Steamboat visitor with COVID-19 flown to Front Range |

Steamboat visitor with COVID-19 flown to Front Range

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A man visiting Steamboat Springs from out of state was flown to the Front Range on Sunday for hospitalization and is being described as a “probable” COVID-19 case, according to the Routt County Public Health Department.

The man is in his 20s, and health officials said he likely contracted the virus before he arrived in Steamboat. He was tested at a private clinic on Wednesday, May 27, and that facility is still awaiting the test results, according to Routt County Public Health Director Kari Ladrow.

“His clinical case and other testing was highly suggestive of COVID-19 infection,” she said. “He was flown to a Front Range tertiary care hospital on Sunday, because of his respiratory status and probable COVID-19 infection.”

The man arrived in Steamboat on Monday, Ladrow said, and the people he was in close contact with have been tested and issued quarantine orders.

“Medical professionals have concluded this as a probable case and what we know from contact tracing is this individual likely contracted the virus prior to arrival in Routt County,” Ladrow said in a news release.

In terms of the man’s activities while in town, Ladrow said he visited some local businesses but spent a considerable portion of his time recreating outside of town.

Throughout the contact tracing process, the exact locations have not been provided as per state and federal guidelines, privacy protections and because health officials maintain that it is the close human contacts that hold greater significance than physical locations.

Because the man does not live in Routt County, this case will not be added to the county’s total COVID-19 cases, which is currently at 62.

“Most importantly, it is hoped this young person recovers quickly and well,” Ladrow said. “Secondly, it serves as yet another reminder that while we would all like to return to our normal lives, the virus is amongst us, and it is not time to let our guard down on our five commitments, particularly as we begin welcoming visitors back into our community.” 

There is currently one active case listed in Routt County — a man in his 90s who is a resident at Casey’s Pond senior living complex in Steamboat. He was tested on May 27 and did not have any symptoms. He continues to recover in isolation.

According to new models and analysis of data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 50% of COVID-19 hospitalizations are among people 60 and younger, but nine out of 10 deaths in Colorado occurred in adults 60 and older. Hospitalizations in Colorado are continuing to decline, but the rate of decline is slowing.

According to the state’s recent modeling report, “high levels of social distancing (60-65%) will be needed, along with mask wearing and increases in case detection and isolation, in order to avoid exceeding hospital capacity. At low levels of social distancing (45%), we risk exceeding hospital capacity by this summer.”

Those models also predict the epidemic curves under all scenarios rising around mid-August, and the next peak to be larger than the April peak.

Based on the new data, the state’s three key actions are for people to get tested, wear a face mask and continue practice social distancing, especially for those at highest risk.

To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.

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.