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Two people who live outside of Chaffee County tested positive for COVID-19 at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (HRRMC) this week.

Chaffee County Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom said that investigations are underway.

Any Chaffee County resident who has come into close contact with these cases will be contacted by telephone, presumably to encourage them to be watchful for symptoms and to contact medical professionals if that occurs.

Allison Gergley, Marketing and Public Relations director at HRRMC told Ark Valley Voice that neither of the nonresidents were hospitalized, and didn’t remain in Chaffee County after being tested.

Neither person, she said, came in contact with anyone in the community, beyond the hospital employees who tested them, who were wearing proper Personal Protective Equipment, so the risk of exposure is low.

As of Thursday morning, the hospital is running at 40 percent capacity, or 10 inpatients.

Because Chaffee County is a popular destination, Carlstrom said “It is vital that we all, residents and tourists, prioritize health and safety.”

She reminded residents and visitors alike of the precautions that should be observed:

  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distance
  • Wash hands often
  • Wear a cloth face coverings in public
  • Stay home when sick
  • Get tested if you have symptoms

The latest COVID-19 totals from CCPH:

Positive Cases (includes probable): 76

Deaths among cases (includes probable): 19

Deaths due to COVID-19: 14

The Public Health Department and HRRMC sponsor free testing clinics every Tuesday.

On June 23, 32 people were tested. All results are expected by Saturday. Testing is by appointment only. Appointments must be scheduled by close of business the Monday before the testing clinic will be held.

Criteria for testing includes:

  • Any community member (or others who consider Chaffee County their medical home) who is showing symptoms.
  • Any asymptomatic patient who has a known contact with a positive case or has traveled in an area with high rates of transmission.
  • All healthcare workers, first responders, senior care facility workers, and essential workers who directly interact with the public while working, whether or not those individuals have symptoms or not.

Those interested in testing, can call Public Health at 719-539-4510 to be screened and scheduled for testing. Those with severe respiratory symptoms should contact their primary care provider directly.