Listen Live

Coronavirus Updates

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

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

Courtesy Sue Sharpe

Governor Jared Polis announced a statewide mask order on Thursday, directing Coloradans to wear a face covering while indoors.

The statewide mandatory mask order requires anyone over the age of 10 to wear a face covering over their noses and mouths when entering or moving within any public indoor space. It also mandates face coverings while using or waiting to use public transportation or taxis, car services and ride shares.

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Cases of COVID-19 are steadily rising in all three Roaring Fork Valley counties. In a livestreamed community meeting Thursday, public health officials from Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties discussed increasing case counts and the hurdles they face in tracking and controlling the spread of the virus.

Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

Pitkin County posted its highest single-week total of positive COVID-19 cases in the week ending July 12. Testing identified 28 new cases in the county. The two previous weeks held the old record, with 16 new cases each. 

Glenwood Springs Fire Department

Battling a wildfire is no small task, but coordinating response during a pandemic adds an extra layer of challenges. Sunday night’s two-acre blaze in the Three Mile area of Glenwood Springs was not big enough to bring about those challenges, but gave emergency officials a chance to assess what could have happened had the fire spread further.

Creative Commons

Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield Counties transitioned to a tri-county testing strategy to help get COVID-19 test results to patients faster and ultimately reduce community spread of the virus. To do that, the three counties will only test people who show symptoms, have a greater risk, have been in contact with someone who tested positive or are hospitalized. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Eagle County Updates Public Health Order

Friday, July 17 - Eagle County updated its public health order effective immediately Friday due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Under the new order, only ten people are allowed at private gastherings, indoor public gatherings are reduced to 100 people and indoor public gatherings will allow 175 people or less. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Eagle County Adds Demographic Data To COVID-19 Statistics

Friday, July 10 - Eagle County has added demographic data to its publicly viewable COVID-19 monitoring dashboard. New data includes the age, gender and ethnicity of confirmed cases. The county said it is including this information to "better inform the public of the impact of the disease in particular on the local workforce, Latino community, older adults, and youth and young adults."

Screenshot / Garfield County

After Memorial Day weekend, Garfield County officials said they saw a spike in COVID-19 cases, about 101 positive tests since June 1. Now heading into Fourth of July, officials are emphasizing the importance of social distancing and wearing face coverings for residents and visitors in order to help slow the spread of coronavirus in Garfield County.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

In a special meeting Wednesday night, Aspen City Council authorized a midnight curfew on retail businesses, restaurants and bars. Councilmembers hoped the order would prevent restaurants from evolving into bar-like atmospheres late at night. 

This post was updated June 29, 2020 to include comments from Alexis Kalergis. 

A Colorado team says their work on a COVID-19 vaccine is progressing. Other vaccines are much further down the testing pipeline, but none have crossed the finish line yet. 

Graphic by Alex Hager (Aspen Public Radio) / Data from Pitkin County, Eagle County, Garfield County

Cases of COVID-19 in the Roaring Fork Valley are on the rise, and many of the new infections are in young people. Health and government officials say the uptick in cases among those under 30 could be a harbinger of increased hospitalizations and halt the rollout of reopening plans.

Roaring Fork School District

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aqui

When Gov. Jared Polis ordered Colorado schools to close in mid-March due to the pandemic, the Roaring Fork School District, like others across the state, had to scramble to put distance learning in place. Now, they're asking for feedback on how virtual learning went in the spring and how it should change if the pandemic should close down its classrooms again. To do that, the district surveyed over 1,000 district students, parents and staff.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Local governments have been hit hard during an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Aspen projected a $25 million dollar loss in revenue. As cities and counties take a hard look at their budgets, climate experts are urging them to keep the health of the planet in mind. 

Courtesy Photo / Basalt Middle School

Monday, the Roaring Fork School District begins a three-phase plan to welcome back student athletes for practice over the summer. The first phase will require any workout to be outdoors, athletes to work out in groups of ten and participants to keep six feet of distance at all times.

Christin Kay

LIFT-UP Releases July Food Distribution Plan

Friday, June 26- Next month, LIFT-UP Food Pantries will continue to distribute food throughout the Roaring Fork Valley via drive-through and walk-up format. LIFT-UP pantries are not open for food pick up or donations at this time. 

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Carbondale is one of many towns in Colorado putting plans in place to help local businesses adjust to the economic effects of COVID-19. The town closed Carbondale’s Main Street between Third and Fourth streets so businesses can give customers space to safely shop and dine. 

Some local business owners said the closure is helping, while others said it is bad for business.

Courtesy of Pitkin County Public Health

Rates of positive COVID-19 tests are gradually rising in the Roaring Fork Valley. In Thursday’s Pitkin County Board of Health Meeting, officials said the rate of positive tests at Aspen Valley Hospital was increasing and that positive cases in neighboring Garfield and Eagle are being closely monitored. 

Most businesses in the outdoor recreation industry are seeing sales decline because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and 88% are reporting that they’ve had to lay off or furlough employees.

Screenshot / Garfield County Credible Mind PRO

Garfield County announced a new, free online mental health resource last week to help those struggling during the COVID-19 crisis. CredibleMindPRO is a website that provides tools, assessments and local mental health information through articles, podcasts and videos. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

PitCo Says State Public Health Order Changes Won't Go Into Affect Here Until Later

Thursday, June 18 - Changes to Colorado’s statewide public health order to go into effect today, but any of those changes will not go into effect in Pitkin County until the local public health order is amended, according to a release from the county. Pitkin County could choose to be more restrictive or less restrictive with its next set of rules, as allowed by a variance. 

Wildfire season is upon us. As fire crews start heading out, politicians and the Trump administration are at odds over the measures needed to keep firefighters safe and on the job.

At a hearing last weekend about a Colorado bill on vaccination, Dr. Reginald Washington had originally planned to make several urgent points in support of the bill. 

First, that diseases like measles are resurging, and they’re serious. (He’d know. He’s treated patients with complications from measles and pertussis.) Second, due to COVID-19, children are missing well-child visits and skipping vaccinations, putting them at risk of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Courtesy Photo / City of Glenwood Springs

Tourist attractions in Glenwood Springs were given the stamp of approval by the state to open Monday, June 8, including Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Iron Mountain Hot Springs

via City of Aspen

The Aspen Saturday Market is slated to come back as early as June 20, with new rules and restrictions. City officials are targeting the first Saturday after Pitkin County increases the limit on gatherings from 10 to 50 people, which they anticipate to be June 20.

Colorado School of Public Health

As people flock back to reopened spaces and local governments unroll plans to resume some components of pre-pandemic life, health officials are keeping a close eye on COVID-19 data. 

In models from early June, the Colorado School of Public Health shows that high levels of social distancing are necessary to “avoid exceeding hospital capacity.” 

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.

Screenshot from Pitkin County Board of Health

Pitkin County Public Health released a set of amendments to its standing public health order on Thursday. They will remain in effect until July 3. The changes provide updated timing and clarity to the particulars of industry-specific reopening plans. Below are the latest dates and rules. Full details can be found here.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Tourism is returning to Pitkin County, and short-term lodging, like hotels and condos, can operate at 50% capacity each day. In a recent Board of Health meeting, Snowmass Village Mayor and board chair Markey Butler said that isn’t the best fit for her town. She spoke with reporter Alex Hager about why she's pushing for a different plan.

Courtesy Photo / Anna Stonehouse

More than 500 high school seniors in the Roaring Fork Valley graduated Saturday from parked cars and outdoor celebrations rather than traditional gymnasium and football field ceremonies because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Car horns replaced rounds of applause, and graduates wore face coverings. Now that these graduates have their diplomas, some worry their college plans may not go according to plan. 

Pages