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UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: June 7-13, 2020

Jun 7, 2020

Credit Tammy Terwelp / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Food Stamp Requests Up Substantially

Thursday, June 11 - Requests for food assistance in Pitkin County went up dramatically during the pandemic. Applications for the food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, were up 638% during the month of April.

Officials from Pitkin County Human Services said they’re currently managing 293 cases of people or households receiving the federal food assistance – 63% more than last year. In March of this year, food stamps accounted for a $30,000 payout. But in April, that was up to $90,000 dollars. In Thursday’s community meeting, officials said the county’s COVID relief efforts have already paid out nearly $2.28 million.

Eagle County Submits Variance Request For Next Iteration Of Public Health Order

Thursday, June 11- Eagle County has submitted a variance request to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The variance would allow a transition to the next phase of COVID-19 recovery, loosening some restrictions that have been in place since May 25. The planned date for the beginning of that phase, dubbed by the county as "black diamond," is June 22. 

Under the variance, Eagle County would do the following:

  • Raise gathering size to 250 people
  • Lift capacity limits for restaurants and bars
  • Lift capacity limits on pools that use chlorine or bromine

Aspen Music Festival Unveils Plans For Virtual Summer Events

Thursday, June 11 - The Aspen Music Festival and School announced a schedule of virtual of summer events. Its regular summer calendar was cancelled due to COVID-19

The list of scheduled events includes livestreamed recitals, panel discussions, seminars and more. Events will run from July 4 through Aug. 23. 

Pitkin County Says Demand For Testing Is Up After Four New Cases In El Jebel

Wednesday, June 10 - In a release, Pitkin County said that the news of the four new positive cases in El Jebel this week led to a demand for testing from patrons and community members who were showing no symptoms of the virus. 

Officials said that Pitkin, Garfield, and Eagle have been working together to investigate, contact trace, and quarantine cases related to this outbreak, and anyone who has had exposure to someone with COVID-19 illness associated with this outbreak will be contacted through this process. 

Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield County Public Health officials say that the risk of exposure to the general public from grocery store workers who've tested positive for COVID-19 is low. An investigation by contact tracers has concluded that the outbreak likely did not happen at the grocery store, but at a social gathering that the grocery store workers attended. The 50 individuals who have been identified who had been in close contact with the positive cases have been either isolated or will be quarantined if they become symptomatic. 

Pitkin County Public Health Director Koenemann said there is a chance of exposure to COVID-19 in any public setting. She encouraged people to stop the spread of the virus through hand washing, wearing a mask in public, social distancing, staying home if sick and seeking testing if you have symptoms.  

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms is encouraged to call their health care provider and arrange for testing. 

Pitkin County To Hold Virtual Community Meeting Thursday

Wednesday, June 10 - The public is invited to a virtual community meeting tomorrow at 4 p.m. The meeting will include updates from Aspen Valley Hospital and Pitkin County Human Services.

Watch the meeting on Pitkin County's website, on Facebook Live or on Comcast TV channels CGTV 11, GrassRoots 12 or HD 880. 

Aspen Announces Partial Reopenings of Recreation Facilities

Tuesday, June 9 - Aspen's Recreation Department today announced the reopenings of some athletic facilities, and recreation programs later this month. The Aspen Tennis Club and Iselin pickleball and tennis courts are now open, and the City of Aspen Day Camp reopened yesterday, June 9th. The Lewis Ice Rink will tentatively reopen on June 15, and some youth and adult recreation leagues will also be restarting on June 29th. The openings come with public health orders in mind, and participants are asked to review the modified rules to ensure proper social distancing requirements are met. More information can be found at Aspen Recreation Department's website.

The Calaway Give-Back Annual Donation Collection Benefits LIFT-UP

Monday, June 8 - The Calaway Give-Back, an annual donation collection that supports local non-profits, will benefit LIFT-UP. Donation collection boxes will be spread out in locations from Basalt to Rifle in June.

Non-perishable food items and canned goods such as beans, rice, pasta, sugar, cereal and oatmeal will be collected for LIFT-UP emergency food bags and food pantries. 

Food drives will be at the following locations:

  • Sopris Liquors, Third Street Center, The Pour House and River Valley Ranch in Carbondale
  • Cooper Wine & Spirits and Trailhead Chiropractic in Glenwood Springs
  • Rifle Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Rifle


COVID-19 Case Numbers Increasing Locally And Statewide

Sunday, June 7 - According Pitkin County Public Health, Pitkin and Eagle Counties are seeing slight increases in the number of COVID-19 cases. 

Pitkin County identified one new case, according to the county's COVID-19 Community Report, bumping the total case number to 60. In Eagle County, three cases were identified in the last seven days, bringing the total to 607 COVID-19 cases. Statewide, 210 new cases were identified in the last seven days.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Coloradans' social distancing efforts decreased by 75% as the state moved to Safer-at-Home orders. If social distancing efforts drop to 45% or lower, state officials said it could lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases by mid-summer. 

Gov. Jared Polis extended the Safer-At-Home order until July 1.

Under the state's order, residents are encouraged to stay at home or recreate in the outdoors and avoid unnecessary interactions with others whenever possible.

Glenwood Springs Extends Public Face Covering Rules, Announces Reopenings of Parks And Playgrounds

Friday, June 5 - The Glenwood Springs City Council today voted to extend its public facemask ordinance. The public health order will remain in effect until state and/or CDC guidelines change or a vaccine becomes available to the public.

The city's Parks and Recreation department also announced that it would be reopening playgrounds and outdoor sports facilities, but with social distancing guidelines and a maximum of 10 people at playgrounds, and 25 people at sports courts and fields.

Spectators are also discouraged at pick-up sport events. More information about current public health orders can be found on the city's website.