Aspen man, 94, is Pitkin County resident who died of COVID-19, officials confirm |

Aspen man, 94, is Pitkin County resident who died of COVID-19, officials confirm

Jason Auslander
Aspen Times
Post Independent News Update graphic

The first death of a Pitkin County resident because of the COVID-19 outbreak has been confirmed, the county coroner said Thursday.

The 94-year-old Aspen man with underlying medical issues died at his home in town Tuesday, according to a news release from Pitkin County Coroner Steve Ayers.

“He had been suffering from COVID-like symptoms, but had not been diagnosed prior to his death,” the release states. “Confirmation of the infection was received early Thursday by the Pitkin County coroner.” 

The man, who was not identified, had been ill for three days. His cause of death was complications from COVID-19 and the manner of death was natural, the release states.

Nineteen deaths in Colorado have so far been attributed to COVID-19, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment database. The Aspen man’s death was included in that total, said Bill Linn, spokesman for the Roaring Fork Valley team managing the local virus response.

At the beginning of a virtual Pitkin County community meeting about the coronavirus, Commissioner Kelly McNicholas Kury said, “we’ve learned today that Pitkin County has suffered our first death in our community as a result the COVID-19 virus.”

She added that the county’s “deepest sympathies” go out to the man’s friends and family.

“This news reinforces that how we need to take risks to our community seriously so we can minimize these times of loss and grief,” she said.

According to the CDPHE as of 4 p.m. Wednesday there were 1,086 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state in 36 counties from 8,064 people who have been tested. In Pitkin County 21 people had tested positive for COVID-19, as of Wednesday’s updated numbers from the CDPHE. 

Aspen Valley Hospital had two patients Thursday with confirmed cases of COVID-19, one of whom was critical, CEO Dave Ressler said.

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