Eagle County reports new coronavirus case Monday

Warning signs greet visitors to Castle Peak Senior Life and Rehabilitation in Eagle. The signs, which mirror notices at health centers around the county, ask visitors not to enter the building if they have traveled outside the state or country or if they are exhibiting respiratory illness symptoms.
Pam Boyd/

EAGLE — Eagle County Public Health and Environment reported a second presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in the county on Monday as precautions continued to tighten around the valley.

The second Eagle County case of coronavirus is a local woman in her 70s with who recently traveled within the United States. She was listed Monday as one of four new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Colorado.

After the state reported a new positive case early Monday morning, it said it conducted 21 COVID-19 tests between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., leading to two more positives — which includes the Eagle County patient. One more positive case was reported later Monday night.

The Eagle County patient had mild symptoms, was not hospitalized and is recovering in isolation. The patient is working with public health officials in the ongoing investigation to identify people who may have had close contact with her. The case is presumptive positive, which means test results haven’t yet been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vail Health taking precautions

At Vail Health, a coronavirus screening process was established on March 6. According to Sally Welsh, Vail Health’s director of public relations, all patients and visitors to Vail Health campuses are being verbally screened for respiratory illness and travel history by a trained staff member prior to entering the facilities for any reason.

“Anyone who has respiratory symptoms and is not seeking care in the emergency department will be asked to return to their place of residence and call their health care provider or Eagle County Public Health,” Welsh said. “Patients with respiratory symptoms or fever who are requesting emergency care in Vail will be provided a mask and will be directed through the emergency department entrance.”

Anyone who needs further screening and potential testing will be redirected to a designated temporary facility located in the hospital parking lot.

Amanda Veit, chief operations officer of Vail Health, said proactively protecting health care staff and patients against COVID-19 is a top priority, as the virus continues to spread across the United States.

“We want our staff to remain healthy, and we want to maintain our ability to offer health care and emergency services to the public,” Veit said. “This is a precautionary measure to help monitor traffic through our facilities, and we thank the public for their understanding, flexibility and patience.” Vail Health also has partnered with primary care providers throughout the Eagle River Valley to offer screening and testing services by appointment at Gypsum Urgent Care.

The Gypsum location is designated for screenings and is not offering urgent care services. Patients needing urgent care for minor illnesses or injuries should go to the Colorado Mountain Medical clinic in Eagle at 377 Sylvan Lake Road, which can be reached by calling 970-926-6340. Colorado Mountain Medical in Eagle will be accepting walk-in and same-day appointments for urgent care services.

The Gypsum screening center is available by appointment only, and patients must book through a primary care physician.

More cases in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s state lab identified the four new presumptive positive cases Monday.

The second presumptive positive is a Denver County woman in her 30s with no known contact with an infected person and recent travel within the United States.

Additionally, there was one case that resulted in two separate indeterminate results; this means that the test did not provide conclusive results. Per Centers for Disease Control guidelines, CDPHE must send that test to the CDC for additional testing. Out of an abundance of caution, CDPHE will treat that individual as a positive case until they receive conclusive results.

The indeterminate case is a female in her 70s in Denver County who has no known contact with an infected person but does have a recent history of travel in the United States.

These cases are in addition to one presumptive positive case announced Monday morning and one announced Monday night, for a total of four new presumptive positive cases on Monday and one indeterminate case being treated as positive until CDC can confirm results.

Aspen officials waiting on test results

Thirteen people traveling with a 21-year-old Australian woman who tested positive for the coronavirus after visiting Aspen are in isolation there after exhibiting symptoms, officials said Monday.

An investigation by the CDPHE revealed the woman came into contact with at least 18 people, though five are not symptomatic and haven’t been tested, said Karen Koenemann, Pitkin County public health director.

All are Australians who traveled together to Aspen, she said. They are being cooperative and have canceled their future travel plans and will remain in Aspen in self-isolation for 14 days, she said.

The woman who tested positive in Australia “is doing much better,” Koenemann said.

Pitkin County public health officials gathered swab samples Monday afternoon from the 13 symptomatic people and sent them by courier to the state health department in Denver, Koenemann said. It will take 24 hours to find out results from those tests, she said.

The Aspen Times’ Jason Auslander contributed reporting.

More Like This, Tap A Topic

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’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.