Chaffee County Public Health Hires COVID-19 Community Outreach Coordinator

Chaffee County Public Health has hired a COVID-19 Community Outreach Coordinator, Chris Kassar. 

Chris will be out in the community, offering education and outreach support on how to maintain the 5 commitments to containing the spread of COVID-19.  The 5 commitments to containment include:

  • Maintaining 6 feet of physical distance
  • Wash our hands often
  • Properly wear face coverings in public
  • Get tested if we have symptoms
  • Stay home when sick

Andrea Carlstrom, CCPH Director and Incident Commander states, “CCPH is excited to have secured funding to bring this extra COVID-19 support to our county.  We know that the past seven months have been hard- emotionally, financially, and physically.  Now is the time to strategize around how to keep our county open, despite the pandemic, especially as we gear up for late autumn and winter.  I am concerned about the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases over the past several weeks and how that might impact us in the weeks to come.  We hope that by adding a Community Outreach Coordinator and continuing to build the strongest public health system possible, our county will get through these uncertain times stronger than ever.”

In addition, the Community Outreach Coordinator will play a role in holding businesses accountable for when there is disregard for the 5 commitments.  While the goal is always education, outreach, and giving businesses the opportunity to change its practices, there will be a course of action if there is continued non-compliance.  As outlined in a previous press release, the following steps will be taken by CCPH:

  1. Upon learning about non-compliance, CCPH will visit with the business and make 2 attempts at education and outreach with management.
  2. If after 2 visits, the business continues to be non-compliant without a legitimate reason, a notice of violation will be issued.
  3. If the above strategies are not effective, CCPH will issue 1 cease and desist letter without a fine.
  4. If the above strategies are not effective, an additional cease and desist letter will be issued with a fine up to $1000.
  5. If the above strategies are not effective, an order to report to court will be issued as a last resort to protect the health of Chaffee County.

CCPH will continue to field concerns and complaints as it has been.  However, for direct reporting, please e-mail Chris at ckassar@chaffeecounty.org or call 719-221-1184 for general businesses and Wano Urbonas at wurbonas@chaffeecounty.org or call 719-207-1498 for restaurants. 

The COVID-19 Community Outreach Coordinator position will be staffed Thursdays through Mondays to allow for better coverage and support over the weekend. 

Terry West
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