News in brief

The Pitkin County Board of Health, in collaboration with community sector leaders and based on rising case numbers, decided to apply several additional protective measures locally. Due to the numbers of cases rising exponentially in the last two weeks, the health board — in efforts to stave off more impactful red-level restrictions later in the year — made the call to implement additional protective measures above the Level Orange requirements.

“The Board of Health landed on what we are calling Orange Plus,” Pitkin County Public Health Director Karen Koenemann stated in a Friday press release. “It was through community collaboration and hard work of several sector groups that brought forward ideas on how to help the community reign in the spread of COVID.”

With numbers skyrocketing into and through the threshold for the red level in just the past five days, the board of health, business leaders and community leaders have come to recognize that immediate action is necessary to change the course in order to save county schools’ and winter seasons, the county statement explains. The group further reaffirmed the importance of “our individual actions in informal settings” and also recommended employee and visitor pledges.

Based on the recommendations from the community, Pitkin County Public Health will be implementing the following additional measures beyond the state-mandated requirements of the orange level:

10 p.m. closing of all noncritical businesses

• Visitors required to sign an affidavit

• Businesses to have employees sign COVID-19 commitment and pledge

• Additional mask requirements when seated dining

• Maximum number of people per table reduced from 10 to eight

• Restaurants to collect contact information for all diners

• Events reduced to the following:

• Indoor limited to 25%, up to 40 people

• Outdoor events limited to 25%, up to 60 people

Pitkin County plans on releasing the new public health order next Monday but requests all businesses to enact what measures they can as soon as possible and not wait for the Public Health Order. As stated in the release, “The sooner we can collectively implement these measures as a community, the sooner we can hope to flatten the curve and turn the course against this pandemic.”