By Jeff Todd

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A multi-jurisdiction effort is underway in the Roaring Fork Valley to contain a small outbreak of COVID-19. Four friends, who work together at a grocery store in El Jebel, are now under self-quarantine after testing positive for the virus.

(credit: CBS)

“There has been an outbreak. recently in the mid-valley,” Pitkin County Commissioner Greg Poschman said during a virtual community meeting on Thursday. “If you’ve had any risk of being exposed related to the mid-valley cases, you’ll be contacted by one of our contact tracers.”

One official said the strategy is to box-in the potential contamination. Eagle County Commissioner Jeanne McQueeney said those who have contracted the virus have been very helpful in giving information to contact tracers.

“We are extremely grateful for the fact that all of our COVID cases, all of those individuals are responding and providing us with that necessary information,” Eagle County Public Health Director Heath Harmon said.

Thursday, Eagle County asked the state for another variance, known as Black Diamond. It would be the least restrictive in the state and allow large gatherings of 250 people, restaurants to operate at capacity, and no limits around outdoor spaces like pools.

(credit: CBS)

“There is the increased risk of spread. It’s not necessarily to stop the spread entirely, it’s really to contain and suppress it,” Harmon said. “Our focus is and will continue to be, ensuring that we have the capacity each time we take one of these incremental steps. It does create more challenges in terms of spread but our capacity is really strong in Eagle County.”

New daily cases in Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield county have been in the single digits for more than a month according to online data. Officials say there’s no need for shoppers at the store to be concerned after several deep cleanings. The employees haven’t been at work since before June 2. Anyone symptomatic is urged to contact their healthcare provider to get tested. Other testing sites for the area can be found here.

“It’s easy for us to become complacent about (COVID-19),” Poschman said. “We’d like to get back to our normal lives, but now is not the time to let up on the practices we’ve had here. It drives the point home we’re not out of the woods yet.”

Jeff Todd

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