March 19th, 2020
Town of Avon Sarah Smith-Hymes
Every day, as the acceleration of coronavirus infection rates are confirmed, our new reality comes into clearer focus. Eagle County is one of Colorado’s hot spots, with a disproportionate rate of infection based on test results to date; our visitor based-economy has been disproportionately impacted too, as the shuttering of businesses large and small have left many without an income. But there is good news out of China today that demonstrates that we CAN bring this pandemic to a halt: for the first time, there are zero new local transmissions of the virus in China. China accomplished this by imposing extreme quarantine measures on a compliant population. We can accomplish the same net result through government action and personal responsibility, but it will only happen if every one of makes the necessary changes to our daily lives by adhering to Public Health Department order, which now limits gatherings to fewer than 10 to accomplish social distancing, and recommendations from health professionals.
At the Town of Avon, the measures we have taken to provide essential municipal services while protecting the health and safety of our staff and community at large have evolved along with the crisis:
- Avon’s top priorities are to continue full police services for the community, which includes keeping our police officers healthy during this pandemic, and to plow snow from the streets. Avon is aggressively implementing remote work policies and capabilities so that Avon can continue performing administrative functions.
- Avon Recreation Center has closed until at least April 18, 2020.
- The Town Hall and other public facilities are closed to the public until at least April 18, 2020. All business must be conducted by phone or email with Town Staff.
- Avon Public Transit is continuing to operate the Red, Blue and Night Rider bus lines. Avon is cleaning each bus multiple times each day.
- In-person public meetings at the Avon Town Hall have been cancelled. We are setting up Zoom accounts to enable virtual public meetings. We hope to provide information by this weekend on how the general public can participate. The Zoom virtual meetings should be accessible on Avon’s website and through High 5 – Channel 5.
- All special events and gatherings through April have been cancelled, including the Polar Plunge and the annual Egg Hunt on April 11, 2020. Summer events have not been cancelled at this time. Summer events will be evaluated when we get closer to those dates and have a better understanding of the status of the coronavirus pandemic and County and State Health Orders.
- Various expenditures planned for this spring have been cancelled. Avon Staff has begun to re-evaluate the Town’s budget in light of business closures. Council will discuss the budget and potential revisions this spring.
Sustaining our local business community and supporting individuals financially impacted by the health crisis is a priority across the county. The Vail Valley Partnership, in cooperation with Eagle County Public Health, the Colorado state government, and other trusted sources, has put together an invaluable resource page. Included are links to all the COVID-19 precautions and updates as well as information on job postings, unemployment resources, disaster business loans and a recovery guide.
Although the Avon Town Hall is currently closed, we are here to serve you to the greatest extent possible. Don’t hesitate to contact me directly if you need help. Ssmithhymes@avon.org.