Pitkin County Public Health “Stay at Home” order to lift May 9

ASPEN — The Pitkin County stay-at-home order will lift on May 9, bringing Pitkin County into closer alignment with the state “Safer at Home” order issued Monday.

Through May 8, all residents of and visitors to Pitkin County must continue to follow the guidance outlined in the last amended Pitkin County Stay-At-Home Order (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cTs9bBJpBgt3Lpy7ufQJ6mGfcW1YkVXq/view ) enacted on April 23rd, which was originally set to expire on April 30th . The order will be extended, allowing the county to develop the strategies and guidelines for preventing a surge of COVID-19 cases when our community moves to the “safer-at-home” phase starting May 9.

“We hate to impact the livelihoods of everyone who have been hurt by the COVID-19 restrictions,” said Pitkin County Public Health Director Karen Koenemann. “At the same time we want to avoid relaxing restrictions too quickly, only to have to reimpose them if there is a surge in cases.”

On Thursday, the Pitkin County Board of Health will discuss the businesses included in the relaxation of the health order. When the order goes into effect on May 9, it will remain in force for approximately another 6 weeks.
The first planned review of the order will be in early June.

The May 8 order timeline is consistent with the restrictions in other counties, including Boulder, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties.

Koenemann explained that the upcoming two weeks are critical to understand how the lifting of the construction and landscaping restrictions will impact the hospital and the community, and to verify that we have continued medical capacity after the first step in loosening the order. The public health office will also use this time to support businesses getting their risk mitigation safety plans in place.

“We have been working day and night to build the capacity to ‘box it in’ so that we can safely ease restrictions in the county and start our first step in social and economic recovery,” Koenemann continued. The “Box It In” strategy involves four components: 1. testing widely among those with symptoms and priority groups, 2. isolating those who are ill with COVID-19, contact tracing to identify everyone who made contact with the ill person, and 4. quarantining those contacts until they are able to be tested (and so the cycle repeats).

“This extra time will allow us to ramp up our epidemiology team to continue to conduct contact tracing, focus outreach and care on disproportionately impacted communities, receive additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for our health care providers, and continue our
progress on accessing testing,” said Koenemann. “Having these elements in place prepares our response for the possible resulting spread of infection.”

With amazing community compliance of the current State-At-Home Order, Pitkin County has met some of the conditions of “Box It In” that need to be in place to make sure the spread of COVID-19 does not surge as additional stay-at-home restrictions are eased.

Protection measures achieved to date:

  • Wide-scale PCR testing is now available for all who are symptomatic.
  • Expanded capacity to monitor (through contact tracing) those who have tested positive, as well as their close contacts.
  • Outbreak risks are minimized in special settings like health facilities and other congregate settings (jails, etc.).
  • Sufficient PPE reserves to respond to hospital surge and increased testing.

    Further planning efforts underway:
  • Continue to work on a regional alternate care site to serve as a location for step-down care when COVID-19 patients who require continued acute care are discharged from the hospital, if hospital capacity is exceeded.
  • Prior to May 8, prepare clear guidance for and with the business community to increasecompliance and minimize confusion.
  • Prior to May 8, create clear guidance for residents to minimize confusion and increase compliance.
  • Establish a compliance system for businesses to demonstrate their compliance with COVID-19 regulations.
  • Ramp up outreach and guidance to disparately affected communities, including Hispanic/Latinx and older populations.
  • Increase staffing for surveillance and monitoring of active cases of COVID-19.
  • Receive additional testing supplies for Pitkin County residents.
  • Receive additional personal protective equipment (PPE), including surgical and N95 masks, for essential staff like health care workers and first responders.

The updated Pitkin County Health Order will remain in effect until midnight on May 8, 2020, unless earlier amended, extended, or rescinded by Pitkin County Public Health Director Karen Koenemann, with guidance from the Pitkin County Board of Health.

Until May 9, all residents of and visitors to Pitkin County must continue to follow the guidance outlined in the last amended Pitkin County Stay-At-Home Order enacted on April 23rd.

Updates about next steps will be shared by press release, as well as on the Pitkin County Public Health and social media pages and COVID-19 website.

Pitkin County Public Health “Stay at Home” order to lift May 9

Second Pitkin County COVID-19 death confirmed

Aspen- The Pitkin County Public Health Department, today, confirmed the second death of a Pitkin County resident who tested positive for COVID-19.

The victim, a 55-year-old male, was discovered already deceased by Aspen Police Department officers performing a welfare check on Tuesday, March 25. Confirmation of the infection was received Friday by the Pitkin County coroner.

From Pitkin County Coroner

The Pitkin County Coroner’s office along with the Aspen Police Department investigated the death of a local man Pauli Laukkanen age 55 who died on March 22nd.   The decedents cause of death is Complications of COVID-19 Infection and the manner of death is Natural. The decedent had reported minimal symptoms of night sweats and fever several days before his death.  The decedent was from Sweden but has lived in Aspen for many years and his local friends will be taking care of the funeral arrangements.   

(For Press Only: Questions may be directed to Dr. Ayers, Chief Medical Examiner Pitkin County Coroner’s Office 970-618-3311, Please be patient with responses. )

Second Pitkin County COVID-19 death confirmed

Pitkin County: First Pitkin County COVID-19 death reported Aspen

Aspen- The Pitkin County Public Health Office, Tuesday, confirmed the first death of a Pitkin County resident to a COVID-19 infection.

The victim, a 94-year-old male with serious underlying medical issues, died on March 24 at his home in Aspen. He had been suffering from COVID-like symptoms, but had not been diagnosed prior to his death. Confirmation of the infection was received early Thursday by the Pitkin County coroner.

“ Our hearts are heavy having learned of this first death in our community’s struggle against the spread of COVID-19,” said Karen Koenemann, director of Pitkin County Public Health. “We especially want the family of the victim to know how sorry we are. We know our community will support each other with kindness and compassion in recognition of the significance of this loss.”’

Press release
From Pitkin County Coroner

The Pitkin County Coroner’s office along with the Aspen Police Department investigated the death of a local man 94 years old. The decedents cause of death is Complications of COVID-19 Infection and the manner of death is Natural. The decedent had been ill for three days and had underlying medical conditions. The decedents name is being withheld pending the family making notifications and arrangements.

(For Press Only: Questions may be directed to Dr. Ayers, Chief Medical Examiner Pitkin County Coroner’s Office 970-618-3311, Please be patient with responses. )

Pitkin County: First Pitkin County COVID-19 death reported Aspen

Pitkin County: Two new surveys launched to aid in symptom tracking and general community well-being

March 25, 2020

Two new surveys launched to aid in symptom tracking and general

community well-being

New COVID-19 webpage also launched

ASPEN – To gather more information about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Pitkin County has unveiled two new surveys as well as a new website for the public.

The surveys include a symptom tracking survey, a survey on the emotional health of the community inthis stressful time, and all originating from a new COVID-19 page, www. Pitkincounty.com/Corona.

The focus of all this is meant to collect self-reported data from the community.

“We’re trying to take the pulse of our community,” said Jordana Sabella, Planning, Prevention and Partnerships Manager for Pitkin County Public Health. “When we all have more information we’ll be able to better address the spread of COVID-19 and understand how the community is feeling and what they need.”

The COVID-19 symptom tracker is important to the epidemiological view, as people are experiencingsymptoms consistent with those of the novel coronavirus. “By seeing the trends of symptoms across the community, in differing areas of Pitkin County, we should be able to better respond,” Sabella said.

Symptoms of COVID-19:

  •  Early symptoms can include headache, sore throat, nasal congestion.
  •  Progresses to fever and cough.
  •  Some may have muscle and body aches.

“This information will help us gain greater clarity on the types of symptoms experienced by our community and areas of impact,” said Sabella. “This will also help us align response resources in Pitkin County and evaluate strategies to decrease the spread of illness.”

As the COVID-19 response in our community continues, Pitkin County has added information to a website designed to be a one-stop source of updates and information. Information on the website not only includes official Public Health Orders, advisories, and guidance, it also includes information on community relief resources and resources for businesses pertaining to disaster loan information, filing for unemployment, and updates coming from the State of Colorado and Federal Government.

“We intend on adding resources to this website as they are made available,” said Pitkin County Manager, Jon Peacock. “We understand that our community has a lot of information coming at it frommany directions and it is our goal to maintain this source of information for the Public Health effort, and for the relief efforts that are going to become more and more vital as this situation continues.”

Pitkin County: Two new surveys launched to aid in symptom tracking and general community well-being

Pitkin County Public Health Order

3/23/2020 – Effective immediately, until at least April 17, 2020

Per this Order all RESIDENTS ARE TO STAY HOME, VISITORS ARE TO RETURN TO THEIR PRIMARY PLACE OF RESIDENCE, and NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES ARE TO CLOSE IN-PERSON OPERATIONS.

Events of MORE THAN TEN (10) PEOPLE, including employees and attendees, are prohibited.

Pitkin Public Health Order graphic

Pitkin County Public Health Order

Pitkin County orders stay-at-home order

ASPEN—Pitkin County Public Health has ordered new restrictions that further prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting contact between people, primarily through a stay-at-home order.

The high points of the order include stronger direction for people to remain at home, directing tourists visiting the area to head home, and closing non-essential businesses. Essential businesses are directed to seek to meet the social distancing and other prevention techniques at all times.

Also, the department is rolling out a new “Community Symptom Tracker” program tomorrow.

“We understand people are asking for more information regarding the spread of COVID-19,” Pitkin County Community Health Director Karen Koenemann said Monday. “This program is going to allow community members to report their symptoms to help us get a better understanding of the scope of the spread of the disease.”

“For their protection and the protection of the community, we are asking the tourists to follow the national and state direction to head home,” County Manager Jon Peacock said.

  ###

Bill Linn
PIO, Pitkin County Incident Management Team

Pitkin County orders stay-at-home order

Pitkin County Public Health Order UPDATED

Media Contact:
Bill Linn, Pitkin County IMT PIO
970-924-0614 (Media Hotline)

March 18, 2020

ASPEN – You may have heard of the state rules on gathering sizes and restaurants, but today Pitkin County is updating the county’s current COVID-19 health order to align with, and strengthen, those state guidelines.
Important changes include extending the deadline to April 17, and limiting gatherings and events to no more than 10 people. (Please see attached copy of order).

To prevent further spread of COVID-19, Pitkin County Public Health updated the county’s health order today directing restaurants and other sites to stop in-house service for the next 30 days. This move was made jointly with Eagle County.

In alignment with an order from Colorado’s Governor, Jared Polis, the new county order is directed at most venues, particularly around food service. These venues are directed to close for in-house food service, except for take-out services.

“This update expands our original order to be aligned with the guidance from the governor’s office,” Pitkin County Public Health Director, Karen Koenemann, said Tuesday. The order is effective immediately. “We will continue to monitor and evaluate needs for extending the timeline and service coverage.”

Recognizing the need for essential public services, Koenemann said the orders are not directed at these services in the community. Public transit, some governmental services such as clerk and recorder offices, gas stations, medical services and hospitals, law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, banks, grocery stores, and pharmacies are all allowed and encouraged to remain open as long as they are following the public health order guidelines for social distancing and transmission risk mitigation to the extent possible.

SUMMARY OF THE ORDER
· No events are allowed greater than 10 people.
· No gatherings of any size at most places where this is normally done, like bars and churches. Food service locations are allowed to provide takeout and delivery of food as long as they comply with other rules. Up to five persons are allowed in the business for the purpose of picking up food service, when social distancing rules are complied with (six feet of
separation).
· Events less than 10 people are not allowed unless all the other rules regarding social distancing and disease transmission prevention are met.
· Exemptions are plentiful, but specific. See the order. General retail stores that are not essential services are allowed to remain open if they meet the requirements on mitigation risk.
· Construction remains allowed, if they meet the risk mitigation guidelines.

Pitkin County Public Health Order UPDATED

Pitkin County case confirmed as presumptively positive

Aspen, Colo. – Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has advised the Pitkin County Public Health Department that one (1) test for COVID-19 is presumptively positive for the virus.

We are still waiting for results on 23 tests and will report those results as we receive them.

Those who have test presumptively positive will be notified by Pitkin County Public Health.  

Questions on the public health order or COVID-19 can be directed to the Pitkin County Coronavirus Hotline at 970-429-6186. It is staffed from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week.

This additional presumptive positive result brings the total number of presumptively positive cases to 11 in Pitkin County.

Pitkin County case confirmed as presumptively positive

Aspen COVID-19 community testing site advisory

We are reevaluating our strategy for broad-based community testing. Our goal is to ensure that our high-risk populations are being screened as needed to ensure we can prevent mortality and maintain a strong first responder infrastructure so they can continue to serve our community.

Those who exhibit flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) are encouraged to stay home untill sympots subside so others are not exposed. If people need to see their primary care physician, please call first and get instructions from their provider so health care facilities and providers are able to take the neccassary safety precautions to prevent spread of illness. As always, if someone is having difficulty breathing, call 9-1-1 for help.

Aspen COVID-19 community testing site advisory

New limits on large gatherings, other emergency strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19

Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin County are issuing a Public Health order to minimize the health impacts of COVID-19.

Not only has COVID-19 presented in our tri-county region, but there has also been community transmission between affected individuals. The role of counties is to protect the health, safety and welfare of their citizens.

The Public Health order will become effective immediately and will be revisited on April 8, 2020.

Under this order from Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin counties, Public Health prohibits large gatherings and events of more than 50 people (see information below regarding schools and restaurants). Gatherings of less than 50 attendees are prohibited, unless measures are taken by event organizers to minimize risk.

This Order is adopted pursuant to the legal authority set forth in sections 25-1-506 and 25-1-508, Colorado Revised Statutes. Under these laws, the local Public Health Director(s) has the duty to investigate and control the causes of the epidemic or communicable diseases and conditions affecting public health and to establish, maintain, and enforce isolation and quarantine, and in pursuance thereof, and for this purpose only, to exercise physical control over the property and over the persons of the people within the jurisdiction of the agency as the agency may find necessary for the protection of the public health.

Large events and gatherings

Under this Public Health order in Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin counties:

· Events with more than 50 attendees are prohibited.

· An event is a gathering for business, social, or recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; assemblies; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.

· An event does not include activities that are primarily individual or occur in small groups or in non-congregate settings, such as places of employment or primarily small-group sports like skiing, as long as social distancing occurs, particularly in areas where congregating in groups is unavoidable, such as lift lines.

· An event does not include restaurants, as long as restaurants adhere to the requirements for social distancing.

Events with fewer than 50 attendees are recommended to take the following steps to mitigate risks.

· Social distancing recommendations include limiting contact of people within 6 feet from each other.

· Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions that are at increased risk of serious COVID-19 are encouraged not to attend (including employees).

· Potential screenings for COVID-19 symptoms each day and exclusion from the gathering if symptomatic.

· Proper hand hygiene and sanitation measures must be readily available to all attendees, employees, and vendors.

· Environmental cleaning guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are followed (e.g., clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily or more frequently).

Why now?

These actions are the most available and effective tools to help slow the spread of the virus in our community – and, importantly, to reduce the number of potential deaths caused by COVID-19.

By slowing the spread, we have a chance to protect our family, friends, and neighbors who are at risk for severe illness. In particular, this includes all adults over age 60 and anyone with an underlying health condition.

These actions will limit the cascading impacts on critical services due to high absenteeism if large numbers of workers become ill. Such actions will help hospitals, first responders, and other healthcare services continue to provide services for those who need them (along with utilities, human services, and businesses) in the coming weeks and months.

Who enforces?

We will not be actively searching for violations, but if we receive reports of events contrary to the order, we will reach out to the organizer to educate and provide guidance.

Schools

At this point, we are not recommending closing schools, but we are watching the outbreak closely and may determine that school closures are necessary.

Schools, parents and employers should take steps now to prepare for the possibility of prolonged mandatory closures.

In particular, schools should plan for how to continue to provide non-educational support for their students such as providing food, developmental disability support, and school-based healthcare.

Collective action can save lives

We all have a lot at stake for the safety of our community.

Giving up social events will not be easy, but this is our best chance to save lives. These actions will help to contain the spread of COVID-19 to protect everyone. This is also in support of the most vulnerable in our community.

The more united we can be in preventing the spread the greater the benefit for the whole community.

Heath Harmon
Director
Eagle County Public Health & Environment

Yvonne Long
Executive Director
Garfield County Public Health

Karen Koenemann
Public Health Director
Pitkin County Public Health

Pitkin County Standing Public Health Order Related to Events
Garfield County Standing Public Health Order Related to Events

MEDIA INFORMATION

Garfield County: Renelle Lott, Chief Communications Officer, 970-366-2275

Pitkin County: Jenny Cutright, Pitkin County IMT PIO, 970-924-0614 (Media Hotline)

New limits on large gatherings, other emergency strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19