• We are aware of one new case of COVID-19 in Elbert County. The man, in his 70s, is a resident of the county. This represents the sixth known case of COVID-19 in the county. Stacey Rinehart, our Environmental Health Specialist, will complete a CDC Case Report on this incident.

    The state continues in an accelerated phase of virus transmission. For perspective, one week ago the following statewide data was reported:

    ·         1,430 confirmed cases

    ·         184 hospitalizations

    ·         39 of 64 counties with at least one confirmed case

    ·         24 deaths due to COVID-19

    In last night’s report, the data has grown to the following numbers:

    ·         3,278 confirmed cases

    ·         710 hospitalizations

    ·         51 of 64 counties affected

    ·         97 deaths

    Please remain vigilant in adhering to and promoting Stay At Home orders and social distancing guidelines.

    Stride Community Health Center (known in years past as Metro Community Provider Network), is offering limited COVID-19 testing at their clinics in Aurora and Wheat Ridge. Drive-thru testing is available to hospital workers, healthcare employees, first responders, and the general public. Brief symptom screening criteria will be applied to anyone requesting swab testing through the Drive-Thru. NO PAYMENT IS DUE AT THE TIME OF TESTING.  Insurance information will be collected, if people have insurance. People must have an ID card for registration. Hospital Workers and First Responders should bring their work identification badge. People with insurance should bring their insurance card. Individuals without insurance are also welcome. More information, including daily availability and scheduling of testing, can be found on their website at https://stridechc.org or by calling (303) 360-6276.

    Click here for the slide deck from yesterday’s press conference conducted by the Governor. Some important points include:

    ·         Colorado’s requests for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the Federal government continue to yield only minimal allotments of the resources needed to mitigate spread of COVID-19

    ·         The Governor clarified that the role of the state during the epidemic is to:

    o   Support healthcare systems with coordinated access to private sector resources to acquire PPE, ventilators, and other equipment

    o   Coordinate the recruitment and utilization of volunteer medical professionals to provide surge capacity within the healthcare system

    o   Provide information on the status of the healthcare system

    o   Create systems that overlay the normal healthcare system to provide coordination and response when the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed.

    ·         Based on epidemiological models, and depending on the effectiveness of social distancing, Colorado can expect to see a surge of patients that will overwhelm hospitals between April and July 2020.

    ·         The following slide provides an update on planning for hospital surge capacity across the state:

    As a reminder, residents should seek emergency medical care for suspected coronavirus if they have a high fever with a bad headache, and/or shortness of breath where they have trouble speaking in sentences without taking big, deep breaths.

    Colorado’s juvenile corrections system has released 22 young people early as it tries to lower its incarcerated population due to coronavirus. More teens and young adults are expected to parole early in the coming days and weeks, part of a CO Division of Youth Services plan to guard against the spread of the virus within its 10 centers across the state. No youths have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to the early releases, the youth corrections system has eliminated all but essential staff from entering lock-up facilities. Court hearings are shifting to video. Families, volunteers and therapists are doing virtual rather than in-person visits.

    Please connect with me if you have any questions, or if I can provide any support to your respective efforts. Thank you for your partnership in promoting the health of our community.

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