Garfield County receives Safer at Home variance

Garfield County received notification Saturday evening that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) approved five of the six items submitted for a Safer at Home variance.

The request gives the county a variance from portions of Colorado Executive Order D 20 044 and Public Health Order 20-28.

Effective immediately, restaurants, houses of worship, fitness facilities and gyms may re-open at fifty percent of the posted occupancy code limit, provided they meet several additional requirements detailed in the variance request. Recreation areas and outfitters may also re-open. Social distancing requirements must still be met.

The request to re-open large tourist attractions was not approved, but will be re-evaluated June 1.

Specific information regarding the variance can be found at: and this is linked from the county’s home page as well.

A new Garfield Public Health Order will follow, with details to further clarify the approved variance in the next few days.

Local business owners and public entities may call Garfield County Public Health at 970-625-5200 x 8120 or send an email to for more information.


El Condado de Garfield recibe Variación de Más Seguro En Casa

El Condado de Garfield recibió notificación el sábado por la noche de que el Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE – por sus siglas en Ingles) aprobó cinco de los seis elementos presentados en la variación de Más Seguro en Casa.

La solicitud le da al condado una variación de las porciones de la Orden Ejecutiva D 20 044 de Colorado y de la Orden de Salud Pública 20-28.

Con efecto inmediato, restaurantes, lugares de adoración, y gimnasios puede volver abrir al cincuenta por ciento del límite de ocupación del código publicado, siempre que cumplan una serie de requisitos adicionales que se detallan en la solicitud de variación.  Áreas recreativas y proveedores de equipo también pueden volver a abrir.  Pero requisitos de distanciamiento social aún deben cumplirse.

La solicitud para reabrir grandes atracciones turísticas no fue aprobada, pero será reevaluada el 1 de junio.

Puede encontrar información específica sobre la variación en: : que también está vinculada desde la página de inicio del condado.

Saldrá una nueva orden de Salud Pública de Garfield con detalles para aclarar aún más la variación aprobada en los próximos días.

Los dueños de negocios locales y entidades públicas pueden llamar a Salud Pública del Condado de Garfield al 970-625-5200 x 8120 o enviar un correo electrónico a para obtener más información.

Garfield County receives Safer at Home variance

5-22-20 at 3:55 pm – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: A wildland fire broke out along County Road 335 at mile marker 3.5. Federal Interagency Fire teams are responding, along with Colorado River Fire Rescue, and other agencies. Please avoid this area!


5-22-20 at 3:55 pm – Garfield County Sheriff’s Office: A wildland fire broke out along County Road 335 at mile marker 3.5. Federal Interagency Fire teams are responding, along with Colorado River Fire Rescue, and other agencies. Please avoid this area!

Gov. Polis Takes Action to Prepare for Wildfire Response, Releases Guidance on Civil Rights Protections

DENVER – Gov. Polis took action to prepare for the State’s wildfire response and released guidance on civil rights protections. 

Gov. Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 072 directing the transfer of funds from the Disaster Emergency Fund to the Wildfire Emergency Response Fund so it has sufficient funds to assist local jurisdictions. 

“COVID-19 has strained our first responders as they have mobilized to save lives. As identified in the State’s 2020 Wildfire Preparedness Plan, local fire departments have reduced availability to provide response and assistance outside of their home jurisdiction, and firefighting resources from other states and federal agencies have limited capacity,” the Executive Order reads. 

The administration released guidance to employers and places of public accommodation to ensure equal opportunity employment and to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals, including those with COVID-19, exposure to COVID-19, and symptoms of COVID-19. Read the guidance here


Gov. Polis Takes Action to Prepare for Wildfire Response, Releases Guidance on Civil Rights Protections

Fire at Harvey Gap

On Thursday evening at approximately 7:30 PM a small fire (approximately 1 acre) broke out in the grasslands on the southwest corner of Harvey Gap Reservoir. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office responded along with CRFR. Fortunately, the fire was quickly contained and the spread minimized.

With summer ramping up and people beginning to enjoy our great outdoors we want to remind you that we are still under Stage 1 Fire restrictions in unincorporated Garfield County. This is due not only to the potential for high winds, but the moisture content of potential fuels at lower elevations as well as the limited resources available to combat a large-scale fire due to the COVID-19 restrictions.

As a reminder, Stage 1 Fire restrictions in Garfield County are as follows:

By definition:

A “Developed Area” is an area, whether within city limits or rural, that is groomed, manicured and or

watered, where grasses, brush and trees are regularly attended to by land owner.  This includes

residential and business areas, improved recreational areas, parks and other common areas.

An “Undeveloped Area” are lands that are not groomed, manicured, or watered, where grasses, brush and trees have been allowed to grow in a natural environment. This includes green belts that are not landscaped or manicured, open space lands, non-manicured park lands, and other areas where the fire hazard presented by the vegetation is determined by the authority having jurisdiction or designee to be an undue wildland fire hazard. 

  • All burn permits are postponed/Canceled until further notice with the issuance of Stage 1 Burn Restrictions.
  • Campfires are only allowed within designated fire grates in Developed Areas (i.e. a permanent in-ground containment structure or store bought fire pit) A temporary fire pans and rock campfire rings will not be acceptable.
  • no fires of any type including charcoal in Undeveloped Areas.
  • no smoking except within a designated area, enclosed vehicle or building, a developed area or in an area free of combustibles
  • no use of explosive materials, including “exploding” targets or bullets and tracer rounds
  • Exercise common sense and industry safety practice when welding or operation of an acetylene or other similar torch with open flame always cleared safe area of vegetation and combustibles.
Fire at Harvey Gap

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for May 21, 2020

May 21, 2020, RIFLE, COLO – The following are updated statistics from Grand River Health:

Grand River Health COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 5/21/2020:
Number of individuals tested:  827
Positive results: 30
Pending results: 19
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 2
Patients Transferred: 2
Admitted Patients:  0

Reported numbers are from Grand River Health only and could change at any time.

Beginning this week May 18- June 1, and for a limited time, Grand River Health is scheduling office visits with appropriate COVID-19 testing for patients who have had symptoms consistent with COVID-19.  If you have had unexplained cough fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle aches, shortness of breath in the last three months and would like to meet with a provider at Grand River Health to discuss COVID-19 testing, please call (970) 625-1100 to set up an appointment.  All patients will be screened appropriately and patients with current symptoms will be scheduled for appointments in the respiratory clinic.  Limited testing available and appointments will be scheduled on a first come first served basis.  

Grand River Health continues to see patients in its clinics in person by appointment only or via telehealth. Grand River is performing elective surgeries on pre- screened and tested Covid-19 negative patients.  Vaccination Clinics continue Thursdays and Fridays 9-5 by appointment only.

The Grand River Health respiratory clinic continues to sees patients who have symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath or sore throat by appointment only, Monday through Friday from 9-5.  All appointments can be made by calling 625-1100. All patients will be screened and be asked to wear a mask while in the facility.

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for May 21, 2020

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLO – The following are updated statistics from Valley View:

Valley View COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 5/21/2020
Specimens collected thru Valley View: 1,327
Positive results: 49
Pending results: 43
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 16
Admitted patients discharged: 13

Reported numbers are from Valley View only, and could change at any time.


Specimens collected: These are specimens collected by Valley View providers that are sent to outside laboratories to conduct COVID-19 testing. This is a cumulative number.

Positive results: These are the number of positive COVID-19 results returned from the Valley View specimens tested. This definition is updated on April 21 to clarify that the positive results represent positive patients. This is a cumulative number.

Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outreach began: Patients with a positive COVID-19 test who have been hospitalized at Valley View. This is a cumulative number.

Admitted patients discharged: Of admitted patients with a positive COVID-19 test, number who have been discharged from Valley View Hospital. Patients may be discharged to recover at home, to another hospital for a higher level of care, to hospice or to psychiatric care. This is a cumulative number.

Additional questions:

“From whom is Valley View collecting specimens?” As of April 20, Valley View has both a nasopharyngeal swab and saliva-based PCR testing. These options enable Valley View to test hospitalized, high-risk patients and other patients with a physician referral. For the nasopharyngeal swab, a special swab of the nose occurs, it is then placed in a tube and sent to an outside lab. For the saliva-based test, the patient spits into a special container that is then processed and sent to an outside lab. “High risk” means those with the greatest risk for severe disease, complications and death.

“What is the turnaround for test results?” At this point, Valley View is receiving test results in approximately 24 to 48 hours.

“The number of positive tests is not the same as admitted patients. Why?” Not all positive patients require hospitalization. For patients with mild symptoms, his/her doctor may recommend that they recover at home with specific instructions (e.g. isolation, monitor symptoms). Other positive patients may be very ill and need hospitalization.

“What is the status of these individual hospitalized patients?” Per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Valley View will not speak to the specific status of an individual patient.

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

Colorado State University to lead COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic health care workers, nursing home residents

FORT COLLINS –  As part of the state’s plan to expand testing in long-term care facilities, scientists from Colorado State University (CSU) will conduct COVID-19 testing of workers and residents in up to 30 skilled nursing facilities in Colorado. Each facility will receive eight consecutive weeks of testing. The tests will provide an early warning system for public health officials and managers at long-term care facilities. This will help prevent outbreaks, monitor the risk of exposure for residents, and help recovered workers return to work. 

This project, an agreement between CSU and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), is an initiative of the COVID-19 Residential Care Task Force. The  Colorado Unified Command Center (UCC) launched the task force in an effort to reduce the spread of illness and number of deaths in high-density, group-living settings, like nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

“This is an exciting partnership,” said Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer for CDPHE. “Because some cases of COVID-19 are without symptoms, this type of testing approach is going to be essential in preventing outbreaks. We are grateful for CSU’s support in helping us to protect Coloradans from the spread of COVID-19.”

“We’re incredibly proud of our state for prioritizing this kind of testing in skilled nursing facilities and we’re proud that CSU can support that effort,” said Dr. Nicole Ehrhart, director of the Columbine Health Systems Center for Healthy Aging at CSU.

CSU will receive $4.2 million as part of this agreement. A majority of the funding will go to the testing of asymptomatic workers, with their consent, using nasopharyngeal swabs. CSU will work with state officials to identify the facilities with highest priority for surveillance testing. The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at CSU will process the human COVID-19 tests

In April, the lab received Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification for laboratory testing performed on humans by partnering with colleagues at CSU’s Health and Medical Center, including Dr. Bruce Smith, who directs the  CLIA-certified laboratory. The CSU lab also worked directly with the CDPHE to obtain human samples for validation testing. The CSU lab’s move to process human tests is part of a national trend at veterinary labs

Dr. Kristy Pabilonia is the director of the lab at CSU. Her team has previously responded to numerous animal disease outbreaks and has the capacity to test large numbers of samples. 

CSU’s role builds on an existing pilot project launched in March with five skilled nursing facilities in the state. As of the end of April, researchers leading the study tested 454 nursing home workers and found 13.1 percent, or 60 of 454 workers, who did not show symptoms tested positive for COVID-19.  The concept behind the research is a basic principle in disease surveillance, especially during a pandemic. 

“We know that there is a surprising number of people who never exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, and we’ve shown that even asymptomatic positive people are infectious to others,” said Dr. Ehrhart. “It’s important that when there’s a community at higher risk for severe illness, like seniors, that we think about how to identify and mitigate the hidden potential for transmission to protect these vulnerable individuals.” 

In Colorado, more than 50 percent of the COVID-19-related deaths have been among older adults and people with disabilities who resided in high-density, group-living settings, like nursing homes and assisted living facilities. 

Alan Rudolph, CSU’s vice president for research, said the project underscores the university’s land-grant mission and demonstrates how research can have an immediate impact in Colorado communities. “Our researchers are at a critical interface to answer questions including: How long does it take to proceed from having symptoms to getting the disease, to testing negative and then have no disease?” he said.

CSU Professor Greg Ebel is a co-investigator on this research project.

Colorado State University to lead COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic health care workers, nursing home residents

Firework use banned in unincorporated Garfield County

Supplemental resolution could prohibit all pyrotechnics use from June 1-July 5

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – An ordinance prohibiting the use of fireworks in unincorporated Garfield County has been adopted to help protect public safety during the approaching wildfire season. The request, which was proposed by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the county’s emergency manager, is considered “necessary for the immediate preservation of the public’s health, safety and welfare.”

The ordinance is in place for all of 2020, apart from June 1 through July 5, which is exempted per state law, and for no longer than one year from the date it’s enacted. This ordinance covers the banned use of fireworks, not the sale. The county commissioners can repeal the ordinance at any time before year’s end if favorable conditions exist and fire danger is abated, such as during the wintertime.

If dangerous weather conditions are present in June and over the July Fourth holiday, the sheriff’s office will bring forth a supplemental resolution banning the use of all fireworks, including those sold in the state legally, from May 31 through July 5.

Hot, dry and windy conditions create a high fire danger in Garfield County. The county considered resource allocation and potential stress on emergency services during the COVID-19 disruption as a major factor in the prohibition.

“Personally, I’m a big supporter of the Fourth of July,” said Commissioner Mike Samson. “But this will make it easier for us to do our job to protect the people if dangerous wildfire conditions are present.”

The Board of County Commissioners approved the ordinance unanimously, 3-0. The restriction, which is now in effect, means anyone in violation could face a fine of up to $1,000 for each offense.

Firework use banned in unincorporated Garfield County

Gov. Polis provides COVID-19 update

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and discussed a new development impacting children. The Governor was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s leading epidemiologist and Dr. Sam Dominguez, MD, PhD, pediatric infectious disease specialist and Medical Director of the Microbiology Lab at Children’s Hospital Colorado. 

“We are taking these new developments impacting children very seriously and want to ensure that Coloradans have the information they need to know what to look for and keep their families safe during this difficult time,” said Governor Polis. “This isn’t a vacation. If Coloradans want restaurants to open like I do, our kids to be able to return to school, want to be able to ski next season, and if we want to save your life and the lives of our loved ones then we all need to continue to do our part. This is not a normal Memorial Day Weekend. It’s Memorial Day Weekend in the middle of a worldwide pandemic – the worst pandemic since 1918 and the worst we hopefully will ever see in our lifetime.”

Gov. Polis discussed reports of a new COVID-19-linked syndrome impacting children in Italy, the United Kingdom, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, and likely other states. There are currently three potential cases in Colorado, pending review by the CDC. The state will share those results with the public as soon as possible.

This syndrome, which has been found to have a strong correlation with children who have antibodies for COVID-19, has commonly been referred to as pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, abbreviated as (MIS-C). MIS-C is most similar to other serious inflammatory conditions such as Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. Children with this syndrome may become seriously ill and have problems with their heart or other organs, requiring hospitalized care. While this disease seems to be very rare, the state is taking it seriously. 

The Governor also called on the White House to extend the federal deployment of National Guard service members until the end of the year, instead of just until June 24. National Guard members have served as crucial front line responders and boosted the state’s ability to test, monitor, and respond to this crisis. If this decision is not reconsidered, Colorado could lose hundreds if not thousands of frontline workers overnight. The state’s ability to test, to monitor, and to respond to this crisis would be diminished without the brave guardsmen and women. On April 29, every single member of Colorado’s federal delegation sent a letter to the White House imploring the president to continue funding Colorado’s Guard through the end of the year. 

The Governor also provided an update on the COVID Relief Fund, announcing it has raised just over $18 million. In the third round, there were 134 approved grants in total: 101 in the Impact priority area, and 33 in the Prevention priority area. The total amount funded in this cycle was $2.7 million. To date, through the first three rounds, 505 grants have been disbursed for a total of $11.1 million to organizations serving all 64 counties. Decisions are being made for the 4th round of funding and the 5th round is now open for applications, for impact and recovery. Organizations seeking funding should apply by Saturday, May 30 at 7:00 p.m.

The Governor also announced that the Rose Community Foundation is accepting funding requests to support organizations that are working to mitigate or alleviate the impacts of COVID-19 on communities in the seven-county Greater Denver region: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties. The proposal deadline is May 27.   

Priority Funding Areas include:

  • Mental health (telehealth counseling, therapy, case management, hotlines, mindfulness, physical activity)
  • Behavioral health
  • Job loss / back to work support (re-training, up-skill training, job search/placement, childcare assistance)
  • Basic needs assistance for individuals and families (rent, utilities, family economic stabilization, etc.)
  • Census outreach work that has been disrupted by COVID-19
  • Food insecurity
  • Health disparities in communities of color
  • Addressing racial/ethnic backlash to COVID-19
  • Virtual service delivery
  • And other public health priorities.

Grants will be structured as general operating or programmatic grants, at the request of the applicant, with all funds to be used for the organization’s stated response to COVID-19 or its impact on the communities served. Visit the Rose Community Foundation website for details on how to apply for funding.

To watch the full news conference, visit the Governor’s Facebook page

Gov. Polis provides COVID-19 update

State of Colorado alerts doctors to be on the lookout for COVID-related syndrome in children

DENVER – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) encourages parents and guardians to keep up with well-child checkups and contact a health care provider when their child is ill, especially if they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Children’s Hospital Colorado recently notified CDPHE about three potential cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C). To protect patient privacy, no other details about these cases will be available. The cases have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for review and final determination.

MIS-C is a syndrome in children that appears to be related to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CDPHE recently alerted health care providers to be on the lookout for this illness and to report any suspected cases to state public health. The state and Children’s Hospital Colorado also are working to determine whether any previously identified cases of COVID-19 meet the CDC’s case definition for MIS-C. 

“It’s important to emphasize that this emerging inflammatory syndrome is very rare, and that it is safe to take your child to their doctor or to the hospital, if needed,” said Dr. Sam Dominguez, pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Children’s Hospital. “If your child is ill, especially with prolonged fever, call a doctor to get advice. Parents and providers working together can determine if their child needs to be seen.” 

Children’s Hospital Colorado is well poised to identify and treat this syndrome, having been at the forefront of work on Kawasaki disease in the United States. Experts at Children’s Hospital Colorado describe MIS-C as having features of Kawasaki disease, a systemic inflammatory disease of children, primarily seen in kids under the age of 5. Symptoms of Kawasaki disease include:

  • Several days of high fever.
  • Rash.
  • Red eyes, 
  • Red lips or tongue.
  • Red or swollen hands and feet.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.
  • If left untreated, damage to the arteries that supply the heart occurs in 20-25% of cases.

In contrast to Kawasaki disease, children with MIS-C are often older, have more severe gastrointestinal complaints including abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, and have involvement of multiple organ systems. Children who meet the case definition are sometimes ill enough to require intensive care, but few have died. 

CDPHE also would like to encourage parents and guardians to resume well-child care they may have delayed during the Stay-at-Home Order. “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, but kids still need their checkups and vaccinations,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist, CDPHE. “Pediatric and family practice offices are safe, open, and ready to care for your children.” For more information, visit

If your child is severely ill, go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately.

To request an interview with a Children’s Hospital Colorado expert, please reach out to:

Media pager: 303-890-8314 (punch in your ph# after you hear the 3 beeps)

Continue to stay up to date by visiting


Colorado alerta a los médicos para que estén atentos a un síndrome relacionado con el COVID en los niños

DENVER (20 de mayo de 2020): El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE, por sus siglas en inglés) insta a los padres y tutores a mantenerse al día con las revisiones médicas de rutina de los niños y a comunicarse con un proveedor de salud cuando su hijo esté enfermo, especialmente si se ha expuesto al COVID-19. 

El Hospital Infantil de Colorado (Children’s Hospital), recientemente notificó al CDPHE de tres potenciales casos del Síndrome Inflamatorio Multisistémico (MIS-C). No se han revelado más detalles de los casos, con el fin de proteger la privacidad de los pacientes, sin embargo, los casos fueron remitidos a los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en inglés) para ser revisados y llegar a una determinación final. 

El MIS-C es un síndrome en los niños que parece estar relacionado con el COVID-19. Recientemente, los CDC y el CDPHE alertaron a los proveedores de salud que debían estar atentos a la enfermedad y reportar cualquier caso sospechoso ante los organismos de salud pública del estado. El Estado y el Hospital Infantil de Colorado están colaborando para determinar si alguno de los casos del COVID-19 previamente identificados coincide con la definición de los CDC para los casos de MIS-C

“Es importante hacer hincapié en que este síndrome inflamatorio emergente es poco frecuente y que es seguro llevar a su hijo al médico o al hospital, de ser necesario”, comentó el Dr. Sam Domínguez, especialista en enfermedades infecciosas pediátricas del Hospital Infantil. “Si su hijo está enfermo, especialmente con una fiebre prolongada, hable con un médico para obtener sus recomendaciones. Los padres y proveedores pueden coordinar para determinar si el niño debe ser evaluado”. 

El Hospital Infantil está muy bien preparado para identificar y tratar el síndrome, debido a  que estuvo haciendo frente al trabajo relacionado con la enfermedad Kawasaki en Estados Unidos. Los expertos del Hospital Infantil de Colorado indican que el MIS-C comparte algunas características con la enfermedad Kawasaki, una enfermedad inflamatoria sistémica en los niños, principalmente observada en los menores de 5 años de edad. Los síntomas de la enfermedad Kawasaki incluyen: 

  • Fiebre alta por varios días
  • Erupción
  • Enrojecimiento de los ojos
  • Enrojecimiento de los labios o lengua
  • Enrojecimiento o hinchazón de manos y pies 
  • Inflamación de los nódulos linfáticos del cuello
  • Si no recibe tratamiento, ocurren daños a las arterias que irrigan el corazón en un 20-25% de los casos

En contraste con la enfermedad Kawasaki, los que padecen el MIS-C suelen ser niños mayores y presentan dolencias gastrointestinales más graves, incluyendo dolores abdominales, vómitos y diarrea, además de afectación a múltiples sistemas de órganos. Los niños que cumplan con la definición de la enfermedad, en ocasiones pueden estar lo suficientemente enfermos como para requerir cuidados intensivos; no obstante, pocos han fallecido.

El CDPHE insta a los padres y tutores a mantenerse al día con las revisiones médicas de rutina de los niños que quizás se hayan postergado durante la Orden Quedarse en Casa. “La pandemia del COVID-19 ha cambiado mucho, pero los niños aún necesitan ir al médico para las revisiones rutinarias y vacunas”, comentó la Dra. Rachel Herlihy, epidemióloga estatal del CDPHE. “Los consultorios de pediatría y medicina familiar siguen siendo seguros, abiertos y preparados para atender a sus hijos”. Para mayor información, consulte:

Si su hijo está gravemente enfermo, acuda a la sala de emergencia más cercana o hable al 911 de inmediato. 

Para solicitar una entrevista con un experto del Hospital Infantil de Colorado, comuníquese con:

Medios de comunicación: 303-890-8314 (ingresar su # telefónico después de escuchar los 3 tonos).

Manténgase actualizado en:

State of Colorado alerts doctors to be on the lookout for COVID-related syndrome in children