2021 COVID-19 Protocols


  Updated June 2021

This is an update on the COVID-19 measures that the Aspen Center for Physics is putting in place for the summer 2021 session to ensure the safety of participants and staff during the on-going pandemic. The Center is monitoring the evolving public health situation both locally and globally and will adjust our operating procedures accordingly. In addition to following all applicable CDC and Pitkin County guidelines, the Center may take additional measures that we deem necessary. The following guidelines apply for the ACP campus as of June 13 and until further notice.

The Center is known as a place for physicists to interact informally. We strongly encourage participants to use the outdoor spaces of the campus for interactions. Masks will not be required in the outdoor areas. We encourage everyone outside of family units to maintain physical distancing while outdoors. We have chairs set up around the campus for this purpose.

While indoors, following current CDC guidelines, those who have not been vaccinated should wear a mask, for others it is optional; we strongly encourage distancing while indoors. However, masks will continue to be required for all participants for events in Flug Forum in Smart Hall, including the weekly colloquia. We also ask that people spread out as much as possible for events in Flug, with at least one empty seat in all directions, if possible. ACP participants are expected to attend the weekly colloquia and may do so either in Flug or via Zoom. We strongly encourage workshop organizers to hold their talks outside on the patio or in another outdoor space. If organizers need to use Flug for technical reasons, we ask that they arrange to broadcast any such indoor session on Zoom as well.

The Center will host these outdoor events: lemonade and cookies on Monday at 3:00, barbecues on Tuesday at 5:00, and the reception following the 3:00 colloquium on Thursday. Our public lectures will be held entirely on-line, as they were last year.

If at any time after arrival in Aspen, a participant or a member of their travel group starts to exhibit COVID-like symptoms, the participant should notify the Center, not come to the campus, and schedule a COVID test. If anyone in the travel group tests positive, they and their travel group should not come to the Center campus and should quarantine in their accommodations in compliance with CDC guidelines. Should this happen late in the participantís scheduled stay, the Center will extend their stay in that accommodation until the quarantine period has ended and they can safely travel. If a participantís stay in ACP housing is extended, the participant will be charged for the additional time, in weekly increments. 

While the Center is taking these measures to minimize risk, we will be relying on participants and their travel groups to behave responsibly. As such, the Center cannot guarantee the safety of participants, and they should understand that they are assuming risk by attending. Participants who repeatedly or egregiously violate the Centerís safety protocols will be asked to leave and will not receive a refund. 

While these safety measures will clearly make this summerís ACP experience different, we aim to provide the usual inspiring Aspen experience, with plenty of opportunities to collaborate, exchange ideas, start new projects and discuss physics in person while hiking, biking, and enjoying Aspen and its environs. 

We will continue to monitor the evolving public health situation and hope that some of the measures outlined here might be further eased over the course of the summer.