Pitkin County dropping to lesser blue level restrictions starting Monday
Restaurants can be at 100% capacity with distancing, bars to reopen for first time in more than a year
With COVID-19 case counts falling as offseason takes root, Pitkin County will move to Blue level restrictions beginning Monday, an official said Friday.
State public health officials recently notified the county’s public health department that the move will occur at 12:01 a.m. Monday after six consecutive days of case counts below 30 per day and a falling positivity rate, said Tracy Trulove, Pitkin County spokeswoman.
As of Thursday, the daily positive COVID-19 case count had fallen to 21 with a positivity rate of 2%, according to Pitkin County’s COVID-19 Dial.
The move to Blue will allow restaurants to operate at 100% capacity though six feet of distancing between parties must still be maintained, according to state guidelines. In addition, bars will be able to open for the first time in more than a year with 25% capacity and a maximum of 75 people, and last call is 2 a.m.
Local gyms also will be able to operate at 100% capacity while also maintaining six feet of distance between people. Offices and retail stores can open at 75% capacity, while personal services are allowed to operate at 50% capacity, according to state guidelines.
Group sports and camps can open at 50% capacity with a maximum of 50 people, while indoor unseated events and entertainment can move forward with 50% capacity and a maximum of 175 people.
Indoor seated events as well as outdoor seated and unseated events can operate with no state restrictions, though local public health officials have set the limit at 500 people seated with 6 feet of distancing. Venues may apply locally for a variance to exceed 500 people, and it would have to be approved by CDPHE, according to the county.
“It’s great news that we are able to move to level Blue and increase capacity restrictions,” Jordana Sabella, Pitkin County interim public health director, said in a news release Friday. “I want to encourage everyone who is 16 and older to get vaccinated and continue best practices around COVID, such as mask wearing and getting tested if you’re sick in order to keep transmission low.”
Masks are still required within any public indoor space and outdoors in public spaces when maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet is not feasible, according to the county’s current guidelines.
Aspen City Council will discussion at its April 27 meeting whether to continue the downtown Aspen mask ordinance past May 1, which is when the current ordinance is set to expire.
Earlier this month, Snowmass Village Town council voted to extend an ordinance designating mandatory mask zones in Base Village, the Snowmass Center and the Snowmass Mall through June 7.
Also, there is not a state limit on personal gathering sizes in private settings under levels green, blue and yellow.
Pitkin County will continue to follow the state’s COVID-19 Dial 3.0 guidelines until at least May 27. The county’s Board of Health will determine whether to continue to follow those guidelines after that date.
County residents who are not yet vaccinated can go to https://covid19.pitkincounty.com to find a local vaccine clinic.
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The new omicron COVID-19 variant officially arrived in Colorado on Thursday, though Pitkin County remains free of the new mutation. So far.