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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."

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the nation to figure out something it's tried to do for years: increase access to telehealth.

That’s true across the nation and in rural Western states like Idaho. 


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.

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. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

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.

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, a new survey shows that depression is worsening across the nation and the Mountain West.


Across the nation, Black babies have some of the highest rates of infant mortalities and birth outcomes such as low birthweight, according to a new report by nonprofit Zero to Three.

 


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. 

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. 

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. 

It wasn't candlelight and soft music that made the 40th anniversary of Luann and Jeff Thibodeau so memorable. It was gazing at each other through the window of Jeff's nursing home in Texas and eating carryout from the Olive Garden. Just the two of them. And a nursing assistant.

"She fed him, and I ate mine, and that was it," Luann Thibodeau says. "So that was our 40th wedding anniversary."

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.

Courtesy Photo / Mountain Family Health Centers

Mountain Family Health Centers sent a letter Wednesday speaking out against racism and discrimination against people of color after the death of George Floyd sparked protests across the country, and in the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a virtual town hall Tuesday that the reservation hit its peak number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and emergency room visits a few weeks early thanks to social distancing and mask-wearing.

 


Researchers in Utah are in the process of testing about 10,000 people for COVID-19 and antibodies against the virus that causes it.

“People have talked about how we see the tip of the iceberg with the formalized testing that we have,” said Dr. Stephen Alder, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah and one of the project’s leaders. “We're trying to look at, ‘All right, how much of the iceberg is underwater?’ This is a good way to do that.”

Nursing home residents and workers account for about one-third of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S., as The New York Times reported last week. Testing every resident and worker could help slow the spread in nursing homes – but it's expensive.

Tammy Terwelp / Aspen Public Radio

State Officials Encourage Residents To Celebrate Memorial Day With Safety In Mind

Friday, May 22 - Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, public health officials are asking Coloradans to keep the following in mind to slow and limit transmission of COVID-19. 

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

For the past 140 years, the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes have both called the Wind River Valley home.

They didn't choose to share this reservation - and it's no secret that the two tribal governments don't always agree. But since the start of the pandemic, they've been on the same page about one thing.

Most of us have never experienced anything like the coronavirus pandemic in our lifetime, and that's especially true for children. The Mountain West News Bureau spoke with five kids about what's on their minds: 6-year-old Emerson, 10-year-old Eleanor, 11-year-old Wren, 11-year-old Brennan, and 10-year-old Olivia. Amanda Peacher shares their voices in this audio postcard.

Mental health specialists are working now to bolster the resilience of Americans who are suffering from feelings of despair — in hopes of preventing increases in suicides among people who are under increased pressure during the coronavirus pandemic.

Time is of the essence, public health researchers say. Experience with past natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, shows that a rise in suicide often happens in the months after the immediate physical dangers of the disaster have passed.

via Pixabay

Kurt Dahl’s job as Pitkin County’s environmental health manager sometimes feels like detective work.

“You're trying to identify who could have gotten something from where,” he said. “And that really gets into that case investigation and that detective type of work.”

Valley Settlement

More than $770,000 has been given to immigrant families in the Roaring Fork Valley by area nonprofits during the current coronavirus pandemic. Since most families Valley Settlement and MANAUS work with are undocumented, many are ineligible for emergency financial assistance during this time. 

Communities across the globe are trying to understand what percent of their population has been exposed to COVID-19 by searching random samples of residents for antibodies against the virus. 

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. 


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

It's a sunny, spring afternoon and Holly Spriggs and her teenage son, Sawyer Michaud, are digging around in her giant garden outside of Lander, Wyo.

"We're working on planting some potatoes and onions before we get some moisture here," she says. 

Spriggs is having a great time, but Sawyer would rather be snowmobiling.

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. 

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