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Aspen Public Radio will keep you informed on the latest information about the coronavirus here in Colorado and the Valley.

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: June 21-27, 2020

Christin Kay

LIFT-UP Releases July Food Distribution Plan

Friday, June 26- Next month, LIFT-UP Food Pantries will continue to distribute food throughout the Roaring Fork Valley via drive-through and walk-up format. LIFT-UP pantries are not open for food pick up or donations at this time. 

Those in need are encouraged to pick up emergency food bags on the following schedule: 

Carbondale – Third Street Center

  • Mondays          7/6 (5-7 p.m.), 7/13 (2-4 p.m.), 7/20 (5-7 p.m.), 7/27 (2-4 p.m.)

New Castle – Elk Creek Elementary

  • Wednesdays    7/1 (2-4 p.m.), 7/8 (5-7 p.m.), 7/15 (2-4 p.m.), 7/22 (5-7 p.m.), 7/29 (2-4 p.m.)

Glenwood Springs – Glenwood Springs High School

  • Thursdays        7/2 (2-4 p.m.), 7/9 (5-7 p.m.), 7/16 (2-4 p.m.), 7/23 (5-7 p.m.), 7/30 (2-4 p.m.)

Parachute – 201 E. First Street

  • Thursdays        7/2 (2-4 p.m.), 7/9 (5-7 p.m.), 7/16 (2-4 p.m.), 7/23 (5-7 p.m.), 7/30 (2-4 p.m.)

DeBeque – Community Center Parking Lot

  • Thursday         7/16 (noon – 2 p.m.)

Rifle – New location starting 7/10 - RIFLE MIDDLE SCHOOL

  • Fridays             7/3 (no distribution), 7/10 (5-7 p.m.), 7/17 (2-4 p.m.), 7/24 (5-7 p.m.), 7/31 (2-4 p.m.)

Aspen & Basalt

  • Please visit PitkinCounty.com for Aspen & Basalt Food Distribution information and updates.

Extended Table soup kitchens will continue to provide grab-n-go bagged meals on the following schedule:
Rifle:  5 – 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday at the Rifle United Methodist Presbyterian Church located in the Lovell Building at 200 E. 4th St. 

Glenwood Springs:  5- 6 p.m. Mon-Friday - First United Methodist Church at 824 Cooper Avenue.  Please check website and church for posted updates on continued meal distribution.

The LIFT-UP Rifle Thrift Store will begin receiving donations mid-July and re-open for purchases in August.  The LIFT-UP Parachute Thrift Store will remain closed through 2020 to provide space for Emergency Food Bag preparation.

Volunteers are needed to help with stuffing emergency food bags, the distribution of food from drive-through distribution sites and Thrift Store intake.  Please call the LIFT-UP volunteer hotline at 970-456-2804.

More information is available on LIFT-UP’s website

New COVID-19 Cases Could Rescind Garfield County's Variance

Wednesday, June 24 - 44 cases have been reported in Garfield County between June 8-21, putting its variance from the state in jeopardy.

The county's variance would be rescinded if more than 60 cases are discovered in any two-week period. Garfield County's pending variance could be denied, as well as the possible move into the next state-wide phase of Protect Our Neighbors.

The current variance could be rolled back if more than 60 cases are reported in the county was approved by the state on May 23. Under the variance, restaurants, houses of worship and fitness facilities can reopen at 50% capacity.

County officials said the 44 recent cases are not all linked and stemmed from different sources. Many cases are from family members, close friends or co-workers spreading the virus to one another. 

Public health officials said some of those who may have been recently exposed to COVID-19 from the 44 new cases refuse to self-isolate. They said a simple rule to follow if you come in contact with someone who may have the virus is to stay home for two weeks. 

Garfield, Eagle Counties Report Increased Number of COVID-19 Patients

Tuesday, June 23 - Both Eagle and Garfield counties reported an increase in COVID-19 patients today, with Garfield County announing what it called a "significant" uptick in the number of COVID-19 positive patients. Garfield County is reporting 40 new COVID-positive patients in the last week, bringing its total cases of the virus to 240 since the beginning of the pandemic. A quarter of those cases have been diagnosed since June 15, and six patients are currently hospitalized.

Eagle County is also reporting an increase in cases. The county's health department is investigating a COVID-19 cluster among young people in the Roaring Fork Valley.  11 confirmed cases of COVD-19 have been linked to private social gatherings.

Both counties are encouraging people to continue public health protocols like social distancing, frequent hand washing, and wearing face coverings in public when social distancing can't be achieved. They're also reminding residents to stay home and self-isolate if they begin developing symptoms, and to get tested if symptoms persist.

More information can be found on Eagle County and Garfield County's websites.

Aspen Chambers Introduces Gift Card Initiative to Support Local Business During COVID-19

Tuesday, June 23 - The Aspen Chamber Resort Association is launching "Defy Ordinary" gift cards that are reedemable at businesses within the City of Aspen, Aspen Highlands or the Aspen Airport Business Center. Gift cards are valued at $25, and are aimed at boosting spending at local businesses. More information about the program can be found here.

Glenwood Springs Hosts COVID-19 Update Webinars in English and Spanish This Week

Tuesday, June 23 - Glenwood Springs is hosting two days of streaming video updates on COVID-19, including information on contact tracing and input from local public health officials.

Wednesday's (June 24) Spanish language webinar can be viewed at 3 p.m., and the city will stream an update in English on Friday (June 26) at 10:30 a.m. Both webinars can be found on Glenwood's live video page on Facebook.

Roaring Fork Schools are Phasing Back Scholastic Athletics

Sunday, June 21 - The Roaring Fork School Distict will allow school sports programs to resume starting Monday, June 22. Roaring Fork Schools worked with public health officials from Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties to develop a plan based on state and local health protocols to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Among the requirments, practices will be capped at groups of 10 people maximum, and masks must be worn if social distancing can't be implemented in the activity. Participants must use their own equipment, which is to be sanitized before and after each use, there will be no access to indoor training facilities (like weight rooms and locker rooms), and all practices will be held outdoors. Coaches and students will be also screened for symptoms before practices and workouts.

Roaring Fork School District's full reopening plan for athletics can be found here

States Ends Vehicle Registration Grace Period

Sunday, June 21 - Colorado is ending its vehicle registration grace period on July 1. Governor Polis had issues an executive order extending the 30-day grace period for registering vehicles, and waived late fees for registrations that had expired since January of this year due to COVID-19. More information can be found on the state's website.

Kirsten was born and raised in Massachusetts, and has called Colorado home since 2008. She moved to Vail the day after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011. Before relocating to Basalt in 2020, she also spent a year living in one of Aspen’s sister cities, Queenstown, New Zealand.
Contributor Christin Kay is passionate about the rich variety of arts, cultural experiences and stories in the Roaring Fork Valley. She has been a devotee of public radio her whole life. Christin is a veteran of Aspen Public Radio, serving as producer, reporter and interim news director.
Alex is KUNC's reporter covering the Colorado River Basin. He spent two years at Aspen Public Radio, mainly reporting on the resort economy, the environment and the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, he covered the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery for KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.