Eagle County health officials on Saturday confirmed a man in his 60s has died of the novel coronavirus, the fifth in Colorado since the global outbreak arrived in the state this month.
The man, who had underlying health conditions, died in a Denver hospital, Eagle County health officials said in a news release.
“It is with a heavy heart that we are confirming the loss of one of our community members from COVID-19. We are extremely saddened by the news and extend our deepest condolences to the family,” Heath Harmon, Director of Eagle County Public Health and Environment said in the news release. “The news of this loss in our community serves as a solemn reminder that COVID-19 can pose greater risks to some members of our community, in particular older adults and people with pre-existing health conditions. We must all take steps to protect our families, ourselves, our friends, and our community.”
Vail Daily identified the man as Rod Powell, who delighted apres-ski crowds for decades in Vail with his musical talents.
“Rod Powell was a legend in Vail and brought joy to so many over his tenure as Vail’s #1 Entertainer,” Shannon Tanner, his longtime friend and fellow musician said in a mass email reviewed by the paper.
Powell, a staple at watering holes around Vail, was the first to welcome Tanner as a “kid entertainer” from South Carolina, Vail Daily reported.
“I learned much from Rod Powell … his friendship I treasured. There is a Hole in the World today,” Tanner said.
His death follows four others in the state who have died of COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory illness caused by the virus, including two people on Thursday.
Colorado health officials confirmed 86 more cases of the novel coronavirus Friday, bringing to 363 the total number of positive cases in the state — a number that officials have acknowledged is still far below the actual number of infected patients.
Forty-four people remain hospitalized.
Eagle County is the epicenter of Colorado’s COVID-19 crisis, with more confirmed cases (61) than any county outside Denver. It also has the highest rate of infection per 100,000 people of any Colorado county.