Pitkin County moves to Level Red, awaiting 5 Star certification approval

Coronavirus

PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Locals in Pitkin County are pivoting as the county moves up to Level Red COVID restrictions on Sunday.  

The change comes as the county reports that they have the second highest incidence rate in the state which means 1 in 35 residents are currently infected with COVID-19. County officials stated with the high number cases it’s interfering with in-person learning, indoor economic activity (restaurants/retail), increased transportation capability and winter tourism. 

“We definitely feel as a community we were singled out,” Jeffrey Halferty said, part-owner of Victoria’s Espresso, a coffee and wine bar in Aspen. 

Here are some of the key changes the county can expect to see: 

  • Indoor Dining
    • Indoor dining at restaurants is prohibited; use takeout, curbside or delivery options instead. Outdoor dining is permitted with those in your household.
    • On all-premise alcohol must cease at 8 p.m. To go orders may continue until 10 p.m.
      Outdoor dining must end at 10 p.m.
  • Ski areas
    • Improve mask and distancing enforcement
    • No indoor dining
    • Continue to monitor capacity and implement reservation system if target capacity is exceeded in accordance with the Ski Area Plan
  • Lodging
    • Enforce one household per unit regardless of when reservation was made
    • CLARIFICATION: The only capacity limit for lodging is that reservations are restricted to single household per unit. THERE IS NOT A 50% CAPACITY LIMIT AT THIS TIME.

Clark’s Oyster House General Manager Charles Ford said he’s had to furlough dozens of staff because of the changes but he said he did see the move to Level Red coming. 

“With it being 2021 now, it’s hard to be surprised by anything,” Ford said. 

The county is offering 5 Star certification to help give businesses some relief if and when approved: 

“The Board of Health prioritized applying for the 5 Star Program with the State immediately. If accepted, 5 Star certified businesses will be able to operate at an increased capacity after a 2-week sustained decline in incidence rate (per the State report card). Pitkin County businesses have been working hard since the beginning of the pandemic, and we’re hopeful the 5 Star Certification Program will offer some much-needed relief and opportunity.”

The county stated they will only move out of Level Red if the incidence rate is below 700 and has been decreasing for 14 days.

For more information on restrictions in Level Red click here. 

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