Guest commentary: If you can’t commit to our 5 containment requests, please come back another time
To our guests and community members,
This year’s observance of the Fourth of July happens in the throes of a global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 (also known as COVID-19). We are in a battle with COVID-19, and our jobs, local businesses and lives are at stake. Like our forefathers who declared independence precipitating the Revolutionary War, now is not a time to second-guess our fight against COVID-19.
Our community’s initial efforts to suppress the virus involved huge sacrifices, with businesses required to close, people put out of work, and families required to stay at home. Our community was successful — the virus was largely suppressed with very few cases in May and early June, and most importantly, lives were saved. This success allowed us to build supplies of personal protective equipment, build testing capacity in partnership with the hospital, and build our case investigation and contact tracing capacity.
We have cautiously begun to reopen businesses, put people back to work and return to a “new normal.” Like everywhere else in the world as we have emerged from the shutdown, we are seeing an increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in our community. The virus is still among us, and we the people, locals and visitors alike, must continue to take responsibility for ourselves and each other — we are all enlisted as leaders in the battle against COVID-19.
Fortunately, what we ask of our guests and community members to overcome COVID-19 is relatively simple and easy to do. We need you to promise that you are symptom-free before going out in public, and that you will join our community in embracing the “Five Commitments of Containment”:
1. Maintain 6 feet of distance from anyone not in your household;
2. Wash your hands often;
3. Cover your faces in public;
4. Stay home if you are sick;
5. Seek testing immediately if you experience symptoms.
We believe this is a small price to pay for freedom from the virus and freedom to resume more normal activities. If you are a guest and the price is too high for you — if you cannot commit to all of the five commitments of containment — then we ask that you consider visiting us after the threat of COVID-19 has passed.
We all long for a return to the normal lives we had before the pandemic struck our community, and we can all be a part of the solution. The heroes of this time will be those who take the steps necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 from person to person; honoring the “Five Commitments of Containment” are simple acts of courage we all need to take during these unprecedented times. As always we thank our community members for your continued vigilance, commitment and sacrifice in containing this virus.
For more information about the Five Commitments of Containment, or information about how to get tested and self-quarantine in Pitkin County, please visit our website at covid19.pitkincounty.com or call our COVID-19 information line at 970-429-6186.
We hope everyone will be able to stay healthy or regain your health, continue to enjoy the great outdoors here in our beautiful valley, and participate in all of the creative, socially distanced events and activities that are the “silver lining” of the COVID-19 health crisis in our community.
Steve Child is the chair of the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners.