Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Chaffee County, Chaffee County Public Health has been required to submit a mitigation plan to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
This plan must demonstrate actions being taken to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The original mitigation plan, which includes building greater capacity for testing, tracing, education and outreach, was submitted on 11/3/20. CDPHE requested a follow-up meeting with CCPH to review the plan and make further recommendations which took place on 11/10/20. At that time, it was suggested that Chaffee County implement further strategies to curb the spread of the virus, including adopting several levers found in the “orange” level of Safer at Home, the most restrictive level of Safer at Home. For more information on the statewide COVID-19 dashboard and dial, go to: https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/covid-19-dial/covid-19-dial-dashboard.
Effective Monday, November 16th, the following will go into effect until further notice:
· Indoor places of worship are 25% capacity or 50 whichever is less, virtual strongly recommended.
· Only necessary events can take place until further notice following the 25% or 25 person cap using the distancing calculator if standing or 6ft distancing between parties if seated for indoors AND 25% or 50 person cap using the distancing calculator if standing or 6 ft distancing for seated for outdoors. In-person events are highly discouraged at this time.
· Non-school related group sports and activities are limited to virtual or outdoors in groups less than 10 with no close contact if there is not a specific sector guidance available. An exemption would be if a group already has a CCPH supported plan in place.
· Personal gathering size is limited to 10 with no more than 2 households indoors or outdoors.
· Group sizes seated together at restaurants or at start/finish areas for sporting events should exceed no more than 6.
· Encouraging remote work and staggered shifts for all business sectors to reduce number of people working together in-person.
· Except for critical business or critical operations of the county, voluntary 14 day self-quarantine is strongly recommended when unnecessary out of county travel or participation in a risky activity (lack of distancing and mask wearing) occurs- before and after.
· All residents who have engaged in activities that pose risk should seek out testing, especially if becoming symptomatic with any COVID-19 symptom.
An amended local public health order will go into effect on Monday to reflect the new mitigation strategy.
“While we were quite successful over the summer and early fall in reducing the spread of COVID-19, it is clear that additional measures must be implemented in order to get ahead of what is looking like a very challenging winter. We are working with CDPHE to implement the strategies that will have the least impact on the local economy and education while discouraging social gatherings and events that bring people physically close together. While other counties are being required to move entirely to a more restrictive level, we are doing everything we can to avoid or at least slow this transition for Chaffee County. My plea to our entire county is to please wear a mask (even if you have been skeptical in the past), distance yourselves from others beyond household members, avoid in-person gatherings whenever possible, rethink travel plans, and take care of one another. The greater restrictions are not meant to create policing between neighbors or enforcement concerns. All of us are being asked to make some tough decisions regarding holiday plans over the next few months, and they may differ from household to household. It is up to all of us to do what is right so that we can avoid a Stay at Home order in the future,” states Andrea Carlstrom, Director, Chaffee County Public Health.
Another follow-up meeting between CPDHE and CCPH, along with county leadership, is scheduled on Monday. CCPH would like to provide the county with fair warning that it is quite likely it will be moving into the orange level in the near future and to be prepared. Meanwhile, Chaffee’s Got H.E.A.R.T. has launched to unite us in our greatest time of need. Chaffee County residents and friends can take the pledge to follow the 5 commitments to containment at www.chaffeesgotheart.com.
CCPH regrets to report that there has been a recent death of a Chaffee County resident due to COVID-19. A 51 year old male, transmission likely occurred from out of town activities. This is a reminder that the virus is very much a threat to the lives of the people we love the most. 15 Chaffee County lives have been lost due to COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, while there have been 20 deaths among confirmed and probable cases.