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Pitkin County’s COVID cases declining faster than officials predicted

Local incident rate still high but “we didn’t expect it to drop so quickly.”

PITKIN COUNTY, Colo. — Pitkin County’s incidence rate of COVID-19 has dropped so dramatically in the past 11 days that it could reach levels that allow indoor restaurant dining by next week, officials said Tuesday.

The incidence rate per 100,000 residents was hovering around 3,000 for a significant part of January until the Pitkin County Board of Health shut down indoor dining Jan. 17 and moved the county fully into Red level restrictions. But as of Tuesday, that rate had dropped to 1,312, signifying a large decline in positive cases.

“We’re on pace to be below 700 in early February and I don’t think any of us thought that would happen so quickly,” Josh Vance, the county’s epidemiologist, said Tuesday. “I’ll be honest – I think not having indoor dining plays a role.”

Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock echoed that news Tuesday during his weekly COVID-19 update to county commissioners, though he added a note of caution.

“Even with the huge improvement, Pitkin County still has the second-highest incidence rate in the state,” he said. “But it is headed in the right direction. If we continue with these trends and don’t see a tick up, we could hit the 700 threshold in the first week of February.”

Read the full article at Aspen Times

>>Watch video above: Pitkin County leaders don't think COVID-19 surge is coming from skiing