Pitkin County's stay at home order has been extended through May 8. Visitors and residents must continue to follow the guidance outline in the last amended Pitkin County Public Health Order. Public Health Officials say it will allow the community to develop strategies and guidelines for preventing a surge of COVID-19 cases when it moves to the "safer-at-home" phase.
The timeframe of the extended order is consistent with other counties, including Boulder, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson counties.
On Thursday the Pitkin County Board of Health will discuss the businesses included in the relaxation of the health order. You can hear that meeting live on KDNK Thursday April 30 at 2 pm.
When the safer-at-home order goes into effect on May 9, it will remain in force for approximately another 6 weeks. The first planned review of the order will be in early June.
“We hate to impact the livelihoods of everyone who have been hurt by the COVID-19 restrictions,” said Pitkin County Public Health Director Karen Koenemann. “At the same time we want to avoid relaxing restrictions too quickly, only to have to reimpose them if there is a surge in cases.”
Koenemann explained that the upcoming two weeks are critical to understanding how the lifting of the construction and landscaping restrictions will impact the hospital and the community. The public health office will also use this time to support businesses getting their risk mitigation safety plans in place.
“We have been working day and night to build the capacity to ‘box it in’ so that we can safely ease restrictions in the County and start our first step in social and economic recovery,”
The “Box It In” strategy involves four components:
- testing widely among those with symptoms and priority groups
- isolating those who are ill with COVID-19
- contact tracing to identify everyone who made contact with the ill person,
- quarantining those contacts until they are able to be tested (and so the cycle repeats).
“This extra time will allow us to ramp up our epidemiology team to continue to conduct contact tracing, focus outreach and care on disproportionately impacted communities, receive additional personal protective equipment (PPE) for our health care providers, and continue our progress on accessing testing,” said Koenemann.
Updates about next steps will be shared by press release, as well as on the Pitkin County Public Health and social media pages and COVID-19 website.