COVID-19 variants detected in Pitkin County |

COVID-19 variants detected in Pitkin County

Masked pedestrians walk through the walking mall on Hyman Ave. in Aspen on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Four cases of COVID-19 variants have been confirmed in Pitkin County, an official said Tuesday.

The confirmations include three cases of the U.K. variant and one of the California variant, according to local epidemiological data.

“What’s concerning about these is that evidence shows these are more contagious,” said Jon Peacock, Pitkin County manager, though he noted that the variants are not more deadly or less susceptible to vaccines.

Disease experts expect the more contagious variants to eventually become the dominant strains in the United States, he said.

Pitkin County has confirmed 54 total positive cases of COVID-19 in the past seven days, which translates to a positivity rate of 4.4%, according to the local data. The number of cases means the county remains solidly within Yellow-level restrictions, while the positivity rate lands Pitkin County within Blue-level metrics.

The state of Colorado on Monday tweaked last call for alcohol rules, which now allow counties in Yellow to serve booze until 1 a.m. and those in Blue to serve until 2 a.m., according to a state news release. Counties in Orange can serve alcohol until midnight, while those in Red must stop serving at 10 p.m.

Vaccinations in Pitkin County this week will slow to a much smaller rate than in past weeks, Peacock said Tuesday. The county only received approximately 93 first doses of vaccine and 207 second doses this week.

Community Health Services received another 100 doses for non-English-speaking populations that may have encountered barriers to receiving the vaccine, he said.

The county administered 140 first doses and 1,277 second doses during Friday’s vaccination clinic at the Benedict Music Tent parking lot, and other 1,500 doses of the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Sunday, Peacock said.


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