MEDIA CONTACT: Phylis Mattice - Deputy County Manager - 970-319-2383
Information the community needs to stay current on the COVID-19 response and recovery in Pitkin County is now available on a new, more user-friendly website. The new website has evolved from the ongoing demand for easy-to-find local public health order information, data, and statistics. The site also includes guidance for the community on how to best embrace virus containment protocol, easy access to economic relief and mental health resources, and guidance for the business community as retailers, restaurants, and lodges gradually reopen.
“One of the biggest changes you’ll see on the new website is the automated data dashboard,” said Deputy Pitkin County Manager Phylis Mattice who has stepped into a liaison role between the Public Health Department and the greater Pitkin County Community. “Everyone from parents to public safety officials want to see data on confirmed COVID cases and testing statistics locally and statewide. The dashboard gives us a real-time snapshot of how our community is doing in flattening the curve of the virus,” Mattice said.
Anyone who has been following the data around the testing numbers will see a change in how Pitkin County Public Health is recording its numbers on the new dashboard to align with the State report. The reason Pitkin County numbers were not aligning before is because CDPHE was not including all serological test results in their report. CDPHE was only including a subset of these antibody tests- the IgM data. Immunoglobulin M (IgM): Found mainly in blood and lymph fluid, this is the first antibody the body makes when it fights a new infection. Pitkin County has been including all serological results in its case reports (IgG). Immunoglobulin G (IgG): This is the most common antibody. It’s in blood and other body fluids, and protects against bacterial and viral infections. IgG can take time to form after an infection.
Bringing this report into alignment with the State will show a decrease in case numbers.
The State has also indicated it would remove the 10 international travelers from the initial cluster of positive cases that were reported on March 8. Pitkin County Public Health has already done so and not including international cases is typically how results are reported; cases are reported by their home county, or in this case, country. This ensures that cases are not double-counted across the globe.
We will continue to provide updates as we address these differences and please recognize the Pitkin County numbers may be different from the State for the following reasons: reporting timing, changes made to reporting, and as new test types come online decisions will be made on how Pitkin County Public Health’s testing team will report that data.
Other information on the dashboard includes weekly local airline passenger volumes and Castle Creek Bridge traffic counts that help shine a light on the volume of visitors and traffic coming and going from Aspen and surrounding areas. The site also includes communications resources for local businesses to use to help share a consistent community COVID-19 message to visitors as they come and go from the community.
“It’s an ongoing work in progress,” said Mattice. “We have been racing for the past two months since the shutdown was ordered to provide the best information we could in a very quickly changing environment. We’re adding new information to the site daily and we’re open to suggestions for what the community wants to see there,” Mattice said.
The new website address is unchanged from the previous rendition. The URL remains www.pitkincounty.com/COVID.