Eagle County is now in orange level for state COVID-19 meter | VailDaily.com

Eagle County is now in orange level for state COVID-19 meter

This graphic from the state of Colorado outlines the restrictions for level orange COVID-19 precautions. While the list includes closing bars, Eagle County Communications Director Kris Widlak said local bars that are not currently closes will continue operations under current restrictions.
Special to the Daily

Eagle County moved to level orange in Colorado’s COVID-19 dial at 5 p.m. Monday.

According to an official announcement issued by the county late Monday afternoon, the change does not shut down businesses or schools. County officials note the new order is certainly not a move in the right direction and while it doesn’t include widespread shutdowns, it will bring additional capacity limits on restaurants, retail establishments, places of worship, gyms, group sports and events.

On Monday, Eagle County updated its local public health order to address the increased disease spread in the community. The order continues to incorporate statewide orders in their entirety while including additional local requirements.

As local case incidence rates continue to climb, Eagle County’s move to the high risk, safer at home category on the statewide dial dashboard is intended to address the recent steep rise.

Shifting gears

On Monday afternoon, the county commissioners were slated to discuss strategic planning and hear an update regarding Eagle County Regional Airport operations. Those discussions were postponed as officials took up a COVID-19 conversation.

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“If it’s not COVID, it’s not a top priority right now,” noted Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney.

“It’s hard to concentrate on other issues when this is feeling like it has to be the priority,” agreed Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry. “It probably has to be all hands on deck, through at least Christmas.”

The commissioners talked about the need to continue working in partnership with local business and schools to address the health order change. There’s one immediate change looming for many local residents — the big valley rivalry high school football game between Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain won’t have fans in the stands on Friday night.

“We all want to be there watching that as a valley, but with all we have going on that is problematic,” said Eagle County Manager Jeff Shroll.

The commissioners stressed the need for expansive messaging around the new COVID-19 rules. That’s how residents and visitors will learn they need to change their behavior, they said.

“People shouldn’t be whipping off their masks as soon as they sit down at a restaurant,” said McQueeney to illustrate the point. “Behavior messaging is so important.”

New provisions

Officials reminded the community that while local public health agencies have the ability to add local restrictions, they do not have the discretion to be less restrictive than state orders. In addition to the statewide requirements, Eagle County’s updated order includes the following new local provisions:

  • The change from level yellow to level orange
  • Clarification that face coverings are required in restaurants and bars except when actively eating or drinking and provided that social distancing is maintained between members of different parties
  • Requires all events to be approved by Eagle County 

The order also includes previously adopted local requirements that outline requirements for people who are sick and for people who have been exposed to someone who is sick, including cooperating with the county on case and outbreak investigations. The county also requires all visitors be free of any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 for 14 days prior to arrival in Eagle County. Face coverings are required in indoor public spaces for those over the age of 2 with limited exceptions and general business requirements. There is specific guidance for organized recreational youth and adult league sports provided by the county.

Community members are encouraged to read the state and local public health orders in their entirety. 

Eagle County is also encouraging everyone to subscribe to CO Exposure Notifications, a free and voluntary service developed in partnership with Google and Apple that can notify users of possible exposure to COVID-19. By opting in, an Android or iPhone device will share anonymous tokens with other subscribers using the phone’s Bluetooth.

If users have been near someone who tests positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period, the service will send a notification. Those who test positive can easily and anonymously notify others to stop the spread of COVID-19. Tokens contain no personal information or location data and everything is completely anonymous. Visit http://www.addyourphone.com for more information.

Updates on the county’s response to COVID-19 are being shared at http://www.eaglecountycovid.org. The county’s forum for community discussions is at http://www.facebook.com/OneValleyVoice.

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