May 21, 2020
For immediate release:

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Carlstrom, Director
Chaffee County Public Health
719-530-2564
acarlstrom@chaffeecounty.org

Chaffee County Receives Variance Approval

Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) received notification today, May 21st, that its variance request submitted on May 8th to lift restrictions on several industries that are still closed under the state executive and public health orders has been approved, with some standing restrictions and additional requirements. Local public health order 2020-06 will be updated in the near future to reflect restrictions lifted included in this press release.  For those businesses who have not received a certificate of safety, it is not necessary to open, but CCPH will be expecting you to fill out the checklist to receive the certificate in the near future.

Effective Friday, May 22nd, the following may reopen under strict health and safety requirements to reduce transmission of COVID-19 among employees and customers; support healthy business operations; and maintain a healthy work environment. 

In all settings, the following requirements must be met:

  • Customers or patrons should be asked about symptoms before entering or participating in the activity, and service or participation should be declined if they are symptomatic.
  • Employees must be screened for symptoms each day before beginning work, and those who are symptomatic must be excluded and required to remain in isolation for 10 days,

 Retail Food Establishments

Restaurants are encouraged to continue to do business through take-out, delivery and curbside pickup. If restaurants so choose, they can provide limited dine-in service. Restaurants must take the necessary time to ensure each of the following is adequately addressed before opening to the public. CCPH is allowing restaurants to open this weekend without a Certificate of Safety and Wano Urbonas, CCPH Environmental Health Manager, will be working with each of them in the near future through its Retail Food Program to issue these certificates;

  • Limit number of customer seating capacity and/or make creative use of outdoor or indoor seating. CCPH will be assessing capacity every 2 weeks to determine impact on health.  Indoor seating capacity shall not exceed 30% of seating capacity, not to exceed 50 people, whichever is lower.
  • Encourage establishments to strategize ways to maximize outdoor seating while exercising social distancing with municipalities. Tables shall be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
  • Do not allow customers to wait in the lobby area or lines outside of the door. Implement a reservation system, notify customers via text/call when their table is ready.
  • Provide handwashing stations or sanitizer for all customers.
  • Post signs at entrances regarding face coverings, and post signs throughout the facility as needed to remind customers of social distancing and proper hygiene. It is recommended that the sign posted at the door is the CDC sign (also available in Spanish)
  • Require customers to wear cloth face coverings in order to enter the business and keep them in place until they have reached their table.
  • Make reasonable accommodations for vulnerable populations who are still under the Stay at Home advisement. (e.g. seating assistance, special hours).
  • Ask customers if they are experiencing any symptoms prior to seating them in the dining area, and do not allow them to enter if they are.
  • Group parties shall be limited to 10.
  • Actual bar areas are to remain closed. Tasting rooms of breweries, wineries, and distilleries may open under the same restrictions as restaurants. 
  • Implement one-way entry/exit and directional walkways as much as possible.
  • In-room dining shall follow strict physical distancing practices. Tables shall be spaced at a distance that allows for customers to remain safe.
  • Self-service stations shall remain closed (drinking stations, bulk dry, etc.)
  • Don’t allow public sharing of utensils or condiment containers.
  • Buffets shall have an employee serving the food, no self-service is to be allowed.
  • Perform environmental cleaning and disinfection of bathrooms and high touch surfaces every 2 hours and maintain a cleaning log.
  • Staff handling dirty dishes must wear gloves and an apron (voluntary).
  • Staff must wash and/or sanitize their hands between each customer.

Monitor employees for (one of) the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Or two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptomatic employees MUST be excluded from the workplace

  • Employees and contracted workers shall be required to wear a non-medical cloth face covering over the nose and mouth. Individuals who cannot wear a mask shall not be permitted to work at this time.
  • Implement or maintain physical barriers for high-contact settings (e.g. Cashiers)
  • Implement touchless payment methods where possible.
  • Stagger shifts if feasible to decrease employee numbers at the business.
  • Businesses reserve the right to accept/decline customers based on their comfort level with the above.

Places of Worship

Places of worship are encouraged to continue offering online, outdoor, or drive-up services as much as possible. For activities within a facility, places of worship shall be allowed to increase the number of participants, if they choose, as outlined in the following guidelines:

  • Limit the number of guests to no more than 30% seating occupancy, provided that there’s at least 6 feet of distance between individuals or between groups of a single household.
  • Guests shall not be permitted to wait in the lobby area or in lines outside the door. No mingling time before, during or after services.
  • Mask shall be required by all guests, when at all possible.
  • Post signs at entrances regarding face coverings, and post signs throughout the facility as needed to remind guests of social distancing and proper hygiene.
  • Make reasonable accommodations for vulnerable populations who are still under the Stay at Home advisement. (e.g. online viewing, visits to their home). Discourage any such individual from traveling to and/or entering the facility.
  • Do not allow anyone to attend any event/activity in person if they are experiencing symptoms of any illness.
  • Implement one-way entry/exit and directional walkways as much as possible.
  • Place markings on the floor to maintain at least a six-foot distance where a line may form.
  • Spread people out to maintain a six-foot distance between individuals/groups of a single household.
  • Implement touchless offering and communion options as much as possible (e.g. do not pass around the offering plate, make available individual offerings that can be picked up by individuals to limit touching, pre-packaged and/or carryout).
  • Perform environmental cleaning and disinfection of bathrooms and high touch surfaces every 2 hours and maintain a cleaning log (after each service).
  • No self-service refreshments.
  • Provide handwashing and/or sanitizer.

Monitor employees and volunteers for one of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Or two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptomatic employees MUST be excluded from the workplace

  • Employees and volunteers shall be required to wear a non-medical cloth face covering over the nose and mouth, individuals that cannot wear a mask shall not be permitted to work at this time.

Fitness Centers

Gyms, health clubs, and other similar fitness facilities shall be able to open their facilities for limited use.  A certificate of safety will Fitness facilities that choose to open under limited use must do so under the following guidelines:

  • Limit the number of customers to 30% of fire/building capacity.
  • Do not allow members to wait in lobby or in lines outside of the doors.
  • Members must wear a face covering while using the facility, when physically possible.
  • Post signs at entrances regarding face coverings, and post signs throughout the facility as needed to remind guests of social distancing and proper hygiene.
  • Make reasonable accommodations for vulnerable populations who are still under the Safer at Home advisement. (e.g. assistance with equipment cleaning, special hours).
  • All members and staff must practice good hand hygiene, either hand washing or sanitizer.
  • Members experiencing symptoms of any illness MUST exclude themselves from using the facility.
  • Implement one-way entry/exit and directional walkways as much as possible.
  • Spread people out so that there is at least a 10-foot social distance between individuals throughout the facility.
  • Sharing of equipment must be prohibited. Use of equipment in the fitness center must be limited to no closer than every other machine so that participants are not exercising right next to each other and smaller exercise rooms with poor ventilation should be discouraged from use.
  • An employee must be required to disinfect equipment after every use.
  • Perform environmental cleaning and disinfection of bathrooms and high touch surfaces every 2 hours and maintain a cleaning log.

Monitor employees for one of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Or two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptomatic employees MUST be excluded from the workplace

  • Employees shall be required to wear a non-medical cloth face covering over the nose and mouth and any person that cannot wear a mask shall not be permitted to work at this time.
  • Personal training is allowed while strictly adhering to social distancing guidelines and limited to 4 people, plus the instructor.
  • Group classes are not allowed
  • Sport courts are to remain closed
  • Locker rooms must remain closed
  • Saunas, pools (indoor and outdoor) and shared spaces (locker rooms, changing rooms, waiting areas, etc.) must remain closed
  • On-site childcare facilities must remain closed

Recreation

Local recreational facilities can be open to the public under the following guidelines. Chaffee County or any municipality can enact stricter orders as seen fit.

  • Group gatherings must be kept to 10 people or less.
  • Park facilities conducive to gathering, including shelters, picnic areas, and playgrounds are to remain closed.
  • Swim beaches, swimming pools and Splash pads are to remain closed.
  • League or pick-up sports are prohibited at this time.
  • Spaces that enable social distancing such as trails, green space, tennis courts and golf course may be open for use.
  • Golfers must maintain physical distance of 6 feet at all times.
  • Motorized golf carts shall contain no more than one person, although members of the same household may ride together in the same cart.
  • Golfers shall avoid sharing clubs and golf balls.
  • Golf carts and rented/borrowed equipment must be cleaned between uses.
  • Physical distancing should be maintained in outdoor settings (6 feet while hiking, 15 feet while running or biking)
  • Outdoor recreation facilities may remain open when adequate controls are able to be implemented to ensure 6-foot social distancing.

Monitor employees and volunteers for one of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Or two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptomatic employees MUST be excluded from the workplace

  • Employees shall be required to wear a non-medical cloth face covering over the nose and mouth, individuals that cannot wear a mask shall not be permitted to work at this time.
  • Perform environmental cleaning and disinfection of bathrooms and high touch surfaces every 2 hours and maintain a cleaning log.

Privately owned campgrounds and RV parks may be open for use if they can strictly adhere to social distancing guidelines. They can operate at a 50% capacity, leaving every other camp site open to allow for proper distancing. Groups must be limited to members of the same household. All shared facilities must remain closed with the exception of bathrooms which must be cleaned every 2 hours and have a maintained cleaning log. Camp grounds/RV parks shall also follow other recreation guidelines listed above.

Outfitters/Guided Activities

Local outfitters to include Rafting companies, Fly-fishing, and Zip lines may be open under strict adherence to the following criteria.

  • Social distancing of 6 feet must be adhered to.
  • Any and all equipment must be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • Group reservations should be kept to groups of the same household.
  • No contact check-in and payment should be made available as much as possible.
  • Do not allow customers to wait in lobby or in lines outside of the doors.
  • Make digital waivers available if possible, to limit contact.
  • Customers shall be required to wear face coverings, where possible.
  • Post signs at entrances regarding face coverings, and post signs throughout the facility as needed to remind guests of social distancing and proper hygiene.
  • Must keep occupancy of the building at or below 30% of the fire/building code as long as social distancing can be followed.
  • Busses for raft trips must be limited to 30% of the passenger capacity.
  • Tours and zip line groups must be limited only to members of the same household.
  • Rafting trips shall allow for trips of 4 or fewer individuals of a mixed group or single households (not including the raft guide).
  • All equipment such as helmets, life jackets, and safety harnesses as well as any other shared equipment must be cleaned in a sanitizing solution after each use and allowed to air dry before reuse.
  • Seats, handrails and other frequently touched surfaces must be cleaned between groups.
  • Include additional check in times to reduce the number of guests arriving at one time.
  • Perform environmental cleaning and disinfection of bathrooms and high touch surfaces every two hours and maintain a cleaning log.

Monitor employees at the beginning of each shift for one of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Or two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptomatic employees MUST be excluded from the workplace

Employees shall be required to wear a non-medical cloth face covering over the nose and mouth, individuals that cannot wear a mask shall not be permitted to work at this time.

Bowling Alley

  • Limit the number of customers to 30% of fire/building capacity.
  • Do not allow members to wait in lobby or in lines outside of the doors.
  • Guests must wear a face covering while using the facility, when physically possible.
  • Post signs at entrances regarding face coverings, and post signs throughout the facility as needed to remind guests of social distancing and proper hygiene.
  • Make reasonable accommodations for vulnerable populations who are still under the Safer at Home advisement. (e.g. assistance with equipment cleaning, special hours).
  • All guests and staff must practice good hand hygiene, either hand washing or sanitizer.
  • Guests experiencing symptoms of any illness MUST exclude themselves from using the facility.
  • Implement one-way entry/exit and directional walkways as much as possible.
  • Spread people out so that there is at least a 10-foot social distance between individuals throughout the facility.
  • Bowling balls and shoes will be sanitized each day before opening and after each use. Bowling balls should be limited use.
  • An employee must be required to disinfect equipment after every use.
  • Perform environmental cleaning and disinfection of bathrooms and high touch surfaces every 2 hours and maintain a cleaning log.
  • Reservations must be made, sold in 2 hour blocks and pre-payment will be required. At the time the reservation is made, shoe sizes will be taken and shoes will be at the lane before they arrive.  Guests will be told to arrive 5 minutes before their scheduled time and to leave as soon as their session is over.
  • Staff will visit each lane for orders to reduce the need for customers to leave their lane area.

Monitor employees for one of the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Or two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Symptomatic employees MUST be excluded from the workplace

  • Employees shall be required to wear a non-medical cloth face covering over the nose and mouth and any person that cannot wear a mask shall not be permitted to work at this time.

Outdoor Hot Springs

  • Before employees are allowed to return to work, each staff member will receive virtual or in-person training explaining the disinfection steps taken to ensure the resort is safe to return to.
  • All employees will be required to wear a face covering and gloves at all times until further notice.
  • All employees will be instructed on how to properly sanitize their face covering nightly to ensure no cross-contamination from a dirty mask.
  • Employees will be directed to handwashing and sanitation stations in their specific department or area.
  • Employees will be screened at the beginning and end of each shift and will be asked to stay home if symptomatic.
  • Partnerships with top quality cleaning and disinfecting supplies, custom trainings, and continuing education will be maintained.
  • Hours of operation will be reduced based on occupancy.
  • Optimal water quality will be required to inactivate any viruses, including COVID-19. The swimming/soaking facilities will be cleaned daily beginning first thing in the morning.  Water will continuously be monitored and the proper water balance will be maintained.  All pools will be continuously monitored by state licensed water system operator.
  • No more than 10 people shall soak in a pool at one time, preferably less.
  • Deck seating will be spread 6 feet apart minimizing social interactions between parties.
  • Directional markings around pools will allow guests to navigate walking space without crossing paths.
  • All guests will be encouraged to come dressed for soaking, and locker rooms will remain closed.
  • Multiple payment stations will be available at all swimming facilities thus reducing lines.
  • Private pools will be available to rent for private soaking in 50 minute increments. No more than 10 people will be allowed to soak at one time. Reservations and prepayment will be required.  Booking slots will start every hour.  Available for guests (when allowed to open) and local residents only.
  • Limited spa services will follow personal care requirements.

Governor Polis is expected to make an announcement regarding several other restrictions still under the Safer at Home order on Monday, May 25th.  In addition, there could be additional requirements of the above-mentioned industries. 

Industries still to remain closed are:  Short-term rentals and those that are still under either order.

CCPH plans to work closely with them so that they can reopen when the state deems it safe to do so and provides the appropriate guidance documents. 

“While we are excited to have been approved to lift some restrictions on restaurants, places of worship, gyms/fitness facilities, outdoor hot springs, recreation, and outfitters/guided activities, it is important that we don’t lose sight on how we got to this phase in our COVID-19 response.  It is because of the sacrifices we all made during the Stay at Home and first few weeks of the Safer at Home orders- distancing, wearing a mask, sanitizing, limiting group size, etc.  I urge everyone to continue these basic practices to protect our community’s most vulnerable.  Please respect the health and safety requirements and our business community’s adherence of them.  We must get this right the first time, we all must take personal responsibility and accountability in the days ahead.”  Andrea Carlstrom, Director, Chaffee County Public Health and local COVID-19 Incident Command.  “As a reminder, there is no pressure to participate in activities that are reopened due to Safer at Home or our local variance.  We still expect older adults and those who have immunosuppressed or chronic conditions to follow Stay at Home as much as they can.”

CCPH’s virtual office will be closed Friday, May 22nd through Monday, May 25th to observe and enjoy the holiday weekend.  Staff will be available on-call and to investigate any new COVID-19 cases. 

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