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Janie Joseland Bennett

Last week, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act was signed into law. The $2 trillion COVID-19 rescue package includes what are called Small Business Administration, or SBA, loans. 

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.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Last week, a backcountry skier was critically injured in an avalanche near Ophir, Colorado, about 20 minutes south of Telluride. More than 50 people were involved in the rescue. Local health and ski industry officials have urged backcountry adventurers to take extra caution so as to avoid putting an extra burden on already-strained first responders and healthcare facilities.

Roaring Fork Schools / Facebook

Students in the Roaring Fork School District will begin online learning April 20. District officials said they are working with students, their families and teachers to assess their needs until then.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Travel restrictions and social distancing requirements have left many local businesses closed, with some staying shut through the spring offseason. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association expects that the impact will last into summer and the cancellation of Aspen Ideas Festival and the Food & Wine Classic will deal a blow to the summer economy.

Eleanor Bennett

Last Thursday, Meat & Cheese owner Wendy Mitchell stood outside her restaurant wearing latex gloves and serving free, vegan squash soup and buttermilk biscuits to passersby. Mitchell calls this "Bonnie's Soup Kitchen," named for the manager who came up with the idea. 

“She just had this idea that there’s so many restaurant people that are immediately unemployed, that we should do something for the community because so many of our customers are restaurant people, industry people,” Mitchell said. 

Olive And West Photography

  

Musicians around the globe are sharing their music online during the coronavirus pandemic, and Thursday evening, local musician Jackson Emmer adds his voice. It’s a part of a series of virtual concerts he’s calling “Quarantunes,” meant to raise awareness and funds for performers who are struggling since venues were shut down and tours cancelled. 

Facebook

The Aspen School District's Board of Education announced Tuesday its next superintendent will be David Baugh. He will move to the Roaring Fork Valley in the coming months from Conshohocken, PA where he was Centennial School District's superintendent.

Connect For Health Colorado

 

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, Colorado is one of eleven states that have made the move to re-open health insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. Coloradans who are currently uninsured or think they might lose their job can enroll in health insurance through Friday, April 3. 

Local insurance broker Michael Sailor said anyone considering signing up should not wait until Friday.

Elise Thatcher / Aspen Public Radio

Census day comes every ten years on April 1. When Coloradans fill out the census, it determines how federal funds are allocated to each state. After the 2010 census, Colorado received over $13 billion throughout the decade for schools, transportation services and other state-funded projects and programs. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Few retailers in the Roaring Fork Valley remain open after a statewide order shut down those that were not deemed essential. Liquor stores and dispensaries are on the short list of essential businesses, but are reporting a slowdown in sales.

Lauri Jackson / Aspen Public Radio

Aspen Public Radio has compiled the following list of local, state and national resources that are providing current, trustworthy coronavirus information. 

Peter Mertz / Facebook

 


Freelance journalist Peter Mertz usually writes for Chinese media company Xinhua. Now, he’s turned his attention to doing daily social media posts on the Carbondale community page about what’s stocked in the town’s City Market.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Holds Virtual Community Meeting Thursday

Wednesday, April 1- Pitkin County will hold a virtual community meeting Thursday at 2:00 pm. This meeting will be led by the Pitkin Sheriff's Office, Aspen Valley Hospital, Pitkin County Public Health  and the Hope Center. 

Aspen Public Radio will broadcast the meeting on our FM frequencies at 91.5 in Aspen and 88.9 in Carbondale.  

Garfield County

 

 

The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners voted Friday to fund Grand River Meals on Wheels in the amount of $40,000 to sustain home delivery meal services to homebound clients. 

 

The vote came as the need for social distancing measures around COVID-19 has driven up participation in the program 20% since early March.

 

Electricity Use Drops Nearly 10% As Ski Lifts Close Early

Mar 29, 2020
Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Journalism

Stay-at-home orders and closed businesses, combined with an abrupt end to the ski season, are changing the electricity consumption and demand patterns for Holy Cross Energy, which supplies electricity to much of the Roaring Fork and Eagle river valleys.

Courtesy of Stephen Stacey

Stephen Stacey moved to Glenwood Springs three years ago with his daughter. He said they live a simple life, and love to fish. 

 “Glenwood Springs is a great place to live if you love to fish,” he said. “The only town in the United States of America that has two gold medal rivers in the town boundary.”

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin, Eagle Counties Report Second Deaths of Residents, Garfield County Says One Has Died

 

Garfield County Public Health says that one resident, a woman in her 70’s who tested positive for COVID-19, has died. The woman had other significant health conditions.

 Garfield County released a statement saying it "extends deep condolences to the family members of the woman for their loss."

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Aspen Valley Hospital has admitted 10 patients with symptoms of COVID-19 since the outbreak began. Two are currently at the hospital; one is in critical condition. In Pitkin County’s online community meeting Thursday, Dave Ressler, the hospital’s CEO, said patient volumes are light but they are seeing sicker patients than before.

Sheri Gaynor

In the midst of stay-at-home orders and self-isolation, having a creative outlet can offer a way through anxiety and stress. Carbondale-based expressive art therapist Sheri Gaynor says people can start an art practice during the coronavirus pandemic to deal with stress, connect with family or just help them identify how they’re feeling. 

Courtesy Shea Sweeney

Shea Sweeney is a single mom of two in Aspen. Her 13-year-old son came down with a fever and a cough last Tuesday. A video call with a doctor ended with a diagnosis, and they’ve been isolated ever since.

Aspen Institute

The 2020 Aspen Ideas Festival and Aspen Ideas: Health have been cancelled because of the coronavirus, the Aspen Institute announced Wednesday. 

 In a statement, the Institute said that it does not want to ask participants to make travel arrangements at this time, though it is hopeful that "the current situation will have stabilized by the summer." The annual event was scheduled to be held June 24-July 3.

 

Garfield County Public Libraries

Pitkin, Basalt and Garfield County libraries’ doors are closed, but they’re still open for browsing online.

Garfield County Libraries are offering a new streaming movie and eBook service called Hoopla. Hoopla offers audiobooks, streaming TV shows and TumbleBooks, animated, talking picture books for kids. 

"I definitely wanted the public to have access to this as soon as possible," said Brett Lear, executive director of Garfield County Libraries.

 

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