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UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: May 31-June 6, 2020

Credit Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs Extends Public Face Covering Rules, Announces Reopenings of Parks and Playgrounds

Friday, June 5 - The Glenwood Springs City Council today voted to extend its public facemask ordinance. The public health order will remain in effect until state and/or CDC guidelines change, or a vaccine becomes available to the public. The city's Parks and Recreation department also announced that it would be reopening playgrounds and outdoor sports facilities, but with social distancing guidelines and a maximum of 10 people at playgrounds, and 25 people at sports courts and fields. Spectators are also discouraged at pick-up sport events. More information about current public health orders can be found on the city's website.

Pitkin County Public Health Releases Public Health Order Amendments

Thursday, June 4 - Pitkin County released amendments to its latest public health order, which will last until July 3. A full list of reopening dates and rules can be found here

“Pitkin County’s reopening strategy aligns somewhat with the State of Colorado’s Safer at Home guidance with some exceptions. We need to keep the focus on our local public health orders and guidance to avoid confusion,” said Karen Koenemann, Pitkin County Public Health director.

Aspen Releases Statement Of Support For Peaceful Protest

Thursday, June 4 - The City of Aspen and Aspen Police Department released a statement addressing upcoming protests this weekend, saying they "want all participants and residents and visitors to know that we support every individuals’ freedom of speech and freedom to assemble."

The Aspen Police Department said it will have some officers on the scene to help support the event just like they do for other large group events in Aspen. 

Officials urged protestors to "follow all rules to stop the spread of COVID-19 including wearing a mask, social distancing, and using hand sanitizer."  

LIFT-UP Food Pantry Announces June Schedule

Wednesday, June 3 - As counties in the Roaring Fork Valley begin to reopen, LIFT-UP food pantry will continue to distribute food at drive-through sites in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Rifle and Parachute, but will change the schedule to one-day-a-week per community.

Drive-through food pantry dates, locations and times are listed below:

  • Third Street Center in Carbondale on Mondays: 6/15 (2-4 p.m.), 6/22 (5-7 p.m.), 6/29 (2-4 p.m.)
  • Glenwood Springs High School on Thursdays: 6/18 (2-4 p.m.), 6/25 (5-7 p.m.)
  • Rifle Fairgrounds in Rifle on Fridays: 6/19 (2-4 p.m.), 6/26 (5-7 p.m.)
  • 201 E. First Street in Parachute on Thursdays: 6/18 (2-4 p.m.), 6/25 (5-7 p.m.)
  • Elk Creek Elementary in New Castle on Wednesdays: 6/17 (2-4 p.m.), 6/24 (5-7 p.m.) 

LIFT-UP executive director Angela Mills said the organization gave emergency food bags to nearly 900 families. Over the last three weeks, Mills said they have worked with around 500 families, which is nearly four times the normal distribution numbers. 

Pitkin County Government Offices Remain Closed

Tuesday, June 2- All Pitkin County Government offices remain closed to the public, as per state guidance on limiting workers to 50% or less of normal office capacity and limiting public access to county facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Pitkin County leadership is currently working on details of a phased reopening plan that would include daily employee symptom check and temperature-taking.

The county landfill and the airport are open. 

All Pitkin County government business can be conducted online or by calling 970-920-5200. 

Governor Polis Updates Safer-At-Home Executive Order To Encourage Time Outdoors

Monday, June 1 - Gov. Polis has signed an Executive Order, transitioning from Safer at Home to Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors.

Previously, high-risk Coloradans, those above 65 or with underlying health conditions, were required to stay home unless absolutely necessary. Now, those individuals are encouraged to also enjoy Colorado’s outdoor spaces at a safe social distance, in addition to staying at home as much as possible.

“While we are all still safer at home, we are also able to practice greater social distancing in our great outdoors than in confined indoor spaces,” said Polis. “It may feel like we are getting back to normal, but the virus is still here, and it could surge back the moment we let our guard down.”

In addition, playgrounds and swimming pools can now open at limited capacity.

Aspen Residents Receive $25 Gift Cards To Stimulate Local Restaurants And Retail

Monday, June 1 – In an effort to reinvigorate the Aspen economy, the City of Aspen is mailing $25 gift cards to all households who applied and qualified for a 2019 Food Tax Refund application.  The gift cards are good for use at all participating businesses in Aspen. Businesses can also download flyers to hang on their door or window so residents know that business is a program participant.

The gift cards are good for use through July 10 in all businesses that join the program.

“The goals of this program are to stimulate the economy, help some of the business sectors hardest hit by COVID-19, and promote the community connections that make Aspen so great,” said Mayor Torre. “This can happen while we social distance, wear masks when required, and responsibly visit our local businesses.”

The gift cards are being mailed on or before Monday, June 8 to more than 1500 households.  They must be used within Aspen City limits, one time at one location, and cannot be used at liquor stores or marijuana dispensaries.

Businesses are being contacted this week on details for how to participate and on reimbursement procedures from the City.

The total cost of the program is $50,000 and is being financed by a $6 million COVID-19 recovery fund City Council designated earlier this spring.  In addition to the more than 1500 households receiving the gift cards, an additional 450 cards would be distributed to local non-profit entities and some will be given to the Aspen Police Department to distribute to individuals encountered by police officers who need assistance.

Eviction Ban Extended Through June 15

Sunday, May 31 - Governor Jared Polis has extended the Executive Order limiting evictions, foreclosures, and public utility disconnections and expediting unemployment insurance claim processing for 15 days. 

Friday, he also signed an extension directing the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide additional funds to nursing homes and other congregate care facilities that care for vulnerable older and disabled populations. 

Gov. Polis also extended executive orders concerning petition collection for unaffiliated and independent candidates, temporarily suspending the personal appearance requirement before notarial officers to perform notarizations, suspending certain statutes preventing the issuance of marriage licenses when county clerk and recorder offices are closed and expanding telehealth services.