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UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: May 24-30, 2020

Residents practice social distancing.
Credit Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Reopening Plan Includes Industry-Specific Dates

Thursday, May 28 - Phase two of Pitkin County’s reopening plan includes a step-by-step schedule with reopening dates for different industries. County officials say reopenings come with strict regulations and health guidelines. The planned dates could change if the county sees indications that the presence of COVID-19 is increasing. 

Below are the dates when some changes will begin in each sector:

  • June 1 - Summer day camps, playgrounds
  • June 8 - Gyms and fitness centers, recreation centers, places of worship
  • June 15 - Theaters, revisit public transportation guidelines
  • June 22 - Events of 50 people or less

 Pitkin County’s COVID-19 resource website includes an interactive timeline and details on sector-specific guidelines

New Unemployment Claims In Colorado Down For Sixth Week In A Row

Thursday, May 28 -  The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment announced there were 15,603 initial regular unemployment claims filed the week ending May 23. This is compared to 17,825 the week prior. This is the sixth week in a row of gradual declines in regular unemployment claims.  

"Accommodation and food services" was the industry with the most new claims. "Retail trade" and "healthcare and social service" were second and third.

Shooter's Grill In Rifle Has License Reinstated

Thursday, May 28 - The owner of Shooter’s Grill agreed to follow all current and future executive and public health orders that apply to restaurants in Garfield County, according to a release from teh county. Upon meeting these terms, Garfield county reinstated the owner's license and Shooter’s Grill is authorized to reopen to the level and with the same social distancing requirements that apply to all other restaurants in Garfield County.

Aspen Snowmass Announces Summer Opening Dates

Thursday, May 28 - Aspen Mountain opens for summer operations on June 12 and Snowmass opens June 21. In a press release, Aspen Skiing Company said all access and activities will take place with strict adherence to state and county health guidelines.

The Silver Queen Gondola is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for sightseeing, disc golf, hiking, nature programs with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and a children’s play area. 

The Elk Camp Gondola will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m and the Elk Camp Chairlift will run from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Snowmass will also open most features in the Lost Forest including the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, Treeline Trial Challenge Course and Rugged Ascent Climbing Wall. Trails in the Snowmass Bike Park will open as conditions permit. 

Passholder Week, traditionally held in June, will be spread across the entire summer season.

Eagle County To Open Public Buildings And Resume Public Hearings

Wednesday, May 27 - Eagle County buildings and operations will begin a phased reopening Monday, June 1. Minimal employees will be on site while wearing masks and the remaining staff will continue to work from home.

Any resident will be required to wear a mask when entering the building. All public-facing work stations will have plexiglass, increased cleaning schedules and more sanitzer stations have been added. 

Eagle County will also begin allowing in-person public hearing in front of county boards beginning June 2. Members of the public must sign up in advance so that room capacity can be monitored.

Maroon Bells Scenic Area To Require Reservations

Wednesday, May 27 - Visitors will now need reservations to go see the Maroon Bells this summer if traveling by vehicle or RFTA shuttle. The reservation system put in place to help visitors practice social distancing will open June 2. 

A reservation system to help mitigate traffic, parking and environmental impacts created by visitors of the Maroon Bells was set to begin in September but will be pushed up to June due to COVID-19.

Limited vehicle access will begin June 8 and a reservation will be needed to park at the Maroon Lake, West Maroon or East Maroon lots. Each reservation will cost $10. Starting June 28, visitors will be required to use the RFTA shuttle service between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Seats will be limited and fares are being increased to $15.95 for reservations.

Glenwood Springs Public Buildings Open To Employees June 1

Wednesday, May 27 - Public buildings in Glenwood Springs will open to employees and appointments beginning Monday, June 1. This includes the community center, city hall, the police department and the art center. 

City halls will be virtual and most employees will continue to work remotely from home. The public can request in-person appointments with staff when necessary. Requests should be sent 48 hours in advance.

Pitkin County Adds Real-Time COVID-19 Data To Its Website

Tuesday, May 26 - As statewide Stay-at-Home orders are lifted, Pitkin County is adding community-wide COVID-19 data to its website. The new page will host the county's most current COVID-19 statistics, as well as up-to-date public health orders, guidance for business owners and resources to connect residents to mental health and economic relief services.

The biggest change to the site is a COVID-19 dashboard that displays the latest data regarding outbreaks locally and statewide. 57 cases have been identified so far in Pikin County. The updated site can be found here.

Governor Polis Says Day Camps And Sports Camps Can Open In June

Monday, May 25 - Governor Jared Polis has issued an Executive Order that day camps and youth sports camps will open on Monday, June 1, 2020.

Residential overnight camps will be closed in June. Decisions for July and August overnight camps will be made in mid-June.

Day camps, including mobile, youth sports camps, and outdoor camps, must operate with restrictions and strong precautionary measures, as specified in the guidance

Pitkin County Granted Variance to Governor's Safer at Home Order

Sunday, May 24 - Pitkin County became the latest today to have the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment grant it a variance from the Governor's Safer-at-Home orders. The easing of restrictions means Pitkin County is able to transition into Phase 2 of its outlined Roadmap to Reopening. If Pitkin County exceeds 18 new cases of COVID-19 in one week, the variance will be rescinded. More information about Phase 2 of reopening can be found on Pitkin County's website

Garfield County's Request to Ease Some Safer-at-Home Orders Approved   

Sunday, May 24 - The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, or CDPHE, approved 5 of 6 variances for phased reopenings in Garfield County. Restaurants, houses of worship, and gyms now can reopen at fifty percent of the posted maximum occupancy. CDPHE didn't approve Garfield County's request to open large tourist attractions, but said they would reassess that decision June 1. The full release from Garfield County can be found here.

Eagle County Transitions to Next Phase of Reopening

Sunday, May 24 - The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment approved Eagle County's request to move to its outlined "blue phase" of reopening beginning Monday, May 25. CDPHE officials cited declining case numbers in Eagle County and availability at local health centers to treat patients as reasons for the approval. Eagle County residents with questions about what the next phase of reopening means can contact local health officials by emailing covidquestions@eaglecounty.us or calling 970-328-9750.