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More Americans have now died from the coronavirus in less than two months than in the entire nine years of the Vietnam war — more than 58,000. But the United States crossed another threshold Tuesday — 1 million known coronavirus cases.

Connect For Health Colorado

 

Due to COVID-19, Colorado has extended the emergency enrollment period for health insurance until the end of month. Thursday is the last day for residents who are currently uninsured to enroll in health insurance. 

Note: The graphic in this story is no longer being updated. For more recent data, go to our new post on this topic.

Updated May 7, 5:36 p.m. ET: This story was originally published on April 28. We've updated it throughout to reflect updates and new data from several states.

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.

COVID Diaries Colorado: A Day In The Pandemic

Apr 26, 2020

 

A teacher greets her students. An imam counsels his congregants. A firefighter reports for duty. New parents take their baby home from the hospital.

Testing is considered a major requirement on the path back to normal, and as the president has made clear, it's largely up to the states to find the way. Are states in the Mountain West up to the task? By multiple measures, Utah and New Mexico are leading the way, while other states are still lagging behind. 

A majority of Americans — 8 in 10 — say strict shelter-in-place guidelines are worth it, to keep people safe from COVID-19 and control the spread of the virus, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll. The same percentage, of around 80% of Americans, also say they can follow the restrictions for at least one more month.

Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance / Facebook

The Mobile Intercultural Resource Alliance (MIRA) is offering a second day of free COVID-19 testing in El Jebel Thursday. The organization tested 48 people last week. 

Melina Valsecia, the community connector and manager at MIRA said they want to make sure they can test as many people as they can to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Eagle County. 

Allergy season is here. For many of us, that means lots of sneezing and itchy eyes. So how can you tell the difference between seasonal allergies and something more serious, like COVID-19?

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.”

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Americans have faced world wars, economic recessions, and even other pandemics. Some people have lived through all three. I sought out senior citizens to see how the COVID-19 pandemic compares to other crises – and what we might be able to learn from them.

Valley View Hospital

In crises like the Coronavirus pandemic, Roaring Fork Valley residents turn to first responders for help. But healthcare workers and emergency response teams need support too. 

As a nurse in the critical care unit at Valley View Hospital, Gail Rounce knows the anxiety of caring for COVID-19 patients firsthand. 

 

Pitkin County Announces Mobile Testing Lab

Apr 14, 2020
Aytu Bioscience

Pitkin County incident management team announced Tuesday the county will establish a mobile COVID-19 testing lab. The lab will be set up in the county's incident command trailer. 

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.

As the nation continues to lag behind on testing for the new coronavirus, Utah and New Mexico rank among the states that have administered the most tests per capita. 

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.

It's the question on everyone's minds: What will it take for us to come out of this period of extreme social distancing and return to some semblance of normal life?

It turns out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working on a plan to allow the U.S. to safely begin to scale back those policies. CDC Director Robert Redfield spoke with NPR on Thursday, saying that the plan relies on not only ramped-up testing but "very aggressive" contact tracing of those who do test positive for the coronavirus, and a major scale-up of personnel to do the necessary work.

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.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET, April 20

As COVID-19 surges in places throughout the country, Americans are left to wonder, "When will my state hit its worst point?"

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.

Updated at 9:03 p.m. ET

Three days after firing Capt. Brett Crozier as commander of the coronavirus-sickened nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly boarded the warship docked in Guam and delivered a stinging, profanity-laced denunciation of its deposed skipper.

NPR has obtained an audio recording of Modly's remarks.

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.

Just being homeless puts you at greater risk for getting and spreading COVID-19. And several homeless residents have tested positive for the disease around the Mountain West, from Denver to Las Vegas. That’s forcing community leaders and shelter owners to take precautions.

 


Updated March 31, 8:25 p.m. ET

A few months ago, it may have seemed silly to wear a face mask during a trip to the grocery store. And in fact, the mainline public health message in the U.S. from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been that most people don't need to wear masks.

But as cases of the coronavirus have skyrocketed, there's new thinking about the benefits that masks could offer in slowing the spread. The CDC says it is now reviewing its policy and may be considering a recommendation to encourage broader use.

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.

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.  

“The snow’s going sideways, it’s swirling,” said Billy Barr, from the abandoned silver mine he lives in almost 10,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains.

We’re all social distancing these days, and it’s unclear when exactly that will end. But Barr has been doing this for almost 50 years. He’s the only full-time resident of Gothic, Colorado. 

“I'm the mayor and chief of police,” he said. “I hold elections every year but I don't tell anybody when they are, so it works out really well.”

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