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

Pitkin County Coronavirus testing location in operation

Aspen, Colo. – The Pitkin County Incident Management Team (IMT) has opened a testing location at the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department’s Aspen Village Location.

This testing location is only for the vulnerable population and who have been screened by the Pitkin County Coronavirus Hotline. Those getting tested are already in the system and have been scheduled through the Pitkin County Coronavirus Hotline.

“Please respect the privacy of our neighbors and friends who are not feeling well,” said Incident Commander Gabe Muething. “We want to give them privacy & compassion during this testing process.”

“As a point of clarification, we tested individuals yesterday who were symptomatic and continue to do so today,” said Incident Commander Alex Burchetta. 

If anyone feels they should be screened for Coronavirus, please call the Pitkin County Coronavirus Hotline at 970-429-6186. It is staffed from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week, and callers will be screened to determine if they meet the criteria for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.  

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

Pitkin County Coronavirus testing location in operation

CDPHE: Six additional Pitkin County cases confirmed as presumptive positive Coronavirus today

Aspen, Colo. – Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has confirmed that six (6) additional people who were in contact with the Australian visitor have tested presumptively positive for Coronavirus.  

Pitkin County Public Health has established a local Coronavirus Hotline 970-429-6186 staffed from 8 am to 8 pm seven days a week where it can be determined if you meet the criteria for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. 

These additional positives are in addition to the previous three (3) presumptively positive patients that were announced earlier today.  This brings the number of presumptively positive people to nine (9). There is still one test outstanding. The testing process is overseen by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. These individuals are considered “presumptive positive” until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm the cases.

Pitkin County Incident Management Team is in contact with those who tested presumptively positive as well as the local properties impacted. Systems are in place to address the needs of the affected individuals. The property managers have been given information on how to protect themselves and proper cleaning procedures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

If you are feeling ill with symptoms similar to those associated with COVID-19:

  •  Manage  your symptoms at home the same way you manage other cold symptoms. We want to reduce the risk of transmission, so to the extent possible, people with flu-like symptoms should remain at home.
  •  If  you need medical care, contact your primary care provider and schedule a visit. Let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  •  Only contact 9-1-1 for emergencies requiring immediate life-saving care and let them know if you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  •  Restrict visits to the hospital emergency room or urgent care – only individuals needing immediate care should visit these facilities. If you must visit an ER or urgent care facility, call ahead and let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  •  Pitkin County Community Coronavirus Hotline is available for questions, concerns and prescreening of the Coronavirus. Please call 970-429-6186. 

STAY INFORMED

The following are some steps our community can take to be informed and proactive:

Subscribe to the Pitkin Alert text message updates by texting CVIRUS to 888-777.

Questions about coronavirus? Call the Pitkin County Community Coronavirus Hotline at (970) 429-6186 or the state of Colorado COVID Helpline at 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

People who are symptomatic AND have traveled to affected areas, or have been in contact with a known patient can call the CDPHE general epidemiology hotline # 303-692-2700. This line is staffed seven days a week at from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.        

Questions about coronavirus? Call the Pitkin County Community Coronavirus Hotline at (970) 429-6186 or the state of Colorado COVID Helpline at 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

There are also several channels for information: Colorado Department of Public Health , Pitkin County Public Health, and Pitkin County Public Health Facebook

There are effective ways to reduce the risk to yourself and the people you care about.

  •  Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  •  If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  •  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands 
  • Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.
  •  Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
  •  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  •  Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily, using regular household detergent and water
  •  It is not necessary to wear a face mask to protect yourself if you are not sick. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
CDPHE: Six additional Pitkin County cases confirmed as presumptive positive Coronavirus today

10 new presumptive positive cases in Colorado CDPHE confirms limited community spread of COVID-19 in Colorado

DENVER, March 11, 2020: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) identified 10 new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, based on overnight testing results. The 10 new presumptive positive cases are in Pitkin, Eagle, Gunnison, Denver, Jefferson, and Arapahoe counties. That brings the total number of presumptive positive cases to 27, with one indeterminate case that public health is acting on as a presumptive positive. The state lab has run tests on approximately 300 people in Colorado since testing started on February 28.

Based on the information CDPHE is receiving from presumptive positive cases, CDPHE has reason to suspect we are seeing limited community spread in Colorado. The Governor’s office will be holding a press conference at 5 p.m. tonight with more details. CDPHE has recommendations for ways to limit further community spread below. 

Case 1:
Gender: Male
Age: 70s
County of residence: Eagle
Exposure: Under investigation

Case 2:
Gender: Female
Age: 50s
County of residence: Gunnison
Exposure: Under investigation

Case 3:
Gender: Male
Age: 50s
County of residence: In Pitkin County, but resident of Australia visiting Aspen
Exposure: Travel, close contact with individuals

Case 4:
Gender: Female
Age: 20s
County of residence: In Pitkin County, but resident of Australia visiting Aspen
Exposure: Travel and contact with individuals

Case 5:
Gender: Female
Age: 70s
County of residence: Jefferson
Exposure: Travel

Case 6:
Gender: Male
Age: 70s
County of residence: Jefferson
Exposure: Travel

Case 7:
Gender: Female
Age: 50s
County of residence: Gunnison
Exposure: Under investigation

Case 8:
Gender: Male
Age: 40s
County of residence: Denver
Exposure: Travel

Case 9:
Gender: Female
Age: 80s
County of residence: Arapahoe
Exposure: Under investigation

Case 10:
Gender: Female
Age: 60s
County of Residence: In Pitkin County, but resident of Australia visiting Aspen
Exposure: Travel, close contact with individuals

Limited community spread (or transmission) means there are cases and outbreaks in certain communities where people became infected, and we are unable to identify the source. Limited person-to-person spread (or transmission) means a person in Colorado became infected from a known exposure to another person in Colorado.  

For limited community spread, community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, and creating employee plans to work remotely can help slow the spread of COVID-19. If there is ongoing spread in a community, local and state officials, in consultation with federal officials when appropriate, will make decisions about implementing community interventions based on the scope of community spread. Community interventions may be different for each community.

No matter where you live, everyone should practice daily preventive actions to reduce the risk of transmission, especially to people who may experience more severe illness. People in high-risk categories include:

  • Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80 years.
  • People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease, or diabetes.
  • Older people with chronic medical conditions are at greatest risk.

Other ways people can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in communities:

  • Stay home when sick.
  • Don’t shake hands in greeting — instead bump fists or elbows.
  • When possible, increase the distance between people. Six feet is a distance that reduces the transmission of the virus.
  • If there is active transmission between multiple people in your community, consider reducing the number of large group gatherings.    
  • Try to go out as little as possible. 
  • Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. 
  • Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks.
  • If you have older or at-risk neighbors/family members check in with them frequently and see if they have any specific needs. 

These measures could reduce the strain on local health care systems and help ensure that those who need treatment are able to get it. 

State officials will share more information at a press conference at 5 p.m. today at the Governor’s Office at the state capitol. Media advisory to follow.

To ensure expedience on reporting presumptive positive cases, the state will provide overall testing statistics as soon as we are able on the website.  Continue to stay up to date by visiting colorado.gov/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus.

10 new presumptive positive cases in Colorado CDPHE confirms limited community spread of COVID-19 in Colorado

Three Pitkin County cases confirmed as Presumptive Positive Coronavirus today

Aspen, Colo. – Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment  (CDPHE) has confirmed that three of people who were in contact with the Australian visitor have tested presumptively positive for Coronavirus, while the remaining seven tests are still pending.  The testing process is overseen by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. These individuals are considered “presumptive positive” until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirm the cases.

“These visitors are currently in quarantine. CDPHE staff, in conjunction with Pitkin County Public Health, are monitoring people who may have been exposed,” said Karen Koenemann, Director of Pitkin County Public Health. “We hope that these folks recover quickly and there is no additional spread in Pitkin County.”

Pitkin County Incident Management Team is in contact with those who tested presumptively positive as well as the local properties impacted. Systems are in place to address the needs of the affected individuals. The property managers have been given information on how to protect themselves and proper cleaning procedures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Pitkin County Public Health is working collaboratively with Aspen Valley Hospital to ensure accurate and timely information is provided to the public. Aspen Valley Hospital will be limiting non-essential access to all locations to help limit exposure to COVID-19 effective Wednesday, March 11. Patients, visitors, volunteers, vendors, and guests will be screened prior to entering any Aspen Valley Hospital facility until further notice. 

“I would like to ask our community to help us as we respond to this crisis by trusting that we have the best available teams locally, statewide and nationally working on containing the virus,” said Pitkin County Commissioners Chairman Steve Childs. “There is no better time than now to try to meet this challenge with compassion for others and educate ourselves with information from the Centers for Disease Control, Colorado Department of Health and Environment and the World Health Organization. This is not the time to panic, but to take measures to avoid getting sick and be prepared to spend an extended amount of time at home if you do get sick.”

“The City of Aspen, including Aspen City Council, is supporting Pitkin County’s planning, community monitoring and response efforts.  We appreciate the resource we have in the Incident Management Team and how their activation provides the best opportunity for minimizing the impacts of COVID-19 exposure in our community.  City and County staff are working side-by-side with public health experts and will continue to do so until there is no longer a public health concern,” said City of Aspen Mayor Torre.

If you are feeling ill with symptoms similar to those associated with COVID-19:

  • Manage your symptoms at home the same way you manage other cold symptoms. We want to reduce the risk of transmission, so to the extent possible, people with flu-like symptoms should remain at home.
  • If you need medical care, contact your primary care provider and schedule a visit. Let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  • Only contact 9-1-1 for emergencies requiring immediate life-saving care and let them know if you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  • Restrict visits to the hospital emergency room or urgent care – only individuals needing immediate care should visit these facilities. If you must visit an ER or urgent care facility, call ahead and let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.
  • Pitkin County Community Coronavirus Hotline is available for questions, concerns and prescreening of the Coronavirus. Please call 970-429-6186.

STAY INFORMED

The following are some steps our community can take to be informed and proactive:

Subscribe to the Pitkin Alert text message updates by texting CVIRUS to 888-777.

Questions about coronavirus? Call the Pitkin County Community Coronavirus Hotline at 

?(970) 429-6186 or the state of Colorado COVID Helpline at 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

People who are symptomatic AND have traveled to affected areas or have been in contact with a known patient can call the CDPHE general epidemiology hotline # 303-692-2700. This line is staffed seven days a week at from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.        

Questions about coronavirus? Call the Pitkin County Community Coronavirus Hotline at 

?(970) 429-6186 or the state of Colorado COVID Helpline at 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org.

There are also several channels for information: Colorado Department of Public Health , Pitkin County Public Health, and Pitkin County Public Health Facebook

There are effective ways to reduce the risk to yourself and the people you care about.

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
    • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily using regular household detergent and water
  • It is not necessary to wear a facemask to protect yourself if you are not sick. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

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Three Pitkin County cases confirmed as Presumptive Positive Coronavirus today