Pitkin County man dies after contracting coronavirus
94-year-old is county’s fourth COVID-related death since pandemic started
A 94-year-old Pitkin County man has died after contracting the coronavirus, county and hospital officials confirmed Friday.
The man, who has not been identified, died as a result of severe acute hypoxic respiratory failure due to COVID-19 pneumonia with several other secondary diagnoses, according to a report from county epidemiologist Josh Vance.
The man died Dec. 26, according to the report, and he is the fourth Pitkin County resident whose death is considered associated with COVID-19. How the man contracted the virus has not been released.
Aspen Valley Hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Slaughter said in an email Friday evening that the 94-year-old male was hospitalized “over the Christmas holiday, put on comfort measures, and died in the hospital from complications related to COVID-19.”
Another man who died in mid-December while in hospice care was found to have the coronavirus, but it was the secondary diagnosis and not the main cause of death, two county officials said Friday.
Because the deaths were considered attended deaths, the Coroner’s Office is investigating and not responsible for releasing their names, Coroner Steve Ayers said.
The first two Pitkin County deaths due to the coronavirus occurred in March and were a 94-year-old man and a 55-year-old man.
As of Friday, the county has had 1,051 confirmed coronavirus cases since March 1, according to the Pitkin County dashboard.
In May, the state updated the way it reports the death totals during the pandemic and categorizes them as deaths among COVID-19 cases and deaths due to COVID-19. As of Friday, the state has had 3,907 deaths due to COVID-19 and 4,873 deaths among coronavirus cases.
Pitkin County has implement harsher restrictions, including some Red level guidelines, but remains in the Orange level by state data. Pitkin County Board of Health voted on Dec. 21 to go to a self-imposed Orange-plus-plus status. The county’s next Board of Health meeting is scheduled for Thursday.
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