Update: 6 more test positive, upping Aspen COVID-19 total to 9 | SteamboatToday.com

Update: 6 more test positive, upping Aspen COVID-19 total to 9

So far, no new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Routt County since last week, which comes as welcome good news to public health officials. They cautioned some tests are still pending, which could affect the weekly tally.
RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post

Update: 2:56 p.m.: Six more individuals in Aspen have tested “presumptive positive” for COVID-19, pushing the total to nine, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said at 2:36 p.m. Wednesday.

“Pitkin County Incident Management Team is in contact with those who tested presumptively positive as well as the local properties impacted. Systems are in place to address the needs of the affected individuals. The property managers have been given information on how to protect themselves and proper cleaning procedures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus,” the release said.

All told, 13 people are in isolation in Aspen. Nine have been tested so far, while one test is pending. Authorities have ordered three other individuals, who initially declined to be tested, also to be held isolation until March 18 when they will have to pass two tests certifying that they are free of the virus.

Earlier Wednesday, it was reported that three people who were traveling in Aspen with an Australian woman who later tested positive for COVID-19 when she returned home have tested “presumptive positive” for the virus, Pitkin County authorities said .

“These visitors are currently in quarantine,” said Karen Koenemann, Pitkin County public health director. “(State public health department) staff, in conjunction with Pitkin County Public Health, are monitoring people who may have been exposed.

“We hope that these folks recover quickly and there is no additional spread in Pitkin County.”

In a release issued at 12:53 p.m., the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment said one victim is a female in her 20s, another is a male in his 50s, and the third is a female in her 60s. The release cited “travel, close contact with individuals” as the reasons for their exposure to the disease.

Those who have tested presumptive positive won’t be considered positive until the Centers for Disease Control confirms the tests, according to the release. In addition to being in contact with those in quarantine in Aspen, authorities are also is in contact with local properties where they are staying, the release states.

“The property managers have been given information on how to protect themselves and proper cleaning procedures to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” according to the release.

COVID-19: Follow our coverage

Before immediately heading to the hospital, people who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 have several resources, including:

  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is providing a phone line to answer questions from the public about COVID-19. Call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911 or email cohelp@rmpdc.org for answers in English and Spanish, Mandarin and more.
  • UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center offers Ask-A-Nurse, a 24/7 call line staffed by registered nurses who can assess symptoms and provide advice on seeking care. In Routt County, Ask-A-Nurse can be reached by calling 970-871-7878.
  • Virtual Visits can be done from the comfort of your home and only require a computer or tablet with a working webcam, speakers and microphone, or a smartphone.
  • If patients are experiencing severe symptoms or having difficulty breathing, they should visit the hospital’s emergency department.

Take precautions in everyday life:

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Clean surfaces in your home and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
  • Be calm but be prepared.
  • Employees at businesses and customers ​are required to wear a mask, according to a statewide public health order.
  • Limit distance between non-household members to 6 feet when indoors and outdoors.
  • The maximum group size for indoor activities is 10.

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