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Coronavirus in Eagle County FAQ: Answers to your COVID-19 questions

COVID-19 in Eagle County

How many confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 are in Eagle County?

326 as of April 1, according to Vail Health.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Read more about symptoms and how to protect yourself here.

Who should get tested for COVID-19?

“With limited testing resources, Eagle County is prioritizing testing for high-risk patients only,” said Rebecca Larson, Eagle County Disease Prevention and Control manager.

“High-risk” means those with the greatest risk for severe disease, complications and death.

Anyone else experiencing mild symptoms is instructed to fill out a symptoms report form. Read more here.

How long will the pandemic last?

“I would expect the virus is going to be with us for months. It may slow down in the summer because people tend to congregate less indoors, and just with the warmer weather. We could see it pick up again in the fall, but we’re just not sure. You had asked, what we learned from other states. What Washington recommended to us early was putting measures in place early to protect the most vulnerable populations. We are issuing public health orders that really restricts visitors to long-term care facilities and screens people before they go in those facilities,” — Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

What does it mean to flatten the curve?

In a scenario where a lot of people get sick over a short period of time, the estimated 15% of cases that require hospitalization are likely to overwhelm public health resources, including hospitals, which has happened in Italy. If the same number of people get sick over a longer period of time, hospitals are better equipped to meet the demand.

“If you have a large number of people infected at a time, you have, of course, more social disruption but you also just have a complete overwhelming of the health care system. So, it’s why we’re trying to slow down the spread. Everybody’s susceptible since there is no immunities. It’s the first time that our bodies have come in contact with this virus. The way to slow down the spread or flatten the curve is, over time, we want less people infected and we want to draw out the epidemic so that the health care system can really absorb patients that need medical care from COVID-19 and yet still be able to treat regular clientele that still need medical care and not overwhelm the system. That’s why the preventative measures. Slow the spread and help flatten the epidemic curve while this virus just quite frankly runs through the population worldwide. — Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Learn more: How COVID-19 spreads

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

People who have COVID-19 symptoms should be in isolation, whether at home or at the hospital, in order to prevent spreading the disease to others. Quarantine is for people who’ve had close contact with positive cases of COVID-19 but do not have symptoms. Putting people in self-quarantine is a cautionary measure to help keep the disease from spreading if those people do become infected.

Learn more: Quarantine and isolation

What is contact tracing?

When a person tests positive for COVID-19, local health officials interview that person to find out where they’ve been and with whom they’ve had contact. Anyone who has had close contact in a confined space for more than 10 minutes with someone who tests positive will be contacted by county public health officials and likely asked to self-quarantine. The public health risk to anyone else is considered low.

Learn more: What is contact tracing and why is it important?

What is the death rate of COVID-19 compared with other coronavirus and recent pandemics?

  • MERS (2012): 34% death rate, more than 858 deaths
  • SARS (2003): 10% death rate, 774 deaths
  • COVID-19 pandemic (2019): 0.25% to 3.0% death rate, about 8,000 deaths so far
  • H1N1 flu pandemic (swine flu, 2009): 0.02% death rate, 151,000-575,000 deaths

Eagle County life during a pandemic

Is uphill access still available at Vail and Beaver Creek?

Yes, John LaConte took his splitboard up Vail on Tuesday, March 17.

Uphill users have become a common sight at the resorts in the days following the closure, and Vail is reminding users that they’re accessing the runs at their own risk.

“There is no patrol, no maintenance for recreational use, and no services,” wrote John Plack with Vail. “All access is at your own risk. … Unmarked hazards may be encountered at any time, including construction, heavy machinery, man-made objects, variable conditions, avalanches and other hazards.”

For uphill access information, call 970-754-3049 for Vail or 970-754-5907 for Beaver Creek.

What local businesses can I support?

Our service industry is among the most impacted by this pandemic. Many local restaurants are offering take-out and delivery to support their businesses throughout this time. Click here for an updated list of local restaurant hours, take-out and delivery options.

What activities are being cancelled?

View an updated list of all area cancellations by clicking here.

What are some options for entertainment and recreation?

Our Entertainment section is dedicated to sharing things you can do with your family in the comfort of your own home or outdoors during this time.

How to help

How can I help elderly people?

The Eagle County Healthy Aging Program is collecting information from people who are interested in assisting older residents during the coronavirus outbreak. To volunteer, send an email to healthyaging@eaglecounty.us and include your name, phone number and email address. Read more here.

How can I help people who need food?

As long as the buildings are closed, the school district is handing out free lunches from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Battle Mountain High School in Edwards and Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum. Read more here.

How can I help people who need money?

Workers who were laid off can file for unemployment assistance. Vail Daily will keep you updated on any financial relief made available statewide or nationally.

If you would like to submit a question, please use the comments below or email letters@vaildaily.com.


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