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Alex Hager

Reporter

Alex comes to Aspen from KDLG, the public radio station in Dillingham, Alaska. There, he served as a “fish reporter,” producing nightly broadcasts for a fleet of boats in the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. 

Before his time in Alaska, Alex spent four years at Elon University in North Carolina. There, he was a reporter for Elon News Network, where he covered just about every beat for just about every medium. While at Elon, Alex also worked as a sports correspondent for the Burlington Times-News, covering ACC football and basketball as well as Carolina Panthers NFL football. 

When he’s not in the office, Alex enjoys hiking, practicing Spanish, playing basketball, and reading poetry. He was born and raised in Connecticut. 

via Pitkin County

Pitkin County’s next public health order goes into effect on May 9 as part of a three-phase plan to return to normal life. Thursday, the county board of health said it could move to the second phase as early as May 27, if certain criteria are met.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County’s plan to gradually return to normal life relies in part on adequate testing for COVID-19, which will be carried out by Aspen Valley Hospital. The hospital is cooperating with the county and using nasal swab tests to identify new cases of the virus. 

Sue Sharpe

Colorado is slowly lifting restrictions on retailers, salons and other businesses. It's part of the state's transition from Stay-at-Home to Safer-at-Home, a move that Governor Jared Polis said is meant to help the state enter a more sustainable, long-term phase of social distancing during the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs Opens Tennis and Pickleball Courts, Skate and Whitewater Parks

The City of Glenwood Springs has opened public tennis and pickleball courts, the skate park and the whitewater park under Safer-at-Home guidelines. The city said those facilities will be closed if people do not adhere to specific regulations, which can be found here.

via Pitkin County Public Health

Pitkin County health officials laid out the specifics of the next public health order and the county’s contact tracing operation in an emergency public health meeting on Thursday. The next public health order will closely align with the state’s latest policies, but include a few specific exceptions.

via City of Aspen

Tuesday night, Aspen City Council will review a set of zoning guidelines for wireless facilities. Federal and state rules do not allow local governments to exercise much control over the installation of “small cell” infrastructure, which is a component of 5G technology. Aspen’s guidelines are designed to control the aspects of size, design and location that are within the city’s purview.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The first rollbacks to restrictive statewide orders go into effect on Monday, April 27. Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced a transition to a new “Safer-at-Home” policy. The measures include a gradual return normal life, with a timeline for retailers and other businesses to reopen with specific precautions in place. Some rules will differ by county as local governments set their own pace for a return to normal life.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Operations are more or less normal at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff are wearing extra protective equipment, but they are not overwhelmed. David Brooks, the hospital’s chief medical officer, said the fact that things are relatively calm is a direct result of people staying home. 

Courtesy of Kyle Nelson

As a 911 dispatcher, Kyle Nelson is used to busy days. But Thursday was an unusually hectic one at the Pitkin County Incident Management Team headquarters, where he’s working during the pandemic. The team had planned to participate in a livestreamed public health meeting and roll out plans to start testing residents for COVID-19. What they didn’t plan for was a heavy snowfall – at one point 1-2 inches per hour – that led to messy roads and a flood of calls to emergency dispatchers. 

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs Extends Public Building Closure and Face Mask Requirement, Reinstates Bus and Airport Services

Friday, May 1 - Glenwood Spring's city council voted unanimously today to require face coverings be worn in public; that order is now set to expire on June 4. City Manager Debra Figueroa also extended to closure of public buildings within the city until May 27.

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Pitkin County officials laid out a new plan to find COVID-19 cases and slow the spread of the virus in a virtual community meeting Thursday. Karen Koenemann, the county’s director of public health, outlined the “Box it in” strategy, which will use testing, quarantining, contact tracing and isolation as a means of combating coronavirus. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

During the first week of April, new unemployment claims across Colorado were up 3836% from last year’s average. According to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, nearly 200,000 new claims have been filed statewide since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Garfield County Asks Businesses To Complete Social Distancing Plan

Saturday, April 25 - In order to reopen on May 4th, 2020, businesses and agencies in Garfield County should determine if they are high, medium, or low risk, and complete and submit the “Garfield County Business Social Distancing Plan.”

Courtesy of Pitkin County Incident Management Team

Pitkin County is running a small-scale pilot program of its COVID-19 antibody testing on Friday at Aspen Village fire station. Testing is not yet open to the public; the county says Friday’s trial run will be used to gauge the accuracy of its blood tests and the efficiency of its mobile testing operation.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Aspen/Pitkin County Airport is receiving about $3.4 million in federal emergency funding. It is one of 49 airports across the state to receive a portion of nearly $367 million allocated to Colorado by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA. The funding is part of the nationwide Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Courtesy of Two Leaves and a Bud

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Basalt-based tea company Two Leaves and a Bud started thinking about how they could help. CEO Rich Rosenfeld said the decision was easy.

 “We thought, well, who needs tea? Well, healthcare facilities, senior centers, doctors offices, people who are stuck where they are, and can use a really good cup of tea,” Rosenfeld said. 

Courtesy of Valley View Hospital

Listener Jody Guralnick said she has a sewing machine and asked if there’s a way to help make protective clothing and masks for local hospitals. Below are some ways you can help Aspen Valley Hospital in Aspen and Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Eagle County Asking State For Partial Relief From Stay-At-Home Orders

Saturday, April 18 - Eagle County is seeking exemptions from certain portions of Colorado's stay-at-home orders. If approved, it would allow Eagle County Public Health and Environment limited flexibility to start implementing plans to slowly reopen the community.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs’ Annual Strawberry Days Cancelled

Saturday, April 11- The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association has announced that the Annual Strawberry Days Festival will be postponed to 2021.  The event was scheduled for June 19-21 of this year.

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Pitkin County has received its shipment of 1,000 new COVID-19 blood tests. Officials said they “still have a bit of a process” before the tests are released for use by the public and did not specify who will be eligible for testing. In Thursday's online community meeting, the county said does not plan to charge for the tests and will use them to gather data about the presence of the virus in the community.

Courtesy of Aytu Bioscience

Pitkin County placed an order for 1,000 COVID-19 tests from Colorado-based startup Aytu Bioscience on Wednesday. The county does not yet have an estimated date for when the tests will arrive, nor does it have a formal plan for who is eligible to be tested.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Aspen Valley Hospital sends its most critical COVID-19 patients to other hospitals at lower altitude. Doctors say that's partially because treatment is easier outside of Aspen’s thin air.

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.

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.

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.

COVID-19: Resources And Information

Mar 30, 2020
Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

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

Follow our updates for the most recent news information and instructions.

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.  

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.

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