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

Aspen Valley Hospital Seeing 'Slight Volume' Of COVID-19 Patients, PitCo Urges Visitors To Stay Away

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Aspen Valley Hospital is only seeing a “slight volume” of patients with symptoms of COVID-19, according to an update from CEO Dave Ressler in Thursday’s Pitkin County virtual community meeting. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the hospital has admitted 18 patients. One is still in the hospital, and “all but two” of the other patients were discharged to recover at home.

Traffic is also light at the hospital’s evaluation tent, which is only seeing an average of three to six patients per day. Catherine Bernard, Aspen Valley Hospital president of medical staff, says patient numbers are being kept in a “manageable range” because people are following public health orders.

Karen Koenemann, the county’s director of public health, urged visitors to stay away.

“We miss you and we value you and we can’t wait to see you again,” Koenemann said. “But now is not the time to come here.”

She explained that visitors would increase demand on already-strained grocery stores, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities. Also, the high altitude would add extra complicating factors for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

In last week’s meeting, the county announced that it had placed an order for 1,000 COVID-19 blood tests. Yesterday, a county official confirmed that they still have not received a date for their arrival.

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.
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