• There are no new COVID-19 cases to report for April 2, 2020.

    With apologies, due to a very busy schedule there was no email update sent yesterday. There were no new COVID-19 cases to report for April 1, 2020.

    Please find attached the THIRD UPDATED PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER 20-24 IMPLEMENTING STAY AT HOME REQUIREMENTS released last night, as well as a link to a new Companion Guidance clarifying essential and non-essential businesses. I hope this will help guide the many questions you are receiving from your communities around the Governor's Stay at Home Order. As a reminder, under Colorado law the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has the authority to close theaters, schools, and other public places.

    Yesterday Governor Polis announced public and private schools in Colorado will be closed to in-person learning and not reopen until at least April 30. Read the full Executive Order here. The Governor also signed an Executive Order expanding the use of telehealth services. This will increase the capacity of the state’s health care system, help preserve critical personal protective equipment needed for medical professionals on the front lines, and allow Coloradans to meet with a doctor remotely. Read the full Executive Order here

    To plan for the anticipated increase in the number of COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization, the state has completed a site plan for Alternate Care Facilities. In collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, one will be in Boulder County and capable of providing care for as many as 3,200 patients. The state has also reached an agreement with Centura Health to reopen the St. Anthony’s Hospital North Campus in Westminster to increase surge capacity for metro-area hospitals and beyond.

    We continue to hear the term “flattening the curve” in COVID-19 conversations and news reports. This doesn’t necessarily mean that fewer people will become infected with COVID-19, but rather the infections will be spread out over a longer period of time to allow the healthcare safety net to treat patients in a more manageable fashion. The following charts provide a visual explanation of where Colorado stands in relation to the growing curve (credit: Denver Post, 4/2/2020):

    REMINDER: The state’s special enrollment period for the state’s health care exchange is ending tomorrow (Friday 4/3). Families can visit https://connectforhealthco.com and enroll today.

    For the latest updates on the state’s response to COVID-19, please bookmark https://covid19.colorado.gov/ .

    Please be safe and remember to do something each day that focuses on your own mental health and well-being.

    Dwayne Smith, MEd, MCHES®, CPST
    Administrator, Elbert County Public Health