Eagle County mandates masks in new COVID-19 public health order, will move to next phase Friday

Five Commitments of Containment
  • I will maintain 6 feet of distance
  • I will wash my hands often
  • I will cover my face in public
  • I will stay home when I am sick
  • I will get tested immediately if I have symptoms

Masks in indoor public spaces such as grocery stores in Eagle County are no longer a recommendation — they’re a requirement.

Eagle County Public Health and Environment on Thursday updated the county’s public health order regarding COVID-19, which includes the mask ordinance.

“We are taking this step now to protect the progress we’ve made, as well as our near- and long-term goals of a successful school year, ski season and beyond,” said Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry in a statement. “We believe the potential inconvenience of wearing masks is a small price to pay to protect that future.”

The move comes just days after members of the Avon Town Council approved an ordinance mandating that people wear masks in indoor, public spaces. Additionally Vail Resorts has implemented a face-covering policy across all of its resorts that requires guests to wear face coverings in certain areas, including in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, when loading and riding in gondolas, in indoor resort facilities, on activities such as an alpine slide or mountain coaster, and whenever it is not possible to maintain a 6-foot distance from unknown parties. These policies are also in effect at retail outlets.

In alignment with the county’s Transition Trail Map and with modifications in accordance with a variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the move to the black diamond phase will take place on Friday

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“Our ability to keep the virus in check and slow the spread at a community level is based on our individual behaviors,” said Heath Harmon, the county’s director of public health and environment. “The recent increases in Eagle County warrant everyone’s caution. Whether you are a local or a visitor, we want you to reduce contact with others and remain vigilant with the Five Commitments of Containment.”

Current disease surveillance data has pushed Eagle County into a cautious state with recent increases in spread noted in the county and region. In addition, state and national transmission data continues to increase with several states slowing down their reopening plans in advance of the holiday weekend.

The revised county public health order reflects these current disease trends and holds gathering sizes at lower levels than originally requested in the variance sent to the state, while also implementing a requirement for face coverings in public indoor settings.

Specifically, group sizes are limited to up to 100 people indoors and 175 people outdoors as long as 6 feet of distance between non-household members can be maintained. 

All community members are strongly encouraged to read the entire order. Notable changes include:

  • Allows gatherings of up to 100 people indoors and 175 people outdoors. Six feet of distance will still be required between non-household members. Multiple groups may be allowed in separate spaces indoors, or with 20 feet of distance between groups outdoors.   
  • Requires customers and guests to wear face coverings when entering any place of business or public indoor environment, and requires all individuals to wear face coverings in public outdoor spaces when less than 6 feet of physical distance from non-household members is expected to continue for 15 minutes or longer.
  • Removes capacity limits for short-term lodging. Six feet of distance will still be required for non-household members. 
  • Continues requirements that all visitors be free of any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 for 10 days prior to arrival in Eagle County. 
  • Continues isolation requirements for people who are sick and quarantine requirements for people who have been exposed to someone who is sick.

The county has updated its Business Toolkit and its Q&A resource to help with the transition. A communitywide education campaign geared toward visitors is also being deployed.

Also, in the coming weeks, Eagle County Public Health and Environment will update its COVID-19 monitoring dashboard to include additional demographic data. The new information is intended to help provide insights into how the disease is affecting the community and greater access to data used to make public health decisions.

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