ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Last call will soon be 8 p.m. in Pitkin County. The county, which includes Aspen and Snowmass, has the highest incidence rate of COVID-19 in Colorado. One in 35 residents currently is infected with coronavirus. The county is now one of the few in the state to tighten restrictions on it’s own volition and move to Level Red, or severe risk, on the COVID health dial starting Sunday.
Pitkin County Manager Joe Peacock told CBS4 this move is necessary.READ MORE: When I See A 50% Chance Of Rain In The Forecast, What Does That Really Mean?
“This is preventing us from achieving our goals like in-person learning, resuming higher levels of activity and indoor economic activity at restaurants and retail and getting mass transit back to full capacity and reenergizing our winter tourism,” said Peacock.
Peacock joined morning anchor Britt Moreno on CBS4 This Morning to talk about these changes. Starting at 12:01 on Sunday there will be no indoor dining. Takeout and curbside is still allowed as well as outdoor dining with people from your own household. Last call will be 8 p.m.
Changes are coming to the ski areas as well. There will be improved mask and social distancing enforcement at all of the lines and base areas. There is no indoor dining at ski areas. Lodging includes one household per unit regardless of when reservations were made.READ MORE: Colorado Weather: Monsoon Storms Return Sunday, But Focus Shifts A Bit West
Peacock and county leaders have experienced some pushback from business and restaurant owners who claim this move will hurt their businesses. He acknowledges his county is sustained by tourism and is a seasonal economy and that right now is considered the high season.
“These are particularly painful decisions for our community, but necessary to knock down the spread of the virus.”
He hopes tightening restrictions will help open Pitkin County to a higher level of industry activity.MORE NEWS: Boat Ramps Closed At Three Western Slope Reservoirs, Closures Expected At Blue Mesa As Water Level Drops
“We’re making sure to connect businesses with local grant programs and connect them with state and federal programs to help them weather the storm.”