Details of first-ever county visitor affidavit revealed
Pitkin County officials will start requirement Dec. 14; violators could face up to $5,000 fine
Pitkin County’s decision to go it alone and require visitors to sign an affidavit saying they have recently tested negative for the coronavirus will require many sectors of Aspen’s tourism industry to spread the word quickly, officials said Friday.
The effort will include local hotels and lodges, which will have to tell visitors who book rooms about the requirement, as well as the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, the Aspen Skiing Co., airlines that serve the area and Pitkin County’s own outreach strategy.
“We believe we are the only county to be doing this on our own in the U.S. now,” said Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock. “It’s a way for us to welcome visitors to our community to have fun. It protects the health of community members and visitors alike.”
He said there are about 20 states that currently require the affidavit. In September, Pitkin County officials sent a letter asking Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to enact a statewide visitor policy, but it has not been acted upon.
The requirement to have a negative test within 72 hours of arriving in Pitkin County goes into effect Dec. 14 and will require visitors to fill out an online affidavit that will require them to provide proof of the test results upon request from Pitkin County Public Health.
The affidavit will not require people to upload results of the test, said Kara Silbernagel, policy and projects manager for the county. The affidavit and details about the program can be found at covid19.pitkincounty.com. The only exemptions are those commuting for work, school or medical treatment and those in the military on orders to travel here.
The affidavit will be in place indefinitely beginning Dec. 14, apply to anyone 10 years old or older coming to visit Pitkin County for one night or more and will apply to second homeowners coming to town to visit. Residents of Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle counties will not be required to fill out the affidavit.
GOT QUESTIONS: Check out the FAQ on new Traveler Affidavit Requirement
The document asks visitors to include names, where they’re from, where they’re staying in Pitkin County and require adherence to local facemask guidelines, social distancing guidelines and isolation and quarantine rules.
The negative test within 72 hours of a visit can be a PCR test or a rapid test, Silbernagel said. Once the affidavit is complete, the visitor will be issued an email with a tracking number as confirmation, she said.
Members of Pitkin County Public Health may conduct spot checks for the confirmation email and ask people for proof of the negative test, or test results might need to be provided as part of a contact tracing investigation, Silbernagel said.
Visitors who arrive without a negative test within the past 72 hours must take a test here and quarantine until they receive the results, said Jordana Sabella, Pitkin County’s interim public health director.
“We have a lot of confidence in visitors to do the right thing,” Peacock said. “We think we’re going to have good, voluntary compliance with this.”
Egregious violations could be met with a fine of up to $5,000 or even jail time if a court decides it’s necessary. Local hotel and lodge employees will not be expected to enforce the affidavits, Peacock said.
Questions about the program can be emailed to email@example.com.
Scan this QR code to access Pitkin County’s Traveler Affidavit
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Independence Pass east of Aspen is closed Wednesday afternoon in both directions because of mudslides, officials said in an alert.