“This use, combined with new patterns of social distancing, has translated into visible impacts and degradation on the land,” according to OST director Tennenbaum.
The number of COVID-19 tests given in Pitkin County more than tripled — from an average of 34 tests per day on Nov. 1 to 111 tests per day on Dec. 1, and then kept increasing. But on Jan. 21, the state announced that Curative tests could not be used for asymptomatic testing.
“We not only do have to keep them because there was nowhere to go with them, and then all of a sudden we find ourselves in the middle of a drought. We basically got to the point where we had to get rid of them, whatever price was being offered.”
Pitkin County began tracking nonresidents who tested positive here in mid-July, after numerous inquiries on the topic from news media and community groups; Aspen Journalism on July 13 filed a Colorado Open Records Act request for data on nonresident COVID-19 cases.
The number of enforcement contacts — in which rangers had to remind people of the rules through a simple conversation, a warning or a ticket — exploded in the spring, especially in May.