Public officials host panel discussion to answer health questions about coronavirus |

Public officials host panel discussion to answer health questions about coronavirus

Routt County Interim Public Health Director, Roberta Smith, accepted the permanent director position, according to a news release on Tuesday. This comes as the county expands its public health department to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
File photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — City of Steamboat Springs and Routt County officials will host a panel discussion on Friday, March 20, to address people’s health questions regarding the outbreak of a novel coronavirus.

The virtual discussion starts at 10:30 a.m. Friday and features professionals from the medical community. The list of panelists includes Routt County Public Health Director Kari Ladrow, Routt County Public Health Officer Dr. Brian Harrington, Dr. Laura Sehnert with UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center and Interim Fire Chief Chuck Cerasoli.

Steamboat Pilot & Today Editor Lisa Schlichtman will moderate the panel discussion, which will be available as a live video on Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Facebook page, on the local news station Comcast TV6 and on the city’s website. It also will be posted on

Steamboat City Manager Gary Suiter said the discussion is a way to answer commonly held questions regarding the dangers of and responses to COVID-19, a respiratory illness that has killed thousands of people across the world. 

Among the most prevalent concerns are questions about who should be tested for the virus, what to do if people think they have been exposed and the capacity of local health care centers to treat patients.

For many in Routt County, these concerns heightened after public health officials announced that seven visitors to the area tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 after returning to their native Australia.  

“We are getting a lot of questions,” Suiter said, adding that, in many cases, no clear answers have emerged about how to most effectively deal with the pandemic.  

At the city level, Suiter has been working with staff to ensure people have the capacity to work safely from home. In cases where it is necessary for staff to work in city buildings, people are maintaining the recommended 6 feet of distance from one another to limit social contact. 

If you go

What: Virtual panel discussion on the coronavirus
When: 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 20
Tune in: On Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Facebook page, Steamboat TV 6 on Comcast and on the city’s website

Suiter wants to organize more panel discussions next week, covering topics such as what schools and businesses are doing amid the pandemic and how to maintain mental health during social isolation periods.

“I would just like to keep these going while we work through this crisis,” Suiter said.

In a news release, Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan emphasized the importance of public discussion and government transparency.

“We’re all in this together and by sharing as much information as possible, we’ll all be in a better place to make decisions moving forward,” Corrigan said in the news release.

Despite the uncertainty that surrounds the pandemic, Steamboat Springs City Council President Jason Lacy urged the public to remain optimistic and to remember that this is a temporary situation.

“This is going to be tough for a certain period of time, but we are going to get through this. Steamboat always does,” Lacy said.

People can send questions for the panel to Schlichtman at or to the city at

To reach Derek Maiolo, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @derek_maiolo.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User