Listen Live

Coronavirus News

Aspen Public Radio will provide the latest news and updates regarding the coronavirus, COVID-19, in the valley and Colorado.

Support for Updates: Coronavirus comes from Penney Evans Carruth with Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty, opening doors for buyers and sellers in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Health care workers are expected to be first in line to be offered a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available.

It makes sense: Getting a safe, effective vaccine would help keep them and their patients healthy. Seeing doctors, nurses and medical aides getting COVID-19 vaccines would also set an example for the community.

Alex Hager

The ski mountains are open and Christmas is less than a month away. In Aspen, many businesses reliant on tourists and the dollars they bring during the snowier months will face a bevy of new challenges in a mid-pandemic winter.

colorado.gov

Gov. Jared Polis and First Gentlemen Marlon Reis tested positive for COVID-19. The governor tweeted the announcement Saturday night, and included a statement. 

"Marlon and I are feeling well so far, and are in good spirits. No person or family is immune to this virus. I urge every Coloradan to practice caution, limit public interactions, wear a mask in public, stay six feet from others, and wash your hands regularly," said Polis.

Need a COVID-19 Nurse? That’ll Be $8,000 a Week

Nov 27, 2020
Luisella Planeta Leoni / Pixabay

In March, Claire Tripeny was watching her dream job fall apart. She’d been working as an intensive care nurse at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Colorado, and loved it, despite the mediocre pay typical for the region. But when COVID-19 hit, that calculation changed.

She remembers her employers telling her and her colleagues to “suck it up” as they struggled to care for six patients each and patched their protective gear with tape until it fully fell apart. The $800 or so a week she took home no longer felt worth it.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

State health officials are urging Coloradans to avoid meeting with family and friends for Thanksgiving festivities, as indoor gatherings could exacerbate already-high levels of the coronavirus.

New Restrictions With Pitkin County’s 'Orange Plus' COVID-19 Rules

Nov 25, 2020
Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Surging rates of COVID-19 in Pitkin County pushed the area into the “orange” level of the state’s COVID-19 meter, a multi-tiered gauge used to impose restrictions on counties where the virus is worsening.

On track to move one level higher on the meter, Pitkin County is imposing its own set of rules – slightly stricter than the state requires – to avoid the mandatory shutdown of businesses that comes with the “red” level.

Just a few months into the coronavirus pandemic, Holly Smith had already made up her mind. She was not going to reopen her restaurant to diners until there was a vaccine. She just didn't think it was safe. When she shared the decision with her staff, they asked: Would the vaccine be mandatory?

Yes, she said. It would be.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

New cases of COVID-19 continue to stack up in all three Roaring Fork Valley counties, making the pandemic more intense now than at any other point since it began. The area is creeping closer to new mandatory restrictions handed down from the state.

Pfizer is ready to ask the Food and Drug Administration to authorize emergency use of the company's COVID-19 vaccine, after an updated analysis of the clinical trial data found the vaccine to be 95% effective.

Gov. Jared Polis is summoning lawmakers back to the Capitol for a rare special session to consider a coronavirus stimulus package worth more than $200 million.

"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions," Polis said Tuesday at the governor's mansion. "I'll be asking the general assembly to take up critical legislation that will help Colorado families and Colorado small businesses survive these challenging winter months ahead to bridge us to the vaccine."

Kids, this comic is for you.

You've been living through this pandemic for months, and you might be feeling sad, frustrated or upset. But there are lots of different ways to deal with your worries – and make yourself feel better. Here are some tips and advice to help you through.

Print and fold a zine version of this comic here. Here are directions on how to fold it.

A newly peer-reviewed online tool allows people to assess the risk of going out to a restaurant, a bar or a dinner party during the pandemic. And the numbers across our region don’t look good.

Each week, we answer frequently asked questions about life during the coronavirus crisis. If you have a question you'd like us to consider for a future post, email us at goatsandsoda@npr.org with the subject line: "Weekly Coronavirus Questions."

Like many married and working couples first confronting the pandemic, Bianca Flokstra and Victor Udoewa tried to go on with their lives as normal.

Flokstra continued to work full time while taking care of their kids, ages 4 and 2. She also handled most of the housework, with her husband helping from time to time. It didn't work.

"Those first couple of months were really hard," Flokstra says. "There was ... a lot of fighting. A lot of tears."

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Gov. Jared Polis is extending a statewide mask mandate for another thirty days as coronavirus cases continue to surge. More than 1,000 people were in the hospital with the virus as of Monday. Polis is also asking residents to step up their social distancing efforts.

"As long as Coloradans are cancelling their social interactions the next few weeks with those outside their household, together we can save Christmas," the governor said.

Courtesy of Valley View Hospital

Colorado is now seeing its highest coronavirus case counts and hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic, but Gov. Jared Polis is not issuing any new restrictions.

Instead, Polis is urging residents to do three things this month, including wearing masks, staying six feet apart and only visiting with members of their own households.

Pitkin County Limiting Informal Gatherings To Just 5

Oct 30, 2020
Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The Pitkin County Board of Health has announced stricter limits for gatherings, compared to the statewide order Gov. Jared Polis put in place last week. Gatherings in the county can be no more than five people from two households.

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: September 14-20, 2020

Sep 14, 2020
Kirsten Dobroth/Aspen Public Radio

Governor Jared Polis Extends Colorado Mask Mandate

Monday, Sept. 14 - Governor Jared Polis extended Colorado's statewide mask mandate for another 30 days over the weekend. The extension is set to expire on Oct. 12, but could be extended again, as it has been twice since it was originally adopted in July.

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

Sep 7, 2020
Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Garfield County Encouraging People To Get Tested After Labor Day Weekend

Wednesday, September 9 - Garfield County Public Health is emphasizing the need for people with one or more COVID-19 symptoms to seek testing as soon as possible. In a release, the county said many people traveled or were exposed to visitors over the long holiday weekend.  

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: August 31-September 6, 2020

Aug 30, 2020
Katalin Domoszlay

COVID-19 Case Numbers Remain Low, But Fall And Winter Bring Uncertainty

Friday, September 4 - New cases of COVID-19 in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are among the lowest they have been since the beginning of the pandemic, according to local health officials. Online COVID-19 status trackers for both Aspen Valley Hospital and Valley View Hospital said they are at "comfortable" levels of virus activity.

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: August 24-30, 2020

Aug 24, 2020
Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Colorado Rolls Out Enhanced COVID-19 Data Website  

Monday, August 24 - Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) rolled out a new COVID-19 website. The site features an enhanced data dashboard, which includes information about hospital bed availability, demographic breakdowns of COVID-19 cases in the state and percentages  of patients needing hospitalization, ventilation or ICU treatment. The new website can be found here.

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Coronavirus: August 17-23, 2020

Aug 17, 2020
Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Friday, August 21 - Governor Jared Polis announced updates to the state's online COVID-19 data dashboard, including simplified navigation and the addition of datapoints involving hospital bed availability. Polis also announced Friday that the statewide "last call" for serving alcohol at bars would be extended to 11 p.m. starting Saturday night. Previously, Polis had set a statewide last call at 10 p.m. in an effort to limit late-night coronavirus transmission at bars.

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus August 9-16

Aug 9, 2020
Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

No New Cases In PitCo In Last Six Days, But Epidemiologists Warn Against Complacency

Friday, August 14 - There hasn’t been a new coronavirus case reported among Pitkin County residents for the past six days. New case numbers in Eagle and Garfield counties are also down. In Thursday’s Pitkin County community meeting, epidemiologist Josh Vance said those decreases are in line with national and statewide trends, but no reason to get complacent. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County’s COVID Emergency Relief Fund has distributed $2.28 million in assistance since the pandemic took hold in March. At the end of June, the program was suspended. Officials said it was designed as a short-term emergency program while other aid organizations built capacity for longer-term help. 

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: August 2-8, 2020

Aug 2, 2020
Kirsten Dobroth/Aspen Public Radio

Governor Polis, Treasurer Young Urge For Additional State Funding In Stimulus Package

Tuesday, August 4 - Governor Jared Polis and Colorado Treasurer Dave Young today sent a letter to the state's congessional delegation advocating for additional funding for Coloradans in the next stimulus package. Governor Polis and Treasurer Young stressed the importance of additional federal funding for essential services in the state as Colorado continues to mitigate the public health and economic effects of the pandemic. Areas highlighted by Governor Polis and Treasurer Young in need of financial assistance include food programs for children and families, support for child care and early childhood education, families experiencing homelessness because of the pandemic and assistance for ranchers and farmers.  The letter comes as leaders in Washington D.C. continue to debate what will be included in the next federal stimulus package.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

For a ski rental shop at the base of Aspen Mountain, winter means big business when the resort opens. But right now, it’s pretty hard to say exactly what challenges will come with a mid-pandemic ski season.

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: July 26-Aug 2, 2020

Jul 26, 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.

Kendall Reiley / Glenwood Springs Elementary School

The Roaring Fork School District announced Friday the 2020-2021 school year will begin virtually on August 17 since COVID-19 risks in the Roaring Fork Valley remain high. District officials said they worked with public health officials and used evidence-based information to make the decision for school to begin online with some improvements from the spring. 

Courtesy of Aspen Valley Hospital

Aspen Valley Hospital’s COVID-19 testing operation has been a key part of upvalley virus control plans. Dave Ressler, Aspen Valley Hospital CEO, explained how testing people without symptoms fits into those plans during Thursday’s livestreamed community meeting.

UPDATES: Roaring Fork Valley Coronavirus: July 19-25, 2020

Jul 19, 2020
Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Eagle County May Be Forced To Forfeit Public Health Variance

Friday, July 25 - Trends in the local spread of COVID-19 may threaten Eagle County’s ability to maintain its public health order variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Last week, the state health department notified the county that local disease rates were outside the levels allowed by the variance. 

Pages