• Elbert County, COVID-19 Update - April 8, 2020

    There are no new cases of COVID-19 to report in Elbert County.

    Colorado is beginning to see the impacts of the social distancing measures that have been implemented in recent weeks, and is beginning to see the effects of the Stay At Home Executive Order. When this virus began, the number of cases was doubling every 1.5 days, now it’s doubling every six days, meaning the spread of the virus is beginning to slow.

    So how well are Elbert County residents complying with social distancing?

    According to one measure, we could be doing better. After weeks of social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus, data firm Unacast is using cell phone data to grade states and counties on how well residents are practicing social distancing. Unacast gave Colorado a C- for social distancing, Elbert County received a C, based on a 40 - 55% decrease in average mobility (based on distance traveled) and also 60 - 65% decrease in non-essential visits. Neighboring Douglas County received a B-, and Arapahoe County received a C-. See how other counties fared at https://www.unacast.com/covid19/social-distancing-scoreboard.

    The anticipated impact of social distancing measures is summarized in the following graphic (from CDPHE’s Monday, 4/6, COVID-19 press conference, as presented by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist):

    Why does it take so long for people to get test results?

    We are often asked this question. Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is the cornerstone of any containment strategy. Unfortunately, testing capacity in Colorado is still lagging far behind demand. Testing failures allowed the coronavirus outbreak to spread in the U.S. without detection, almost certainly making it worse than it would have been otherwise. Due to the shortage of testing supplies, including PPEs, tests are still being saved for those who need them the most – the sickest patients and health care workers. For people who do get tested, the wait for results is often several days. Private labs have swarmed the market, and some – like LabCorp and Quest — are running thousands of tests a day across the U.S. Quest's nationwide test backlog is still 80,000, and LabCorp says it's caught up but still requires a four- to five-day turnaround time. Shortages of key testing materials like swabs, reagents and test kits limit how many tests can be done. The goal of social distancing is to significantly reduce the number of confirmed cases by limiting people's interactions with one another. Once that is accomplished, testing is crucial for identifying new outbreaks and determining who has already been infected before they spread the virus further.

    For the faith community:

    For many Elbert County residents, religion occupies a central place in their lives. As you are aware, religious gatherings and services were suspended across the county and state while faith communities worked to comply with new restrictions to try to control the spread of coronavirus. CDPHE has created a document, attached herewith, to guide those places of worship with adequate parking lot resources on how to safely hold “drive-in” services.

    For our law enforcement partners:

    The Department of Homeland Security has prepared an Information Bulletin regarding COVID-19 exposure and risk mitigation for law enforcement. Please see attached document. Thanks to Jacque Moore in the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office for sharing this bulletin.

    Many thanks for all you are doing during these challenging times,

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