Vail mayor says he's doing well as he recovers from coronavirus, talks about impact on town

Mayor Dave Chapin remains in isolation
Posted at 6:02 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 20:45:58-04

VAIL, Colo. — The mayor of Vail is recovering from coronavirus and opening up about his experience.

"For me, it was chills, a fever, very unique body aches and pains. Those were the things that really stood out to me," said Vail Mayor Dave Chapin.

Mayor Chapin talked to Denver7 over the internet while he remains in isolation at his home. He said he started to feel sick a little more than a week ago and knew that something wasn't right.

A family member encouraged him to get tested, and the results showed he was positive for COVID-19. He doesn't know where or how he contracted it.

"I'm doing very well. As we know, many others are not as fortunate at this point, but I'm doing well. I'm well on the road to recovery," said Chapin.

In a letter posted to the city's website on March 20, Chapin said he decided to go public with the diagnosis to convey the importance of listening to advice from public health officials. He also shared that he was taking the diagnosis very seriously due to an underlying health issue.

"It was certainly shocking news do not get me wrong, but again calm, clam stay rational, that's what we really need right now," said Chapin.

Colorado's mountain communities are among some of the hardest-hit areas in the state, and healthcare can be a challenge. The President and CEO of Vail Health issued a strong warning last week, stating, "We need to take this seriously now."

The letter went on to say the hospital's 56-bed facility could be overflowing in a matter of weeks, and they will not have enough respirators to keep people alive.

"Our healthcare professionals that are putting themselves at risk with this are I don't even know what to say, they're heroes, the things they're doing, how they're exposing themselves to this to make sure that others get adequate care and that includes our first responders," said Chapin.

Chapin also acknowledged the impact on Vail's business community. March is usually one of the busiest months for many restaurants as spring break tourists flock to the ski area.

"Many of the communities like mine here, we rely on sales tax for major portions of our revenue," said Chapin.

As Mayor Chapin continues to rest at home, he is optimistic about his recovery and his town's resilience.

"It's going to take a while, but we're going to persevere," said Chapin. "I know we can bounce back."