Regional Public Health Order Bans Large Gatherings, Encourages Social Distancing

Mar 13, 2020

Eagle, Garfield, and Pitkin County issued a public health order Thursday to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19 in the region. The order is effective immediately and will be revisited on April 8th, 2020.

The order from regional Public Health officials prohibits large gatherings and events of more than 50 people. It defines events in the following ways:

  • An event is a gathering for business, social, or recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; assemblies; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.
  • An event does not include activities that are primarily individual or occur in small groups or in non-congregate settings, such as places of employment or primarily small-group sports like skiing, as long as social distancing occurs, particularly in areas where congregating in groups is unavoidable, such as lift lines.
  • An event does not include restaurants, as long as restaurants adhere to the requirements for social distancing.

Events with fewer than 50 attendees are prohibited unless they take extra precautions that mitigate risk. The mitigation steps required are:

  • "Social distancing" including limiting contact between people within 6 feet of each other
  • Encouraging older adults and those with underlying medical conditions not to attend (including employees)
  • Screening for COVID-19 symptoms daily and excluding people from gathering if they are symptomatic
  • Practicing proper hand hygiene and sanitation measures and making necessary supplies available to all attendees, employees, and vendors.
  • Following environmental cleaning guidelines from the centers for disease control and prevention

Public health officials say these actions are necessary to slow the spread of the virus in the community and reduce the number of potential deaths caused by COVID-19. Another goal is to limit "cascading impacts" on critical services that could result if large numbers of workers become ill including first responders, healthcare workers, utilities, human services, and businesses.

The order does not recommend school closures but notes that the situation could change and advises schools, parents, and employers to prepare now for prolonged mandatory closures.

View the press release.

Eagle County has also published a press release on their site.