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Aspen Public Radio will keep you informed on the latest information about the coronavirus here in Colorado and the Valley.

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: April 19 - 26, 2020

Christin Kay
Aspen Public Radio

Garfield County Asks Businesses To Complete Social Distancing Plan

Saturday, April 25 - In order to reopen on May 4th, 2020, businesses and agencies in Garfield County should determine if they are high, medium, or low risk, and complete and submit the “Garfield County Business Social Distancing Plan.”

The “Safer-at-Home” orders issued from the state will begin on April 27th, 2020. Garfield County wants to give local businesses and agencies time to review the Garfield County Roadmap Criteria and complete a plan for their agency using the Garfield County Business Social Distancing Plan guidance. 

Businesses and agencies in Garfield County should determine if they are high, medium, or low risk, complete the “Garfield County Business Social Distancing Plan”, and submit the form online at: www.garfield-county.com.

Phase I implementation begins on May 4th, 2020.  The form can be filled out manually and submitted via email to: consumerprotection@garfield-county.com,or fax 970-625-4804, or via mail: 194 W 14th St, Bldg A, Rifle, CO 81650.

For questions pleasecall: 970-625-5200, ext 8120

Fill out the Business Social Distancing Plan here

Eagle County Relieved From Portions Of State's Stay-At-Home Order

Thursday, April 23 - Gov. Jared Polis relieved Eagle County from parts of the state's stay-at-home order. Polis announced the decision virtually at an Eagle County Board of County Commissioners meeting Thursday. 

"Eagle County was one of the hardest hit counties," Polis said. "It's only appropriate that having being first hit, Eagle County is able to enter a more sustainable phase a little bit earlier."

The county asked the state to exempt them from certain parts of the state's stay-at-home order in an April 16 letter.

Polis stressed it does not mean Eagle County residents will be able to return to "normal life" like before the pandemic. It will allow the county to open certain non-essential businesses, increase gathering sizes from zero to ten and open outdoor recreation facilities.

Carbondale Emergency Task Force Launching End-Of-Life Planning Campaign

Thursday, April 23 - The Carbondale Emergency Task Force (CETF) announced a partnership with Roaring Fork Family Practice to launch an advance directives service during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Mayo Clinic, advance directives "guide choices for doctors and caregivers if you’re terminally ill, seriously injured, in a coma, in the late stages of dementia or near the end of life."

The CETF has trained a team of volunteers who are available to provide support for crafting a written document of advance directives outlining suitable directions for medical and health care at the point of critical care.

"There has perhaps been no better opportunity to engage in conversation about care preferences and end-of-life wishes," the task force said in a release. "Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are on ventilators, and visitors are not allowed inside hospitals, the combination of which makes it almost impossible to engage in conversations about health care preferences and decision-making, highlighting the importance of having advance directives."

More information about the advance directive initiative can be found on the town's website

Governor Polis to Virtually Tour Eagle County

Wednesday, April 22 - Governor Jared Polis will virtually visit Eagle County on Thursday, April 23 at 3:30 p.m. to formally approve the county's request to ease back on some of the restrictions currently in place under the state's stay-at-home order. Vail Health Officials and Eagle County's Board of Commissioners will be on hand to meet online with Governor Polis for the event.

Eagle County residents can views the event live online at ecgtv.com, and on Comcast and CenturyLink channel 18 and 1018 in the Eagle River Valley. It will also be live streamed on Facebook at Facebook.com/EagleCounty.

Pitkin County Holding a Virtual Community Meeting Thursday Afternoon

Wednesday, April 22 - Pitkin County officials are holding a virtual meeting on Thursday, April 23 at 2 p.m. to discuss the ongoing local impact of COVID-19.

Pitkin County residents can watch online here, or on Grassroots TV on Comcast channels 11, 12, and 880. Aspen Public Radio will also air the meeting at 91.5 in Aspen and 88.9 in Carbondale. 

City of Aspen Seeking Public Comment on Expediting Construction Projects

Tuesday, April 21 - The City of Aspen is asking residents to weigh in on expediting construction projects to support the area's economic recovery. Aspen City Council will meet Monday, April 27 at 4 p.m. to discuss the proposal, which would expedite the permitting process for new building and right-of-way permits, expand construction hours, phase construction, and extend the right-of-way construction season past its normal June 15 deadline.

The Council is considering the measure in keeping with a resolution passed earlier this month aimed at addressing COVID-19 impacts to the community. Comments can be submitted here by 12 p.m. on Monday, April 27.

JAS June Experience Postponed To 2021

Monday, April 20 - Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) has announced that the 2020 JAS June Experience will be postponed to the following year, June 24-27, 2021. All of the artists scheduled to perform at the June Experience have committed to the 2021 dates. Tickets will remain on-sale for the event based on the new dates.

Jim Horowitz, President and CEO of JAS said, “Though we held out hope for a somewhat smaller event that could help start the healing in our community this summer, we concluded that this process cannot start with June JAS 2020. All the June Artists were in agreement that it would be best to simply look forward to June 2021, so that is our plan.”

In lieu of the public gathering, JAS will pivot for the June 25-28, 2020 weekend and work to present a series of livestream home performances and interviews with a combination of Artists who were scheduled to be part of June JAS 2020 as well as the extended JAS family of former JAS Academy students. 

A decision regarding both the JAS Café summer series and JAS Labor Day Experience will be made at a later date.

Aspen City Council Asks Public To Weigh In On Rent Relief Program

Monday, April 20- Today, Aspen City Council will consider a short-term grant program that would offer rent relief for businesses that typically collect sales and lodging taxes. 

City Council’s discussion takes place at 4 p.m. It will be livestreamed on the city’s Facebook page and the city’s website.  

Those who wish to comment on this proposal prior to council’s discussion can email PublicComment@cityofaspen.com.

RFTA Continues Service For Essential Workers

Monday, April 20- The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) continues reduced valley-wide service this week for those working for businesses deemed essential during Colorado's statewide stay-at-home order.

All passengers must have a face mask or covering, and bus capacity is limited to 9 passengers per bus. Passengers are asked to load and unload through the rear doors and to practice social distancing while onboard. 

Pitkin County has created a how-to video about traveling on RFTA during the stay-at-home order.

RFTA is currently waiving fares for all passengers. 

Eagle County Asking State For Partial Relief From Stay-At-Home Orders

Saturday, April 18 - Eagle County is seeking exemptions from certain portions of Colorado's stay-at-home orders. If approved, it would allow Eagle County Public Health and Environment limited flexibility to start implementing plans to slowly reopen the community.

Those possible changes include increasing the size of gatherings from zero to ten, opening non-critical, non-essential and non-governmental businesses that can follow social distancing requirements and opening outdoor recreation facilities. 

County officials sent a letter on April 16 asking to approve the exemptions and expect an answer this week. 

Contributor Christin Kay is passionate about the rich variety of arts, cultural experiences and stories in the Roaring Fork Valley. She has been a devotee of public radio her whole life. Christin is a veteran of Aspen Public Radio, serving as producer, reporter and interim news director.
Alex is KUNC's reporter covering the Colorado River Basin. He spent two years at Aspen Public Radio, mainly reporting on the resort economy, the environment and the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, he covered the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery for KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.
Kirsten was born and raised in Massachusetts, and has called Colorado home since 2008. She moved to Vail the day after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011. Before relocating to Basalt in 2020, she also spent a year living in one of Aspen’s sister cities, Queenstown, New Zealand.
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