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Updates: Coronavirus

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.

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.

via Pitkin County Public Health

Pitkin County health officials said they are on track to move to phase two of a reopening plan as early as May 27. The county needs to see certain patterns in health data to enter that phase. In Thursday’s board of health meeting, county officials and Aspen Valley Hospital staff said they have not seen a new COVID-19 case since early April, neighboring counties are posting low case numbers and the staff at the hospital is almost entirely healthy.

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.”

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Aspen Skiing Company is giving credit to 2019-2020 passholders after this winter’s season was cut short due to COVID-19. Passholders can receive up to $250 in credit for a non-chamber premier pass, but credit value is tiered for different passes, according to a release.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Get Glenwood Going Grant (G4) Applications Available 

Friday, May 15 – The City of Glenwood Springs, Downtown Development Authority and the Glenwood Springs Chamber Foundation are announcing the Get Glenwood Going Grant for business relief. The G4 program was created to provide rent, utility or mortgage interest relief for businesses. Businesses within the city limits of Glenwood Springs can qualify for up to $4,000. 

via Pitkin County

Pitkin County’s next public health order goes into effect on May 9 as part of a three-phase plan to return to normal life. Thursday, the county board of health said it could move to the second phase as early as May 27, if certain criteria are met.

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. 

Pitkin County

The Pitkin County Board of Public Health voted Tuesday to ease some of the current stay-at-home rules as part of the county's Roadmap to Reopening. The plan has been developed with input from the Medical Advisory Team of Aspen Valley Hospital. On Saturday, May 9, Pitkin County residents can expect to see some of the stay-at-home restrictions dialed back as the county begins to fall in line with the state's Safer-at-Home policies.

Sue Sharpe

Colorado is slowly lifting restrictions on retailers, salons and other businesses. It's part of the state's transition from Stay-at-Home to Safer-at-Home, a move that Governor Jared Polis said is meant to help the state enter a more sustainable, long-term phase of social distancing during the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Chris Descheemaeker ranches black angus, red angus cross with her family outside of Lewistown, Montana. The coronavirus pandemic, she says, comes after a few tough winters and an already tough market.


Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs Opens Tennis and Pickleball Courts, Skate and Whitewater Parks

The City of Glenwood Springs has opened public tennis and pickleball courts, the skate park and the whitewater park under Safer-at-Home guidelines. The city said those facilities will be closed if people do not adhere to specific regulations, which can be found here.

This week the governors of Colorado and Nevada joined West Coast states in something called the Western States Pact. Its stated aim is to bring together states with a “shared vision for modifying stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.” 

The U.S. now has at least three such regional collaborations. 

via Pitkin County Public Health

Pitkin County health officials laid out the specifics of the next public health order and the county’s contact tracing operation in an emergency public health meeting on Thursday. The next public health order will closely align with the state’s latest policies, but include a few specific exceptions.


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.

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. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The first rollbacks to restrictive statewide orders go into effect on Monday, April 27. Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced a transition to a new “Safer-at-Home” policy. The measures include a gradual return normal life, with a timeline for retailers and other businesses to reopen with specific precautions in place. Some rules will differ by county as local governments set their own pace for a return to normal life.

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. 

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Pitkin County officials laid out a new plan to find COVID-19 cases and slow the spread of the virus in a virtual community meeting Thursday. Karen Koenemann, the county’s director of public health, outlined the “Box it in” strategy, which will use testing, quarantining, contact tracing and isolation as a means of combating coronavirus. 

Courtesy The Arts Campus at Willits

 

 


With performing arts venues shut down due to coronavirus and stay-at-home orders, The Arts Campus at Willits, or TACAW, has been curating virtual and live performances.

How have you been spending your time while you're stuck at home? What's made you feel less stressed during the COVID-19 pandemic? In between virtual meetings and working remotely, we asked that same question of the Aspen Public Radio team. Here's our reading, listening, and viewing list to get you through this next phase of social distancing.

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. 

Kendall Reiley / Glenwood Springs Elementary School

For Kendall Reiley, a fifth grade teacher at Glenwood Springs Elementary School, the first week of working virtually with students had her feeling, well, hopeful. 

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?

How are wildland firefighters expected to battle blazes during a pandemic? That's not entirely clear, but a bipartisan bill proposed by Mountain West lawmakers aims to help ensure firefighters' safety.

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