Community-wide testing is still readily available in Chaffee County.
If anyone in the county and surrounding areas served by the Heart of the Rockies Regional Hospital district meets the below criteria, they can call Public Health at 719-539-4510 to be screened and make an appointment. Testing is conducted at the hospital on Thursdays 10am-noon and is free through this process. Testing is also available through primary care providers in the county.
Today Governor Polis announced that Colorado has reached a critical goal, and now has the supplies and capacity to test anyone with COVID-19 symptoms. On April 29, Gov. Polis set the goal of testing all symptomatic Coloradans by mid-May. At the time, the state was only able to test some symptomatic individuals. With the increased capacity, Gov. Polis is now encouraging anyone with symptoms to get tested for the virus.
“Getting tested is a crucial part of our response to this virus, and I’m proud to say that any Coloradan who is showing symptoms, can and should get tested,” said Governor Jared Polis. “This ensures that infected individuals get the care they need, and prevent spreading the virus to others. This is an all-hands on deck effort for Coloradans. Significant progress in expanding testing had been made through our partnership with cities, counties, hospitals, community health clinics, and retailers in every corner of the state.”
Colorado can now test:
- Any individual who has COVID-19 symptoms
- Any individual who is employed as a health care worker, nursing home worker or first responder
- Any essential worker who directly interacts with the public while working, per state or employer guidelines
“As we gradually reopen to visitors and tourism in Chaffee County, we will be working closely with the visitors bureau, chambers of commerce, economic development corporation, and business community to make sure they are providing messaging and resources that set the expectation that anyone who lives or visits our beautiful valley respects the local public health order to keep our community safe and healthy from COVID-19. There is no doubt that inviting people back into Chaffee County increases the risk of exposure, and if we are all following the public health strategies, we will be able to better mitigate this risk,” Andrea Carlstrom, Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) Director.
The wearing of masks or cloth face coverings is a key public health strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you have been unable to acquire a mask, complete the request form on the county website. CCPH has plenty of masks to distribute and is planning on how to get them to those in need.
At the time of this release, there has not been a decision by the state regarding the variance that was submitted on Friday, May 8th. CCPH has been informed that we should receive a response within one to two days. Areas included in the variance are retail food establishments, places of worship, fitness centers, recreation, outfitters, hot springs, and the bowling alley. CCPH anticipates receiving reopening stipulations if parts or all of the variance are approved.
There are many parts of the public health order that are being driven at the state-level. CCPH is anticipating an announcement related to Safer at Home on May 25th. This includes information regarding the reopening of restaurants, bars, and summer camps. As a reminder, the local public health order is in effect through May 31st.
Due to the holiday weekend, CCPH’s virtual office will be closed from Friday, May 22nd through Monday, May 25th. On-call staff will be available for new patient investigations and contact tracing.
As of today, there have been no recent positive COVID-19 cases. The last case was May 4th, and the case before that was April 11th.
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