Pitkin County manager: Patronize Aspen restaurants that toe the line | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County manager: Patronize Aspen restaurants that toe the line

People enjoy the outdoor seating at Ajax Tavern near the gondola on Wednesday, June 10, 2020.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

A Pitkin County official praised two local restaurants Tuesday that recently reported employees with positive COVID-19 test results, saying the businesses did exactly what they should do.

“They caught these cases because they are doing the right thing,” County Manager Jon Peacock told county commissioners Tuesday at their regular weekly work session. “Really, their actions limited the risk of infection to the community.

“So they’ve really done the right things to protect their health, to protect their customers’ health, and I hope people will take note of that.”

Peacock specifically singled out Meat & Cheese Restaurant and Farm Shop and Mezzaluna for their actions, which included identifying sick employees before work, sending them home and temporarily closing. He also urged residents and visitors to support those local businesses and others who adhere to public health order rules “because they area doing things right.”

Pitkin County Commissioner Kelly McNicholas Kury urged county officials to release enforcement actions to the public once a particular business is cited, “so they know we’re taking this seriously.”

“Patrons need to know (that information) when choosing which businesses to visit,” she said.

Peacock said public health officials are taking enforcement seriously, and thanked Aspen police officers for identifying 10 local businesses over the weekend with possible violations.

“We are following up on all of those,” he said. “We really commend those businesses that took those extra steps.”

Anyone who tests positive for the virus is put into isolation, and their contacts are traced by public health staff, Peacock said. Contacts with possible exposure are quarantined for 14 days and tested if they develop symptoms.

Since June 7, there have been seven new confirmed cases in Pitkin County, according to the county’s statistics updated through Monday. From April 16 to June 6 there was one confirmed case reported.

There have been 72 total cases confirmed in Pitkin County since the outbreak started March 1.

Residents or visitors with symptoms must be referred to Aspen Valley Hospital by a primary care physician to receive a COVID-19 test. Those without a doctor can call AVH at 279-4111 for a referral. People who can’t afford a test will not have to pay.