its links.
- Discuss with your employees the steps required in the checklist.
- Fill out the checklist, adding details to the plan that are unique to your business.
- Hit submit when you are ready and then look for a link for a printable version of the plan.
- Print a copy and have it available for review if requested by a customer. Note: Last page will have a sign you can print out.
- Post the provided sign at your business entrance to indicate you have a Pitkin County COVID-19 Business Safety Plan Checklist.
Q: Do I need to record client temperatures?
A: While not a requirement under the Business Safety Plan Checklist, we encourage businesses to take extra measures that they believe will help their employees and customers feel comfortable and safe. If anyone has a temperature of 100.4 or any symptoms of COVID-19, they should contact their primary care provider to be tested. If you do not have a primary care provider, contact the hospital at 970-270-4111 to be tested.
Business Safety Plans
Q: To whom do we submit the Business Safety Plan?
A: Please click here to go to the Business Safety Plan. Once you hit submit, you will receive an email with a copy of your plan and the signage for your business that your Business Safety Plan is on file with the County and a copy is available upon request by customers.
A: Businesses with multiple locations or operations can decide which is most appropriate:
- Fill out one Business Safety Plan Checklist for the entire business and add in each section or at the very end the items that vary per location.
- Fill out a checklist for each different location given they are different in more ways than similar and one plan for all locations would be difficult to use when training employees. Indicate in the first section the business name and specific location for each separate plan being submitted.
Q: When filling out the Business Safety Plan Checklist, when do we just check the box and when do we need to provide details?
A: Each bullet should be checked as that indicates your business will comply. If there is a variation or additional information, you may add it in the fillable section as part of that bullet or in the Optional bullet for that section.
Q: Is the County going to monitor compliance and take action for offenses?
A: We are building out our compliance department around the Business Safety Plan Checklist.
Q: To Whom do we report abusers of the system and occupancy limits?
A: For enforcement questions and reporting non-compliance, call the Dispatch Non-Emergency Line: 970-920-5310
Q: What guidance is there for construction sites?
A: Based on the new Pitkin County Public Health Order, there have been updates on the guidance for safety plans on construction sites, for landscaping, and for construction that doesn’t require permits:
- Construction workers are now permitted to purchase lunch wherever they see fit, so long as they are wearing face coverings or masks and adhering to other guidelines.
- Carpooling guidance has been updated to allow carpooling if they can follow guidance which includes only 50% vehicle occupancy and wearing face coverings or masks while in the vehicle. Sanitizing practices are also outlined in the Business Safety Plan Checklist.
Q: Is there guidance for landscaping capacity?
A: Social distancing will dictate how many people they can have on the worksite.
Child Care and Summer Camps
Q: Can child care centers or summer camps transport children?
A: Yes. When using private transportation in buses or vans, follow the Transportation protocol in the Business Safety Plan Checklist. When using public transportation,keep the same children and staff in consistent groups as much as possible, maintain social distance and require face coverings for employees and children 3+ years of age.
Q: Are children allowed to attend more than one program? Can siblings attend different programs?
A: Yes to both.
Q: Can partitions be placed in rooms to allow for more than one group of children?
A: No. This is not a safe option in terms of fire safety/egress and social distancing. Large spaces such as gymnasiums or a cafeteria can be used for a classroom for groups of 10 children that are stable from day to day to the extent possible. If the space is large enough to allow for social distancing (6 feet between each child and minimum of 36 square feet per child), more than one stable group could be in the space at the same time as long as there is adequate space between groups.
Q: How many people are allowed at an event in Pitkin County at this time?
A: Events and gatherings of up to 50 are allowed if proper social distancing can be maintained. For competitive events like races, flights of 10 are required to support spacing.
Q: Do I need a special COVID Plan?
A: Yes, under events guidance find the type of event that you are planning. The event safety plan is in additional to rather instead of any normally required government permit.
Q: What if I have multiple groups of 50 for my event and keep them somewhat separated?
A: That is not allowed at this time.
Q: What should I do about having food at my event in a safe manner?
A: Food service needs to follow guidance for restaurants. Under restaurants. One must comply with any municipal or county food service rules as well.
Q: Are cocktail parties or alcohol-only events allowed?
A: Not at this time as bars are closed. Alcohol served with sit down dinners is allowed. When the Board of Health allows bars to open, then this policy will be revisited.
Q: What about bands and dancing?
A: A DJ, solo, or duo is advised. Performers need to stay at least 25’ from guests. Dancing distributed around the site is recommended rather than a dance floor in order to maintain 6’ separation between non-household members and distance from the performers.
Q: Is there a variance process to allow my event to have more than 50 guests.
A: Not at this time. Event capacity will be reviewed over the summer and decisions will be based on local, regional, and national health and medical data trends. Any increase in event capacity will require a change in the Public Health Order approved by the Board of Health.
Q: Where do museums fall in this stage of reopening?
A: Museums are to remain closed per the State of Colorado Public Health Order. Museums may open for their staff only and must adhere to the guidelines for Offices/Professional Services
Q: What are the rules for religious services?
A: Places of worship will be permitted to open on June 5 after submitting a Business Safety Plan and following the guidance put forth by Pitkin County. Final guidance is posted on the Business Resources Page. These institutions are encouraged whenever possible to implement electronic platforms to conduct services or hold more frequent services to allow strict compliance with Social Distancing Requirements. In person services need to adhere to group gathering size restrictions found here: Places of Worship.
Q: Is the Pitkin County Library open?
A: The library building remains closed, but they are working with patrons to pick up materials placed on hold. For more information call 970-429-1900 or visit www.pitcolib.org
Q: Can fitness instructors use machines with clients that are cleaned between sessions?
A: Yes, machines can be used during a session as long as they are used by one person per session and not shared; then machines are disinfected after the session.
Q: When can fitness facilities open?
A: Beginning on June 8, gyms and fitness facilities may open under limited capacity. Please see complete guidance requirements here: Pitkin County Gyms and Fitness Centers.
Q: What about one on one training and small group classes? Can there be more than one training session if it’s a large facility?
A: Personal training is permitted with one trainer and a group of up to 4 people, maintaining 6 ft of social distance, and not sharing equipment. The only time more people could be working out in the same facility together is if they were of the same household.
Lodging and Rentals
Q: Where can I find Pitkin County lodging guidelines?
A: Please see Lodging Guidelines are on the Business Resources Page
Q: What is the definition of Lodging?
A: “Short Term Lodging” is any lodging or lodging space which is used by an occupant for less than 30 days. This includes, without limitation, bed and breakfasts; lodges; retreats; hotels and motels; licensed or professionally managed properties rented through Airbnb, VRBO, travel agencies, or similar companies or websites; units owned on a timeshare or fractional interest basis, condo-hotels, or similar resorts.
Q: What types of lodging can be open and will there be a required amount of time the property must be vacant in between rentals?
A: As of May 27, 2020, Short-Term Lodging, defined as any lodging or lodging space which is used by an occupant for less than 30 days must adhere to Pitkin County’s Lodging Guidance and restrict occupancy to no more than 50% of the total number of keyed units (as measured nightly) in the establishment. Private, rental by owners, not licensed or managed by a professional property manager, are not permitted at this time.
Q: How do you define second home owner and fractional owner? Can they bring guests/visitors?
A: Now in phase 2, fractional units will count just like a visitor unit/lodging property. In the previous phase, we did not count the owners because there was a differentiation between owners and someone who had a deeded interest in the property. Please see guidance for visitors.
Q: What guidelines are there for employee housing? Do I need a business safety plan for the housing?
A:Businesses with employee housing need to include property management in your agency’s Business Safety Plan Checklist if you directly provide it. If you contract property management out we encourage you to review your vendor’s business safety plan.
Q: Now that second homeowners can access their fractional units, can we have staff here to support them, ie: bell and front desk staff?
A:Yes, follow 50% occupancy and 6 ft. guidance and a Business Safety Plan Checklist.
Q: Are VRBO and HomeAway owners required to have a business license and/or clean their properties under CDC guidelines in order to be in compliance with the city ordinance?
A: Check with your local jurisdiction for business license requirements. Yes, properties must adhere to the cleaning guidance outlined in Pitkin County’s Lodging Guidance and submit a Business Safety Plan Checklist.
Q: Will Pitkin County be releasing a Business Safety Plan Checklist for short term rentals not defined as lodging, such as rental by owner?
A: Short-term rentals by owners are not permitted at this time and we are not accepting Business Safety Plans at this time for this type of lodging. Starting June 22nd, private and non-professionally managed rentals are permitted with restrictions laid out in sector specific guidance to come. Those providing short term rentals must adhere to sector-specific guidance and submit a Business Safety Plan.
Q: Is there guidance on whether daily housekeeping will be allowed?
A: Daily housekeeping is allowed if you follow the protocols outlined in Pitkin County’s Lodging Guidance. It is recommended in the guidance to schedule cleaning when guests are not present in the unit/home.
Q: How can a condominium complex with many different owners ensure occupancy is kept at or under 50%?
A: The upper valley has a diverse and complicated bed base and we need property managers and owners to develop occupancy compliance plans that meet the requirement for no more than 50% daily occupancy while treating the various interests fairly. Those affected are best positioned to develop a solution and report the outcome in their Business Safety Plan.
Q: If a rental manger has 1 unit in a building and the max is 50% then they can not rent that unit?
A: What we’re asking is for everyone in the building to have a plan together for 50% occupancy (which is by night). It’s not just the individual unit.
Q: Are owner occupancies included in the 50% occupancy any manager has within a building? Or total for all the buildings units they manage?
A: Each building develops a occupancy compliance plan that meets the requirements while treating the various interests fairly.
Q: If property owners show up after confirmed bookings have been made, and that would increase the occupancy above 50%, can we assume we can keep the confirmed and paid bookings?
A: The responsibility is on the owner and property managers to collaborate and comply with the lodging guidance while treating the various interests fairly.
Q: What determines who is a “professional rental manager” and allowed to short term rent after May 27th?
A: That is determined by your business license and/or business plan.
Q: Do we assume that all allowed rental units will be listed under a manager who has filed a Business Safety Plan and can demonstrate safe practices?
A: Rental units managed under the same property management company should be included in that company’s submitted Business Safety Plan. Every business working in Pitkin County must file a Business Safety Plan prior to opening, including those in property management, hotels, restaurants, landscapers, etc.
Q: Who will audit short term rentals for compliance?
A: How successful our community is with containment and if we can keep welcoming visitors this summer will come from the rate of infections in our community. Occupancy statistics collected by ACRA will provide additional information. It is on all of us to ensure a low infection rate by practicing the 5 Commitments of Containment.
Q: If I already filled out a Business Safety Plan on May 9th, do I need to submit another one specifically for lodging now?
A: Yes as there have been important updates to the document and guidance. This is something we might have to do a few times over the summer and is an indication of the dynamic nature of what we are going through.
Q: Do property owners need to submit a Business Safety Plan or is that only for property managers?
A: It depends if you’re renting your property out. You don’t need one if you are living in your house. Single unit rent by owners are not able to operate at this time.
Q: Why can fractional/deeded properties exclude owners but other properties with an ownership model must calculate them within their 50%? What is that particular property type excluded from counting owners?
A: Now that we are in Phase 2, fractional units will count just like a visitor unit in a property. In the previous phase, we did not count the owners because they were the only ones able to use the property as short term rentals were not allowed in Phase 1.
Q. Do professionally managed single family homes have to follow the 50% occupancy guidelines meaning that we can only have a total overall 50% occupancy of all of our single family homes, condos and fractionals? Or can we separate out single family homes from condos and fractionals and treat them differently?
- The upper valley has a diverse and complicated bed base and we need property managers and owners to develop occupancy compliance plans that meet the requirement for no more than 50% daily occupancy while treating the various interests fairly. Those affected are best positioned to develop a solution and report the outcome in their Business Safety Plan.
Q: What system should be implemented in order to take reservations?
A: For your business, you will need to figure out what system would work best for managing the daily 50% capacity limit.
Q: Are dental offices permitted to open?
A: They are after submission of a business safety plan checklist. There is additional guidance the State is providing for other medical/dental personal services that would need to be read through and incorporated into the safety plan. If you are a business regulated by DORA, look here.
Office and Professional Services
Q:What is the capacity of my office space? What about office buildings that are several floors, have a co-working space, or outdoor private patio?
A: Each office business in a building needs to reduce their in-office occupancy by 50% regardless if that office is on one floor or multiple floors. Outdoor patios, as part of an office, can be used as long as social distancing protocols can be maintained and patio equipment is cleaned and sanitized before and after use. Shared patios between office businesses should work together to maintain social distancing and cleaning and sanitation protocols. Additional guidance for office-based businesses.
Q: If we are in the office at 50% occupancy and 6 feet apart, do we have to wear masks?
A: Yes, for times when you are interacting with other individuals (e.g. customers, co-workers, vendors) gloves and face coverings or masks are required.Additional guidance for office-based businesses.
Q: Does an office that is deemed critical need to have 50% capacity?
A: Critical Businesses must comply with Social Distancing Requirements at all times, adopt work from home or tele-work policies for any operations that can be done remotely, and implement other strategies, such as staggered schedules or re-designing workplaces, to create more distance between workers unless doing so would make it impossible to carry out critical functions. Critical Businesses that serve the public such as grocery stores and other Critical Retail shall comply with Social Distancing Requirements at all times including, but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line. Critical Business and Critical Government Functions shall continue to promote telecommuting to the greatest extent possible. Critical businesses need to submit a Business Safety Plan Checklist by May 23.
Q: Are golf and tennis shops allowed to open now as retail outlets?
A: Yes, on May 9, 2020 they are allowed but they need to fill out a Business Safety Plan Checklist before opening the retail portion of their operation.
Q: How long can golfers arrive before their tee time to use the practice facilities?
A: Contact the golf course for specific details about their operations. Golf courses will manage arrival times, tee times, and practice facilities in order to maintain social distancing and hygiene requirements. Updated guidance available on the Business Resources Page
Q: Are outdoor gear rentals allowed (golf, tennis, bikes, paddleboards, etc)?
A: Rental equipment is only permitted if it can be properly disinfected before and after use. In your Business Safety Plan Checklist you must indicate how you will manage rentals while maintaining social distancing requirements.
Q: Can Summer Camps open under phase two?
A: Day camps can open starting June 1st, but overnight camps are not permitted to open at this time.
Q: Are Outfitters and Guides able to operate?
- As of June 1 Outfitters and Guides are permitted to open to out of town guests. See Guidelines by Sector for more details.
Q: What are the rules for racquet sports during this phase? Indoor or outdoor? Public or Private/HOA?
A: Through May 31, basketball, tennis and other racquet sports can only be played with those in your household and only with less than four. Effective June 1, public playgrounds, skateboard parks, racquet sports and other non-league, non-coached, informal park usage are permitted to open.
Q: Are playgrounds allowed to open?
A: Effective June 1, public playgrounds, skateboard parks, racquet sports and other non-league, non-coached, informal park usage are permitted to open. Please see Public Playground Guidance. Child cares can use their designated playgrounds as long as groups are not combined and social distancing is followed to the greatest extent possible. Additionally, children and staff should wash their hands when they enter the building after being outside
Q: Are outdoor yoga/fitness/coaching sessions/classes allowed?
A: Outdoor sessions or classes with a maximum of 10 people (including instructors) 6 feet apart are allowed as long as they do not share equipment. Businesses and coaches must complete a Business Safety Plan Checklist.
Q: What are the guidelines for Personal Services?
A: Effective June 4 under the State of Colorado, Personal Services are permitted to open with no more than 50 people at a time or a maximum of 50% occupancy, whichever is fewer. Refer to State of Colorado guidance and your permitting agency for further details.
Q: When a business has different services on different floors in a building (spa, pilates/yoga, and retail), how many people can be on each floor?
A: Effective June 4 under the State of Colorado, Personal Services are permitted to open with No more than 50 people at a time or a maximum of 50% occupancy, whichever is fewer. Certain activities such as personal training reduces the number to 4 clients with 1 instructor. Also, keep in mind that social distancing protocols should also be considered when determining the appropriate number of people.
Q: Are spa type services like massage, facials, nails, etc. permitted?A: Spas and salons are allowed to do many treatments but not all treatments, such as facials or waxing around the mouth and nose. For specific guidance on which treatments are allowed go to DORA’s website. Additional guidance can also be found under the personal services section on the State website here. Because customers must keep a mask on at all times, this will also limit the types of services able to be provided.
Q: Is there any guidance for HOA / private, indoor / outdoor pools, hot tubs and developed hot springs
Effective June 8, Outdoor, indoor pools, developed hot springs and and hot tubs, public or private may open with a Business Safety Plan. This includes any pool open to the public, including but not limited to municipal pools, homeowner association pools, pools at fitness centers, in lodging facilities, hot tubs, and developed hot springs.
Please review the Pitkin County Outdoor / Indoor Pools Guidance for complete guidance requirements
- Indoor Pools (including Hot Tubs): Capacity is restricted to 25% capacity, or up to 50 people, whichever is fewer.
- Outdoor Pools (including Hot Tubs): Capacity is restricted to 50% capacity, or up to 50 people, whichever is fewer.
- It is strongly encouraged to limit pool activity to lap swim. All physical distancing measures must be implemented per the guidelines.
Q Are saunas and steam rooms open?
A: No. Saunas and steam rooms are not permitted to open at this time.
Q: Do Real Estate businesses need to submit a Business Safety Plan or just follow State guidance?
A: You will need to fill out a business safety plan, as well as following State guidance.
Q: Are we allowed to show properties? Where do I find guidance for disinfecting a home after a showing?
A: Showings are permitted but open houses are not permitted still in Phase 2. Disinfecting guidance across sectors can be found HERE.
Q: What services are allowed at restaurants?
A: Restaurants may be open for take-out or dine-in services. See the Restaurant Guidance here.
Q: Do patrons need to wear masks? If and/or when can they take them off?
A: Patrons must wear masks when entering and exiting the restaurant and other times when they are not at their table. For more information see the guidance by sector for restaurants.
Q: What are the guidelines for social distancing? What about outdoor dining?
A: Limit indoor and outdoor seating and/or reconfigure tables so that different groups can maintain minimum six feet physical distancing. The spacing of tables may need to be 6 feet or more to ensure proper physical distancing between diners from different parties.Group sizes are limited to 8 people per table. Indoor and outdoor seating will be based on social distancing and capacity, whichever is fewer.
Q: What guidance is there for bar seating? Can I have guests sit at the bar? Can the bar be used to make drinks?
A: The variance Pitkin County was granted was strict about bars not operating in restaurants. Based on the State guidance, either the bar can be used for drink making or for seating. This means a restaurant must choose one purpose for the bar area, either for seating or for drink making.
Q: How do you differentiate a bar/tavern from a restaurant? If a bar/tavern serves food are they allowed to open but not allow seating at the bar?
A: Establishments that have a full service kitchen are allowed to open during this phase. Establishments that are not allowed to open are bars whose food service is limited to:
Light snacks (like bar nuts) or things that are commercially prepared somewhere else and heated up in a microwave on premises (like Hot Pockets) don’t count as food service. Allowing patrons to bring in their own takeout or order food from an app does not count either.
Just like restaurants, a bar/tavern must choose one purpose for the bar area, either for seating or for drink making.
Q: What would cause the State to revoke Pitkin County’s variance?
A: The variance is allowed as long as we can keep our infection rate low and do not reach a weekly total of 18 positive cases for Covid 19.
Q: Are employees included in the occupancy limits?
A: Yes, the occupancy limit is 1 person per 28 sq ft with 50% maximum for indoor seating.
Q: Is return merchandise accepted?
A: Only items that can be properly sanitized can be returned, per State guidance.
Q: What are the rules for customers trying on items (clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.)?
A: Currently there is no State guidance that addresses “items customers can try on.” Therefore, a business can determine if and how items will be tried on. We recommend retailers consult any industry guidance, what fellow retailers are doing, and their comfort level for keeping their customer and employees safe. We encourage businesses when they feel it is necessary to go beyond the Business Safety Plan Checklist. If staff must come closer than 6′ from a customer for them to try on an item, such as jewelry, staff should wear a mask and gloves and limit the time in close contact of the customer to as little time as possible and a total time of less than 10 minutes. We encourage retailers only to permit items to be tried on that can be properly sanitized per State guidance. We will add additional guidance as it comes.
Q: Is there any guidance for consignment stores?
A: Currently there is no specific State guidance for consignment or thrift stores around acceptance of items. We encourage businesses to limit items to only items that can be sanitized or the store can wash and dry before placing out for sale. For other aspects of your business follow retail guidance.
Q: How many employees are allowed to work and what does that mean for the number of customers allowed in?
A: Retailers are permitted to open at 50% capacity and/or at a capacity that enables the retailer to maintain 6-foot distancing between customers and employees. See the guidance chart above for more details. More requirements for retail stores.