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Vail Resorts, Eagle County mandate face coverings

July 2, 2020, 3:21 pm

Vail Resorts reemphasized its existing policy and Eagle County on Thursday updated its policy for mask-wearing in public to help stem the rising tide of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eagle County updated its public health order to require face coverings in indoor settings (see press release below).

Eagle County has seen a modest rise in COVID-19 cases in the last couple of weeks, with the number of confirmed cases climbing from around 630 to 699 on Friday.

Here’s a statement from Vail Resorts, which originally mandated masks on June 18:

Vail Resorts logo

“Vail Resorts believes that safety and service are synonymous, that’s why we implemented a face covering policy across all of our resorts, including Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek Resort in Eagle County, CO. This policy requires guests to wear face coverings in certain areas, including in lines, when loading and unloading chairlifts, when loading and riding in gondolas, in indoor resort facilities, on activities such as an alpine slide or mountain coaster, and whenever it is not possible to maintain a six-foot distance from unknown parties. These policies are also in effect at our retail outlets. 

“We believe this action is essential in providing a safe guest experience, while also protecting our employees and community.  It is our hope that guests feel comfortable and fully enjoy the holiday weekend here in Eagle County, but with that comfort comes responsibility and vigilance. Our entire team remains committed to safety first.  

“While we understand that local regulations and the approach of other local businesses may vary, we want to ensure that our guests are aware of our policies in advance. Guests are encouraged to bring their own face coverings, but resorts will have them available upon request, subject to availability. When physical distancing is possible, such as hiking on trails, guests may remove their face coverings.”

And here’s Thursday’s press release from Eagle County:

Eagle County Public Health and Environment has updated the county’s Public Health Order regarding COVID-19. In alignment with the county’s Transition Trail Map and with modifications in accordance with a variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the move to the “Black Diamond” Phase will take place on July 3. 

Current disease surveillance data has pushed Eagle County into a cautious state with recent increases in spread noted in the county and region. In addition, state and national transmission data continues to increase with several states slowing down their reopening plans in advance of the holiday weekend. “Our ability to keep the virus in check and slow the spread at a community level is based on our individual behaviors,” said Heath Harmon, Director of Eagle County Public Health and Environment. “The recent increases in Eagle County warrant everyone’s caution. Whether you are a local or a visitor, we want you to reduce contact with others and remain vigilant with the Five Commitments of Containment.”

-I will maintain 6 feet of 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

The revised Eagle County Public Health Order reflects these current disease trends and holds gatherings sizes at lower levels than originally requested in the variance sent to the CDPHE, while also implementing a requirement for face coverings in public indoor settings.

Specifically, group sizes are limited to up to 100 people indoors and 175 people outdoors as long as 6 feet of distance between non-household members can be maintained. 

In addition, the previous guidance that recommended face coverings in public indoor spaces is now a requirement. “We are taking this step now to protect the progress we’ve made, as well as our near- and long-term goals of a successful school year, ski season and beyond,”  said Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry. “We believe the potential inconvenience of wearing masks is a small price to pay to protect that future.”

All community members are strongly encouraged to read the entire order. Notable changes include:

-Allows gatherings of up to 100 people indoors and 175 people outdoors. Six feet of distance will still be required between non-household members. Multiple groups may be allowed in separate spaces indoors, or with 20 feet of  distance between groups outdoors.   
-Requires customers and guests to wear face coverings when entering any place of business or public indoor environment, and requires all individuals to wear face coverings in public outdoor spaces when less than 6 feet of physical distance from non-household members is expected to continue for 15 minutes or longer.
-Removes capacity limits for short-term lodging. Six feet of distance will still be required for non-household members. 
-Continues requirements that all visitors be free of any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 for 10 days prior to arrival in Eagle County. 
-Continues isolation requirements for people who are sick and quarantine requirements for people who have been exposed to someone who is sick.

The county has updated its Business Toolkit and its Q&A resource to help with the transition. A communitywide education campaign geared toward visitors is also being deployed.

Also, in the coming weeks Eagle County Public Health and Environment will update its COVID-19 monitoring dashboard to include additional demographic data. The new information is intended to help provide insights into how the disease is affecting the community, and greater access to data used to make public health decisions.

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.

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