Graduating from public heath orders (PHO) – What You Need To Know

Location determines what happens when

Updated May 28, 2021
Skip ahead to the list of changes
Before diving in, Basalt and the midvalley’s mix of jurisdictions and county lines complicate what happens where and when. The public health orders and guidelines may vary, and counties and local municipalities are following different timelines than neighboring areas across the state.
In every scenario – public health departments are making decisions based on the current vaccination and disease risk-level to the community in question. The graduation from area public orders will be different depending on who you are (vaccination status), where you live, and the type of business you operate (or work for). The timing will also vary. But in the end – we are all moving closer to a semblance of life beyond the pandemic.
These changes will impact businesses and what life will look like this summer. To assist our businesses, there are two events that will address many business concerns on Thursday, May 20, 2021. These events will also provide additional resources and allow for Q&A from business owners, managers and employees.

Why Now?

Public health orders are changing based on the vaccination level of local residents as well as a low COVI-19 incident rate (this is correlated with the vaccination rate). An area may have a “snapback” provision, meaning the jurisdiction can revert back to restrictions if public health condition deteriorate.

What is changing?

See the chart below – Overview of changes – for details by area, as well as links to more details.


How businesses can navigate these changes

There are two upcoming events for business owners, managers and employees to help you answer the question “What Now?”

SBDC Panel: Current COVID Relief Programs & Planning for Summer

May 20 | 10-11 a.m. | REGISTER HERE
In one hour, SBDC consultants dive into what businesses really want to know right now:
  • Current financial programs (grants/loans) and cross-program eligibility
  • Looking ahead – Colorado is gearing up for what might be the busiest summer season on record
  • How to navigate public health orders and varying customer preferences (vaccines? masks?)
  • How to plan for workforce and supply chain shortfalls

Eagle County Community Conversation

May 20 | 1-2:30 p.m. | Update: Recording
Eagle County Officials, the business community (including the Chamber) and others discuss:
  • Eagle County’s public health orders 
  • A look ahead to Summer 2021
  • Mental health support and resources

Can businesses still require employees or patrons to wear masks (if there is no local mask order in place)?

Yes. It is advised to keep a mask with you and wear it when asked out of respect. We want to be courteous, nice to our neighbors, and inspire confidence in public health. More state mask FAQs here.

Overview of changes

As each local government releases additional specific details on its public health order (PHO) updates, it will be posted here.
While we are moving to less restrictions, the following protective measures remain as evidence-based recommendations, even if there are no public health orders in place: 
  • Get vaccinated/wear a mask in public settings if you are not vaccinated (NOTE: Local communities may have mask restrictions in place).
  • Stay home when sick and get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • 6 ft. distancing in public settings
  • Wash hands often
  • Follow industry specific guidance 

Town of Basalt – no change Mask order rescinded on May 25, 2021

NOTE: The Town of Basalt’s mask order was addressed at the Town Council meeting on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 (Agenda Item 7G). The proposed resolution was passed, revoking the Town’s mask mandate, effectively immediately. 

The mask order mandate remains in effect until June 8, 2021 – All persons (age 2 or older) shall wear face coverings:

  • When entering and while inside areas of a place of business open to the public.
  • In such other public indoor or outdoor places where persons are unable to maintain safe social distancing (e.g. 6 or more feet separation) from others not of their own household, except for momentary circumstances to accept payment, deliver goods, walk or ride past another person, or perform otherwise necessary tasks.
  • No vaccine exception

County and State-level changes


COVID Website

COVID Website

COLORADO (state-level)
CDPHE website

Public Health Orders (PHOs)

The last PHO was rescinded on May 18 and no longer in effect. Press release

Eagle County Public Health Orders 

NOTE: Local communities may have additional  restrictions.

PHOs to relax May 28, 2021
Press release – May 13, 2021

Pitkin County Public Health Order

NOTE: Local communities may have additional  restrictions.

State PHOs

State of CO Public Health Orders
May 2021 State-level mask update

NOTE: Local communities may have additional  restrictions.


Vaccine information
Make an appointment

Vaccine information

Find a provider

Vaccine data dashboard
Find a provider

COVID-19 vaccine questions? Call the vaccine hotline at 1-877-268-2926.

Important Dates No PHO in effect as of May 19, 2021.

Relaxed PHO as of May 28, 2021.

The Pitkin County Board of Health will meet on June 3, 2021 to review the current PHO and mask mandate.

Limited COVID restrictions as of May 14, 2021. Details here.

Full list of all state-level PHOs and Executive Orders.


Effective May 19, 2021:

  • Discontinued – There will no longer be county requirements for mask use, gathering and capacity restrictions, and physical distancing requirements.
  • Any state orders will still need to be followed – see State column for details. This may include requirements for public indoor environments, including schools for the remainder of the school year, as well as limiting larger indoor events.
  • Federal regulations still require masks when using public transportation, includes ECO Transit and the Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE).

NOTE: Local communities may have additional  restrictions.

Effective May 28, 2021:

  • Face coverings in public indoor settings and on public transportation for individuals over the age of 2.
  • Businesses may allow individuals to remove their masks in an indoor public setting if 80% of the guests have shown proof of vaccination. Businesses that seek this exemption to the face covering requirement will be required to have all non-vaccinated individuals show proof of a negative test.
    Businesses are responsible for tracking vaccination status with HIPAA compliant protocols if they’d wish to measure vaccine status among patrons.
  • Isolation of COVID cases, case investigation, contact tracing
  • Quarantine of close contacts who are not fully vaccinated
  • Business Safety Plans will no longer be required. It will be adapted to a COVID-19 Business Toolkit with Public Health best practices available to all business sectors.
  • DiscontinuedTraveler Responsibility Code, 5 Star Certification Program

NOTE: Local communities may have additional  restrictions.

Effective May 14, 2021:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks in most settings. (See next section for more details)
  • Children can remove masks in a classroom, cohort, or other group setting where the staff whose primary responsibility is education or childcare have provided proof of full vaccination to employer.
  • Congregate care settings may remove masks in accordance with CMS guidance
  • Authorized no mask or distancing requirements for indoor gatherings where individuals the event operator/owner is requiring proof of vaccination, or for those with exemptions from vaccination,
    proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the prior 72 hours
  • Authorized outdoor-only graduations for schools that are closed to in-person learning
  • There are restrictions for indoor events/gatherings (see Event section below).
  • Discontinued – Outdoor event requirements 


NOTE: Local communities may have additional  restrictions.


Effective May 19, 2021:

  • No county requirement for mask use, however any local ordinances (e.g. Town of Basalt), will still apply.

Effective May 28, 2021:

  • Face coverings in public indoor settings and on public transportation for individuals over the age of 2.
  • There is a vaccination exception (details)

Effective May 14, 2021:

  • Any individual aged 11 and older, who is not fully vaccinated, should continue wearing a mask indoors where members of different households are present.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals can go without masks in almost all settings.
  • Masks are still required in certain settings, including in schools for unvaccinated students, teachers, and staff, as well as other settings which are laid out in the Executive Order.
  • For additional information, please view the FAQ document here.

NOTE: Local communities may have additional  restrictions.

Exceptions do exist. Visit CDPHE’s website for full details.




While no longer required under the Public Health Order, Eagle County and Town of Basalt Special Event Permitting have integrated the event safety plan into their application processes.   

NOTE: The state may have additional restrictions.


While no longer required under the Public Health Order, Pitkin County, City of Aspen, Town of Snowmass Village and Town of Basalt Special Event Permitting have integrated the event safety plan into their application processes.   

The COVID-19 Event Toolkit will continue to be available to all event planners to implement Public Health best practices.

NOTE: The state may have additional restrictions.

There are requirements for Mass Indoor Gatherings.

When more than 100 people are gathered in a room in a Public Indoor Space, the setting may operate at 100% capacity not to exceed 500 people, with 6
feet distancing required between parties of unvaccinated people or when vaccination status is unknown.

Full details and exceptions (Section C).