Aspen woman with COVID-19 recovering at home |

Aspen woman with COVID-19 recovering at home

A health care provider prepares to label a vial at the coronavirus testing location located at the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department’s Aspen Village Location on Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

An Aspen woman who learned she tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday is recuperating at home and is starting to feel better after almost a week of experiencing symptoms.

The 56-year-old got swabbed Wednesday at the Aspen Village fire stationtesting location. She was notified by a Pitkin County public health official in a phone call Saturday, her husband said Sunday afternoon.

“She was upset,” he said. “Of all the people who got tested, she came back positive.”

She wasn’t feeling well enough Sunday afternoon to talk directly with The Aspen Times, so her husband explained their experience on her behalf.

The patient, who asked to remain anonymous to maintain her privacy, began experiencing fatigue, a fever and cough, back aches and a headache March 8.

She is the first local person to test positive for COVID-19 outside of the 10 Australians who tested positive earlier this month.

They are in self-isolation and will be tested again this week to see if they are free from the disease and allowed to leave.

The local woman went to Aspen Valley Hospital on Sunday, after experiencing what her husband described as a weight on her chest.

AVH health care officials, who were wearing protective gear, had her enter the hospital through a back entrance to keep her apart from other workers and patients.

X-ray and oxygen tests were normal and she is starting to feel better, her husband said.

He, along with one of their children, are in quarantine at their Aspen home.

“We’re riding it out,” he said. “Everything is progressing the way we want it to.”

The husband said he experienced symptoms last week, mostly upper back aches, but they’ve subsided.

“We’ve probably already got it,” he said.

The couple thinks that she might have picked up the disease while dining with a 34-year-old woman at a local restaurant March 4 when they shared a dessert.

That woman, who is now in Oregon, came down with flu symptoms after that dinner. The husband said she tried to get tested in Oregon but was denied.

The local patient did travel to Atlanta on March 1, her husband said. They’ll be in quarantine and isolation until at least March 21.

They’ll need to take two consecutive tests 24 hours apart that show they are free from the new coronavirus before they will be allowed to go back into the community.

Meanwhile, they’ll stay inside watching TV and keep communicating with the county’s public health officials.

“Pitkin County has been on top of it from our perspective,” the husband said. “We are watching Netflix and ‘Our Planet.’”

Pitkin County Public Health Director Karen Koenemann said last week that protecting people’s privacy is paramount as more local cases occur.

“Eventually as we see community spread we need to be thoughtful and compassionate. … The people who are testing positive are people that are visitors of our community or they could be our neighbors, friends and family,” she said.

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