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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: July 26-Aug 2, 2020

Alex Hager
Aspen Public Radio

LIFT-UP Food Pantry Continues Distribution Into August

LIFT-UP will continue to distribute food via mobile distribution using drive-thru sites in Carbondale, Glenwood, New Castle, Parachute, DeBeque and Rifle.  Some sites will be moving locations as schools begin to re-open.  The schedule will continue as one-day-a-week per community, with longer distribution times while rotating each week between mid-afternoon and early evening.

Throughout June and July, LIFT-UP consistently distributed emergency food bags to around 400 families each week, which is still nearly three times normal distribution numbers. A full list of distribution sites and times can be found on LIFT-UP's website

Drop In Piktin County COVID-19 Cases Is No Reason To Get Complacent, Officials Say

Thursday, July 30 - The rate of positive COVID-19 tests is down in Pitkin County, but health officials say the latest numbers should not lead to complacency. The positivity rate was 9.2% two weeks ago and 6.6% last week. If that number were to climb to 10%, health officials would move to a new level of concern and consider revising public health mandates.

“We believe we are doing the right things as a community,” said Aspen Valley Hospital CEO Dave Ressler in Thursday’s Pitkin County community meeting. “This is a message to double down and not back off.”

County epidemiologists said the recent spike in positive tests reflects transmissions over Fourth of July Weekend. The recent drop in positivity rates is a return to the rates seen before that spike. 
Pitkin County Human Services Continues Assistance After Expiration Of Federal Unemployment

Thursday, July 30 - The discontinuation of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program this week could create hardship for some of the more than 1600 Pitkin County residents who are receiving the added $600/week benefit, the county's human services department said Thursday.

“Pitkin County Human Services stands ready to assist those who may find themselves in dire straits with the end of this program, and we are also likely to refer many to other state and local relief programs,” Sundeen said. 

As many people are unemployed and Colorado's eviction ban has been lifted, Pitkin County Human services is offering to help residents seek out approproate financial assistance. 

Glenwood Springs Mandatory Face Covering Zone Begins Thursday

Wednesday, July 29 - Face coverings will be mandatory beginning tomorrow in the downtown area of Glenwood Springs and is in effect until August 20. The designated area includes portions north of the Grand Avenue bridge, as well as the majority of the downtown area on the south side of the bridge. Face coverings must be worn inside and outside while in the area. 

Masks are available to downtown visitors at the Glenwood Springs Visitor Center at 802 Grand Avenue. Face coverings can be bandanas, scarves or other clothing that does not have visible holes.

A map of the mandatory face covering area can be found here.

Town Of Basalt Extends Face Covering Requirement

Wednesday, July 29 - Basalt Town Council extended its public health order requiring face masks for an additional 90 days at Tuesday's meeting. The order was also amended to require all employees in Basalt businesses to wear face coverings even if they don't come in contact with the public.

Basalt's public health order also requires face masks for those over two-years-old, when entering a business or where social distancing cannot be maintained, even if outdoors. Businesses can deny service to those not wearing a face covering.

Basalt Town Council will revist its public health order on face coverings at its meeting on October 27.

Eagle, Garfield And Pitkin Counties Among 15 On Notice From The State

Tuesday, July 28 - At a press conference today, Governor Jared Polis reminded Colorado residents that social distancing isn't over. 15 counties in the state have been warned by the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) that cases there need to go down, or they'll lose the public health variances granted to them by the state earlier this summer. Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties are among the 15. Those counties have two weeks from their warning dates to improve their case counts, or see the change in public health orders. Governor Polis reiterated the need for staying at home whenever possible, social distancing and wearing masks in public.

Garfield County Hosts Meeting For Small Businesses

Monday, July 27 - Garfield County will host a virtual meeting Friday for small businesses to discuss how to best operate during COVID-19. Topics will include statewide mask ordinances, sick leave for employers, current public health orders in Garfield County and what to do if an employee tests positive for the coronavirus.

The Zoom meeting is Friday, July 31 beginning at 11 a.m. More information on event topics and directions on how to join the virtual meeting can be found on Garfield County's website.

Eagle County Makes Updates To Its Community Monitoring Dashboard

Sunday, July 26 - Eagle County has updated its COVID-19 monitoring dashboard to provide more real-time information and help more accurately represent disease trends. 

The biggest change is in the “confirmed cases by test date” chart, which now shows daily confirmed cases, instead of posting this data every 5 days. Another notable change includes the ability to choose a date range, making the "confirmed cases by test date" along with the "onset date" graphs the most effective charts for determining disease trends and level of transmission in the community.

Eagle County currently has 947 confirmed cases. The “confirmed cases by test date” shows a slight downward trend since July 18. 

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.
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.
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.
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