As a result of rising numbers of infections, Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) warns that Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties are each at risk of moving to a more restrictive level in Colorado’s COVID-19 Dial, which could include reduced capacity for businesses, houses of worship, and community gatherings, and earlier last-call times for bars and restaurants. Colorado’s dial framework has five levels to guide county responses to COVID-19.
TCHD and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are working with each county: Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties, on individual community-based mitigation plans to help reduce the number of COVID-19 cases so that the counties do not move to a more restrictive level in the state’s COVID-19 dial.
“We all need to step up our prevention measures to reduce transmission and keep our counties open, said John M. Douglas, Jr. MD, Executive Director of TCHD. “That means, we need to limit the number of activities we participate in. “You’re more likely to get COVID-19 from someone you know and spend time with than a stranger.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) monitors case incidence rates, test positivity rates, and trends in hospitalizations to determine if a county moves toward more restrictive or less restrictive levels in the COVID-19 Dial, and if they still qualify for variances for public and private events.
Over the past two weeks (9/24-10/7):
“TCHD’s case investigation and contact tracing follow up show that a large number of the positive cases may be connected to both public and private social gatherings,” states John M. Douglas, Jr. MD, Executive Director of TCHD. “To reduce the spread of infection, when gathering – whether it is indoors or outside, or at a private party or public event – everyone should be sure to wear face coverings, maintain at least six feet of social distancing from others outside of their household, and wash their hands frequently.” For information on how to gather safely and minimize your risk see TCHD’s small gathering guidance.
Prevention measures are especially crucial now that the weather is cooling and more gatherings and restaurant seating will be indoors where transmission can occur more readily than outdoors. In addition to use of masks, social distancing, and handwashing, key prevention steps include staying home when sick, getting tested if COVID symptoms occur, and cooperating with public health staff in the event of a positive test or exposure to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID. We know that many of our residents have “COVID fatigue,” but our community needs to come together to improve our transmission prevention efforts to help slow the spread and lower the numbers of COVID-19 cases so that we can continue going to work, to school and to worship, especially before we head into the holiday season. TCHD also urges everyone to get a flu shot as an extra precaution to stay healthy.
For more information visit www.tchd/covid