On May 13, 2021, the Pitkin County Board of Health voted to graduate from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) COVID-19 Dial. Effective Friday, May 28th at 12:01 a.m the majority of the existing public health protective measures will no longer be required. Two key exceptions are that Pitkin County Public Health will continue to require face coverings in public indoor settings and on public transportation.
With continued low COVID-19 case counts and a significant portion of our population vaccinated, this allows our community to transition from the emergency crisis to living with the virus. As of today, 59% of Pitkin County residents are fully vaccinated and a total of 70% have received at least one dose of their two-dose vaccine. Public health experts estimate that 70-85% of the population needs to be vaccinated to stop the ongoing community spread of COVID-19.
“The relaxation of the public health requirements allows our community to move forward and shift the onus of COVID-19 disease prevention from regulations to personal responsibility. We have learned so much throughout this pandemic, our goal is to allow Public Health to move back into prevention and continue to inform and educate the public, but to not regulate. The most important prevention strategy is to continue to get vaccinated,” said interim Public Health Director, Jordana Sabella.
In addition to these rollbacks, a snapback measure will be implemented around hospital capacity. A snapback measure will allow Pitkin County Public Health and the State of Colorado to monitor hospital metrics. Additional protective measures, or a snapback to the COVID-19 dial, may be implemented if 85% of the regional hospital bed capacity is exceeded or local hospital capacity is threatened. Pitkin County Public Health will continue to monitor and investigate COVID-19 cases, which includes isolation of any individual with a positive COVID-19 case, case investigation, contact tracing, and quarantine of close contacts who are not fully vaccinated. These strategies will help to slow disease transmission and reduce the risk of any unanticipated surges.
This change is to help our community get out of the crisis mode and allow Public Health to get back to the space it operates best – monitoring the data, preventing surges of the disease and helping our community, our businesses and our families and friends learn to live with the disease.
Pitkin County will continue to follow Level Green requirements on the State Dial through May 27th. We ask for our entire community to practice personal responsibility and take the actions to help stop the spread of COVID-19: Get Vaccinated, Mask Up, and Socialize Smart.
Beginning May 28th:
The following public health requirements will remain in effect:
- Face coverings in public indoor settings and on public transportation for individuals over the age of 2.
- Businesses may allow individuals to remove their masks in an indoor public setting if 80% of the guests have shown proof of vaccination. Businesses that seek this exemption to the face covering requirement will be required to have all non-vaccinated individuals show proof of a negative test.
Businesses would be responsible for tracking vaccination status with HIPAA compliant protocols if they’d wish to measure vaccine status among patrons.
- Isolation of COVID cases, case investigation, contact tracing
- Quarantine of close contacts who are not fully vaccinated
The following protective measures will remain as evidence-based recommendations:
- Get vaccinated
- Wear a mask in public settings if you are not vaccinated
- Stay home when sick and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms
- 6 ft. distancing in public settings
- Wash hands often
- Follow industry specific guidance
- Business Safety Plans will no longer be required. It will be adapted to a COVID-19 Business Toolkit with Public Health best practices available to all business sectors.
- Event Safety Plans will no longer be required by Public Health, but will continue to be available as a COVID-19 Event Toolkit to all event planners to implement Public Health best practices.
While no longer required under the Public Health Order, Pitkin County, City of Aspen, Town of Snowmass Village and Town of Basalt Special Event Permitting integrated the event safety plan into their application process.
- Traveler Responsibility Code
- 5 Star Program
CDPHE and Pitkin County Public Health will closely monitor regional and local hospital capacities.The data is broken down by the regional hospital capacity as identified by the State for both ICU capacity and general bed capacity. If either the ICU capacity or general bed capacity for the region exceeds 85% or local hospital capacity is threatened, capacity limits and public health requirements may be reinstated for the community.
While many capacity limits and public health requirements will go away on May 28th, community members should know that businesses can still require COVID-19 mitigation steps, such as continued mask wearing and social distancing measures, even if they are not required by the county or state. Anyone visiting a business should follow that particular business’s requirements for entering.