By Jamie Leary

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Visitors to the Aspen area will soon have to prove they’re COVID-19 negative if they want to stay. Pitkin County is in the process of finalizing a policy, which would require visitors to sign an affidavit to certify they will not only comply with the county’s public health order, but that they have had a negative test result within 72 hours of traveling.

(credit: CBS)

“What we are trying to put in place is a visitor affidavit that asks our visitors to sign off and agree that they [number] one, know and will comply with local regulations regarding masks, and social distancing, number two, that they have a willingness to accept financial responsibility were they to test positive, and be quarantined while they’re here, and number three, is the stipulation of getting a negative test prior to arrival,” Said Mayor Torre of Aspen.

If you come without a test result, the policy would require you to quarantine for 14 days, or, until you’ve had a negative test result at your own expense.

While the goal is to have the policy take effect Dec. 14, details haven’t been finalized. Officials are still trying to decide if the restriction would apply to anyone coming overnight from outside of Pitkin, Garfield, and Eagle Counties, but also said they would consider relegating it to out-of-state visitors only.

(credit: CBS)

Pitkin County is currently at Level Orange on the state’s COVID-19 dial but has implemented other restrictions on top of what’s required. It has been working in collaboration with the town of Aspen and Snowmass Village.

“We’ve also, over the last couple of months, really been looking at doing targeted measures. So, we’re not trying to use a big blanket we’re trying to be very precise about how we’re getting this done. Here in Pitkin county, we have a very robust testing system right now. A lot of availability, a lot of access, which is great and that give us the framework for what we call the box it in strategy,” Mayor Torre continued, “we have testing, tracing, isolating… hopefully those items can contribute to just the best health and safety practices we can do here. I mean there’s a lot of legs to this stool, the visitor affidavit is just the latest one.”

Mayor Torre, who also sits on the board of health said it’s been in discussions with the lodging community to talk about enforcement.

(credit: CBS)

“We’re really asking for them to be our front line of communication, education and then ultimately, yes, you know we’re asking that they are getting that compliance as well. And again, in the name of transparency, we know that that’s our biggest challenge and we understand that starting a program like this, we’re going to be looking for increased participation, increased compliance as we go along,” he said.

Torre said the county has also sent a letter to the state asking for broader support.

Jamie Leary