March 19, 2020
Dear Aspen Community,
First, we want to say, we know this is a difficult and confusing time for everyone. Many of us feel anxious about our health, the well-being of loved ones, and the future of the economy. These feelings of uncertainty can take a mental toll and negatively impact our physical health. Whatever you’re going through, please know you are not alone, and the City of Aspen is working to find solutions.
Right now, our top priority is focusing on “flattening the curve.” It’s been documented that the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home, wash your hands frequently, and social distance (keep at least 6-ft. of space between yourself and others). In addition, please reach out to our many free resources in Aspen for mental health support. These resources are here to make us each stronger.
As you engage in these social distancing and hand washing practices, please know you are not alone in your efforts. Pitkin County Public Health has taken an aggressive, proactive approach with Eagle and Garfield Counties by instituting the first Public Health Order in the state to limit mass gatherings and events. Additionally, our community continues to test our highest-risk patients or those in need of hospitalization at the Aspen Valley Hospital, which will help track the number of cases in the Valley. In fact, an even stricter Pitkin County Public Health Order was just released in the interest of protecting the health of our community.
We have heard that many of you want to offer help. If you have time or resources to help others in our community right now, please contact the Aspen Community Foundation.
Lastly, it is worth noting that City Council and staff are diligently working with Governor Polis and regional resources to seek economic support for businesses and employees in our community. As we engage in this work, please consider consulting best practices or advice offered by the trade associations of your industry. For those working in the restaurant or service sector, the National Restaurant Association may serve as a valuable resource. Additionally, please follow news from the Small Business Administration. Pitkin County Human Services is working diligently with the City of Aspen on immediate food, housing, and economic assistance.
Franklin Roosevelt once said, “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” As we travel through this uncharted water, remember that we are enduring these challenges together and are all in the same boat. This is our chance to show the world that Aspen will weather this storm by coming out the other side stronger and more resilient than before. Let’s take care of ourselves and each other. The City is with you. And it is heartening to know that we as Council, along with our customers, residents, City staff and visitors have a common purpose, to come out stronger and healthier and more united as a community.
There is no other community we would want to serve. We are better together.
Vice-Mayor Ward Hauenstein
Councilmembers Skippy Mesirow, Ann Mullins, and Rachael Richards