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Eagle County seeks state OK to move to COVID-19 plan’s Black Diamond Phase

June 12, 2020, 8:14 am

Eagle County officials on Thursday sought state approval for a plan to move to the “Black Diamond Phase” of the county’s COVID-19 reopening plan. Here’s the county press release:

Eagle County has submitted a variance request to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to allow the county to transition to the next phase of public health orders in response to COVID-19. In alignment with the county’s Transition Trail Map, the transition to the “Black Diamond” Phase would loosen some restrictions that have been in place since May 25.

Because the proposed revisions are less strict than the state’s “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors” order, the variance must be approved before new orders can be adopted. The state could approve, request changes, or deny the request. 

A summary of the variance request is as follows:

The Black Diamond Phase effective date is planned for June 22. This date is four weeks after the implementation of the Blue Square Phase, and current disease surveillance is showing the county will be prepared to take this next step. Moving to the Black Diamond Phase on this date is contingent on:
-State approval of Eagle County’s variance request.
-Keeping local COVID-19 disease spread at manageable levels
-A demonstrated commitment by both businesses and the general public to limit the spread of disease and engage in responsible social distancing.

Gathering Size: The proposed gathering size would be raised to 250 people.
-Distancing of 6 feet between non-household members will still be required.
-Parks and outdoor gathering spaces can have multiple groups of 250, provided those groups are physically separated by at least 20 feet.
-Indoor gathering spaces are limited to 250 people. Multiple groups of 250 are permitted if they are in discreet and segregated spaces.

Indoor service at restaurants and bars: Capacity limits would be lifted. 
-Distancing of 6 feet between non-household members will still be required.  
-Restaurants will be required to check with their local liquor licensing authority on their ability to serve alcohol in outdoor spaces.

Lodging: Capacity limits would be lifted.   
-Distancing of 6 feet between non-household members will still be required.

Pools: Capacity limits on pools that use chlorine or bromine would be lifted. 
-Distancing of 6 feet between non-household members will still be required.

Face Coverings: Guidance on face coverings will remain consistent with the current Blue Square Phase, which strongly recommends the use of face coverings in indoor public spaces and requires their use for employees in certain professions where 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

The Eagle County Board of Commissioners is continuing to urge residents to take a personal pledge to follow the “Five Commitments of Containment”:

I will maintain 6 feet of social distance
I will wash my hands often
I will cover my face in public
I will stay home when I am sick
I will get tested immediately if I have symptoms

Community members are reminded that personal responsibility also means people must make the best decisions for themselves. Officials caution that just because restrictions on certain businesses and activities have loosened, it does not mean those who are uncomfortable or are in high-risk categories for COVID-19 should participate.

Additional information will be available once the county receives a response on its variance request. Information on the state’s variance request process can be found on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website. Regular updates on the county’s response to COVID-19 are being shared at www.ECEmergency.org. The county’s forum for community discussions is at www.facebook.com/OneValleyVoice. Those with additional questions can email covidquestions@eaglecounty.us or call 970-328-9750.

One Response to Eagle County seeks state OK to move to COVID-19 plan’s Black Diamond Phase

  1. Mary Feldmeir Reply

    June 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    This is a disturbing request.
    Currently, Vail has seen a large influx of out-of-state visitors. Observations show very few people wearing masks in public places. Our new cases in Eagle County is still increasing, and yet for visitors, I have not seen any official direction as to COVID-19 protective REQUIREMENTS (not “suggestions”). In addition, how are these rules being enforced? This places all full-time residents at a greater chance of infection and ultimately may allow for another wave which will negatively affect our local economy.

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