TEMPORARY ARC CLOSURE DUE TO COVID-19 CASES
Contact: Cory Vander Veen, Recreation Director, email@example.com or 970-355-5536 and Tracy Trulove, Pitkin County PIO, 970-366-2502 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Aspen, CO – October 15, 2020 – The City of Aspen and Pitkin County Public Health are closing the ARC and Aspen Youth Center immediately after a Pitkin County resident and ARC visitor tested positive for COVID-19 on October 14. Over the next several days, the ARC and Aspen Youth Center will undergo an extensive and deep clean following all COVID-19 protocols. The immediate closure will result in the first weekend of Fall Face-Off to be cancelled. The ARC and the Aspen Youth Center will remain closed through the weekend at a minimum with the goal of opening the Aspen Youth Center by Monday for fall break if possible.
Pitkin County commends the City of Aspen for this action to support slowing the spread of the disease. The Disease Investigation team has identified over 70 potential contacts and this closure will help minimize further spread until the contact tracing team can finish their investigations to understand the breadth of the potential outbreak at the facility and in our community. The contact tracing team is continuing its investigation with potential contacts and is working closely with the City of Aspen staff to determine the next steps.
“It is out of an abundance of caution that we are closing the ARC for at least three days in order to keep our community as safe as possible,” said City Manager Sara Ott. “We strongly urge and remind the community that every individual action we take can prevent the spread of transmission. Following the 5 rules of containment and limiting our exposure to others, particularly in social gatherings, are critical in keeping Aspen open and the economy running. The less we expose ourselves to risk, the less we expose our entire community.”
The Aspen Recreation Department has already begun additional disinfecting and cleaning processes to get the facility up and running again.
The ARC opened to the public October 5 with a strict reservations system for the general public and with limited capacity for community teams. The ARC was following Pitkin County Public Health protocols and limiting group sizes in any area of the ARC to 50 people. Every hour the ARC staff actively cleans the entire facility between reservations.
“We are putting all of our resources into a deep clean of the ARC right now and getting it open to the community once again,” said Cory Vander Veen, Recreation Director. “We remind people that if you feel sick, please stay home. We will be here for you when you recover and it’s more likely we’ll be open for the community into the future if those who feel sick stay home.”
“This is a difficult decision and one that impacts a number of our community members as well as persons outside our community. We understand the tremendous effort it takes to make a change to a special event like this and appreciate the ARC and City of Aspen team for partnering with us to minimize the spread of any possible community exposure at the facility,” said Suzuho Shimasaki, Pitkin County Public Health Deputy Director. “It’s through swift action and employing risk reduction strategies executed in a timely manner that will help us to have a successful fall and winter season.”
City of Aspen and Pitkin County Public Health urge all residents and visitors to wear a mask, social distance, limit social gatherings, stay home when you’re sick, and get tested if you have symptoms.