DiSalvo

Joe DiSalvo has served as Pitkin County’s sheriff since early 2011. He is self quarantining after his wife began presenting COVID-19 symptoms.

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo is self-quarantining after his wife began presenting COVID-19 symptoms, he said Wednesday.

“Me not being at work kind of doesn’t feel good,” he said. “I’m bummed because I really want to be at work at this time. I don’t think I’m going to miss a single meeting. I’m symptom-free; I feel fine.”

DiSalvo said that his wife met with her physician after feeling shortness of breath along with other symptoms affiliated with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. After testing negative for several alternative possible afflictions, the couple is treating the situation as though she is a presumptive positive COVID-19 case.

“We’re not taking the test because it’s not available, and I don’t know if it would do much good. If it takes 10 days [to get results back], we’re already over the hump,” DiSalvo said. “The shortness of breath seems to have subsided, but they say it starts off slow, then gets worse, then gets better.”

As far as implications to their personal lives, DiSalvo said that, other than being quarantined from work, not much has changed, given the county’s stay-at-home order.

“We’re not doing anything different than anyone else — but I’m getting my groceries delivered!” he said. 

DiSalvo isn’t the only county official being directly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. During a regular Board of County Commissioners meeting Wednesday afternoon, Commissioner Steve Child — who joined the meeting remotely — said he was “showing symptoms” and that he may have contacted coronavirus on a recent trip. 

Child did not elaborate further, except to point the community to the recently launched Pitkin County symptom tracker, available on the county website, where members of the public can self-report symptoms.

As of Wednesday morning, 30 users had accessed the tracker, said Bill Linn, Aspen Assistant Police Chief and Incident Management Team spokesperson. 

“Once we get a decent sampling in there, we’ll share that information,” he said of the data collection effort.

Linn went on to explain that everyone who has access to the incident command post undergoes strict protocols to ensure, as much as possible, that the area is sterilized. 

“That’s one of the things we’re super concerned about,” he said, noting DiSalvo’s quarantine. “We don’t want our emergency responders and the folks at the command post to get infected. If the virus were to get in here, that would be horrible.”

The “please” on the “please wash your hands” sign has been crossed out, he said.

“Every desk and table around, there are Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer and disinfectant. Most people here would show up with blood-alcohol content, based on the number of times they have to wash their hands around here with hand sanitizer.”

Watch The Daily Update interview with Sheriff Joe DiSalvo: VIDEO

Megan Tackett is a reporter for the Aspen Daily News. She can be reached at megan@aspendailynews.com or on Twitter @MeganTackett10.