City of Glenwood Springs employee tests positive for COVID-19

Glenwood Springs, CO – On Sunday, July 5, 2020, the City of Glenwood Springs was notified that an employee in the Parks and Recreation Department tested positive for COVID-19.  The employee works at the Community Center.  The Community Center will be closed until further notice to accommodate reduced staffing due to precautionary isolation measures.

Following guidelines set forth by the CDC and Garfield County Public Health, the employee who tested positive, as well as others in their immediate work area, are self-isolating. The employee had taken time off for a couple of days preceding the holiday, last working at the pool on Wednesday July 1, 2020, but was tested Sunday at Valley View Hospital after becoming symptomatic.

The City of Glenwood Springs is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of employees and Community Center users. Garfield County Public Health has begun contact tracing for all individuals that may have been in contact with the employee. People with questions should contact the public health office via email or call 970-945-6614 in Glenwood Springs or 970-625-5200 in Rifle.

The Community Center had partially reopened on June 15, 2020 to reservations. Access was limited with separate entrances to the fitness area and the lap pool and guests could only enter the area for which they had a reservation. All Reservations were made online and no transactions occurred at the front desk. Guests were also required to maintain social distance while using the facilities and strict cleaning guidelines were adopted after each use of fitness areas.

“We knew this was a possibility when we reopened the Community Center and other city facilities. Fortunately, our staff has implemented social distancing and other safety measures to limit, as much as possible, contact with Community Center users, and we hope that this proved beneficial in keeping this an isolated case. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees and we will do what is necessary to maintain that goal,” said Mayor Jonathan Godes.

The city will continue to work with Garfield County Public Health throughout this situation and follow recommended procedures.

City of Glenwood Springs employee tests positive for COVID-19

Third COVID-19 death reported in Garfield County

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – A third Garfield County resident has died from COVID-19. This news comes as cases of the virus continue to rise towards 300 in the county, marking a steady increase over the past several weeks.

The deceased man, in his early 70’s, passed away due to COVID-19. His wife also tested positive, and is in quarantine. “We wish the family peace and comfort during this difficult time,” said Public Health Director, Yvonne Long.

“This loss of life underscores the reality that this virus is still spreading in our community, and that we need to remain vigilant. Until we have a vaccine, the only defense we have is to continue to wear face coverings, to socially distance, to wash our hands, and to stay isolated when we are sick. We take these actions to protect ourselves, but also to protect others.”

Third COVID-19 death reported in Garfield County

BOCC: take precautions to limit COVID-19 spread

Simple actions, personal responsibility will help limit spread of illness

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) requests residents and visitors take simple actions and personal responsibility to help limit the spread of COVID-19, which tests have confirmed in greater numbers around the county in recent weeks.

The county is not able to enter the less restrictive “Protect Our Neighbors” phase of reopening, due to increasing cases of COVID locally.

“With the governor’s latest health orders, all businesses could open with social distancing plans,” said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “We are advocating for local control to open our businesses 100 percent, but we won’t be able to meet the criteria if we cannot lower our case count. We all can help us achieve this if we practice safety measures.”

“Be assured, we as county commissioners are doing all we can to get these variances approved and Garfield County opened up,” added Commissioner Mike Samson.

Garfield County Public Health has coined a new motto: “More masks, more distance, more business,” and the board is urging all residents to maintain social distancing, wearing face coverings – per the governor’s order, wash your hands frequently, and to remain at home if you feel ill (do not go to work if you are sick) or have been near someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. These simple actions can help to limit the spread of the virus, keep people safe and facilitate the reopening of the economy.

A variance request was approved by the state May 23, allowing restaurants, houses of worship, fitness facilities and gyms to re-open at 50 percent of the posted occupancy code limit, provided they meet safety requirements. “The county’s variances could be in jeopardy if case numbers continue to rise,” said Commissioner John Martin. “As a statutory county government, we must follow the lead of the state.”

“We know that some folks don’t like wearing masks, but the use of facial coverings while in public establishments is the best way to ensure our businesses remain open,” added Jankovsky.

In a short time, the county has gone from a low case count to a high amount of cases. Garfield County has experienced 299 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. To be able to move into the less restrictive Protect Our Neighbors phase, the county would have to meet an extensive set of criteria and demonstrate that viral spread is low, as low as 15 cases in a 14-day period. In the most recent 14-day period there were 42 cases.

“The most concerning statistic is that six of our recent cases required hospitalization in hospitals outside of the county. The increase in cases is a trend we must reverse,” Jankovsky said. “We’ve seen a cluster of cases within construction crews that were working together. Contact tracing took place to ensure that anyone that may have been around these individuals was aware, so potential spread could be limited.”

A construction site in Rifle voluntarily halted construction for two weeks due to COVID-19 cases in its work crews.

While COVID-19 can affect anyone, especially the more vulnerable population, which includes the elderly and people with underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung conditions, obesity or a weakened immune system, most of the new cases are in people ranging from 20 to 59 years old.

According to public health statistics, roughly half of the county’s cases are appearing in Latino or Hispanic families (49 percent), and many cases in the region are people working in the construction and food service industries. Fatigue and cough are the two most common symptoms, followed by body aches, sore throat, fever and headache.

“Make no mistake, this illness doesn’t discriminate by age, and anyone could contract COVID-19. We want everyone to do their part and help us combat the spread of the virus,” Jankovsky said. “COVID-19 is contagious, virulent and aggressive.”

“Let’s get our numbers on the decline. We’re all in this together and together we’ll get by,” added Martin.

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BOCC: tome precauciones para limitar la propagación de COVID-19

Simples acciones y la responsabilidad personal ayudarán a limitar la propagación de la enfermedad

CONDADO DE GARFIELD, CO – La Junta de Comisionados del Condado de Garfield (BOCC) pide a residentes y visitantes tomar medidas simples y tener responsabilidad personal para ayudar a limitar la propagación de COVID-19, ya que las pruebas han confirmado números altos en el condado en las últimas semanas.

El condado no puede ingresar a la fase menos restrictiva de reapertura “Proteger a Nuestros Vecinos”, debido al aumento de casos de COVID localmente.

“Con las últimas órdenes de salud del gobernador, todas las empresas podrían abrir con planes de distanciamiento social “, dijo el Comisionado Tom Jankovsky. “Estamos abogando para el control local y poder abrir nuestros negocios al 100 por ciento, pero no podremos cumplir con los criterios si no podemos reducir nuestros casos. Todos podemos ayudar a lograr esto si practicamos medidas de seguridad.”

“Tengan la seguridad que nosotros, como comisionados del condado, estamos haciendo todo lo posible para que se aprueben estas variaciones y para que se abra el Condado de Garfield”, agregó el comisionado Mike Samson.

Salud Pública del Condado de Garfield ha adoptado un nuevo lema: “Más Cubrebocas, más distancia, más negocio”, y la junta de comisionados urge a todos los residentes a mantener el distanciamiento social, usar cubrebocas – según la orden del gobernador, lavarse las manos con frecuencia y permanecer en casa si se siente enfermo (no vaya a trabajar si está enfermo) o si ha estado cerca de alguien a quien le han diagnosticado con COVID-19. Estas acciones simples pueden ayudar a limitar la propagación del virus, mantener a personas seguras y facilitar que se abra la economía.

El estado aprobó la solicitud de variación el 23 de mayo, permitiendo a restaurantes, lugares de adoración, gimnasios y lugares deportivos volvieran abrir al 50 por ciento del límite de cupo permitido, siempre que cumplan con los requisitos de seguridad. “Las variaciones del condado podrían estar en peligro si los números de casos continúan aumentando”, dijo el comisionado John Martin. “Como gobierno legal del condado, debemos seguir el ejemplo del estado”.

“Sabemos que a algunas personas no les gusta usar cubrebocas, pero el uso de cubrebocas mientras se encuentra en lugares públicos es la mejor manera de garantizar que nuestros negocios permanezcan abiertos”, agregó Jankovsky.

En un corto plazo, el condado pasó de tener un número bajo de casos a una gran cantidad de casos. El Condado de Garfield ha experimentado 299 casos de COVID-19 desde que comenzó la pandemia. Para poder pasar a la fase menos restrictiva, “Proteger a Nuestros Vecinos”, el condado tendría que cumplir con amplios criterios y demostrar que el contagio viral es bajo, tan bajo como 15 casos en un lapso de 14 días. En el período más reciente de 14 días se registraron 42 casos.

“La estadística más preocupante es que seis de nuestros casos recientes requirieron hospitalización. El aumento de casos es una tendencia que debemos revertir”, dijo Jankovsky. “Hemos visto varios casos en cuadrillas de construcción que trabajaban juntos. Se hizo un seguimiento de contactos para garantizar que cualquier persona que haya estado cerca de estas personas estuviera al tanto, para así poder limitar la propagación”.

Un sitio de construcción en Rifle detuvo voluntariamente la construcción durante dos semanas debido a casos de COVID-19 en sus cuadrillas de trabajo.

Mientras COVID-19 puede afectar a cualquier persona, especialmente a la población más vulnerable, que incluye a ancianos y personas con condiciones médicas críticas, como problemas cardíacos o pulmonares, obesidad o un sistema inmunológico debilitado, pero la mayoría de los casos nuevos se están presentando en personas entre 20 a 59 años.

Según las estadísticas de salud pública, aproximadamente la mitad de los casos en el condado aparecen en familias Latinas o Hispanas (49 por ciento), y muchos casos en la región son personas que trabajan en las industrias de construcción y servicio de alimentos. La fatiga y la tos son los dos síntomas más comunes, seguidos de dolores en el cuerpo, dolor de garganta, fiebre y dolor de cabeza.

“No se confundan, esta enfermedad no discrimina edad, y cualquiera podría contraer COVID-

19. Queremos que todos hagan su parte y nos ayuden a combatir la propagación del virus “, dijo Jankovsky. “COVID-19 es contagioso, virulento y agresivo”.

“Pongamos nuestros números en bajada. Estamos todos juntos en esto y juntos saldremos de esta”, agregó Martin.

BOCC: take precautions to limit COVID-19 spread

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

July 2, 2020, GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLO – The following are updated statistics from Valley View:

Valley View COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 7/2/2020

Specimens collected thru Valley View:  3,231

Positive results: 141

Pending results:  23

Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 31

Admitted patients discharged: 20

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

Valley View is working hard to be responsive to the COVID-19 testing needs of its patients. COVID-19 diagnostic PCR testing is available across the Valley View network of care. However, a physician referral is required. “At Valley View, our providers are committed to providing smart COVID-19 testing. They want to understand the concerns and symptoms of a patient so that a PCR test can be as effective as possible. For example, if a patient is tested too early relative to their exposure or prior to symptoms, they may receive a false negative result as the virus may still be below the limit of detection. This is not only a disservice to the individual patient but also to our collective efforts as a community to slow the transmission of COVID-19,” stated David Brooks, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Valley View.

If an individual does not have a primary care provider, Valley View’s physician practices can quickly offer VirtualCare and same-day appointments. With locations in Eagle, Glenwood Springs, Silt, Carbondale and Willits, providers are conveniently located across the community. Additional information to schedule an appointment is available at https://www.vvh.org/primary-care/.

Definitions:

Specimens collected: These are specimens collected by Valley View providers that are tested by Valley View’s laboratory in Glenwood Springs or sent to an outside laboratory 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 hospice or to psychiatric care. This is a cumulative number.

Additional Questions:

“From whom is Valley View collecting specimens?” Valley View is testing:

  • Patients who are symptomatic and have been referred by their primary care provider.
  • Patients undergoing medically necessary surgery.
  • Patients undergoing designated procedures that are high risk for aerosol generation.
  • Patients with a referral from their primary care provider for a test needed for work or travel.

“What kind of PCR test does Valley View offer?” Currently, Valley View has a nasopharyngeal PCR test. For the nasopharyngeal swab, a special swab of the nose occurs, it is then placed in a tube and sent for testing.

“What is the difference between the number of patients admitted and number of patients discharged?” The difference between the number of patients and admitted patients discharged represents current hospitalized patients, patients transferred to other hospitals or those who have passed away. For example, if there are 21 patients admitted and 16 discharged, the difference is five. This is a cumulative number representing the entirety of Valley View’s efforts caring for COVID-19 patients. Therefore five total patients are hospitalized, have been transferred to a hospital as they need a higher level of care or, unfortunately, have passed away. Valley View will not offer additional details so as to protect their privacy.

“What is the turnaround for test results?”  At this point, Valley View is receiving test results in 90 minutes to 48 hours. The variability in time is due to the type of test ordered by the provider. For example, an individual experiencing a medical emergency may require a rapid test.

“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

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020, RIFLE, COLO – The following are updated statistics from Grand River Health:

Grand River Health COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 7/2/2020:

Number of individuals tested: 1719

Positive results: 66

Pending results: 37

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.

All Clinic services,  hospital and specialty services are open. All patients will be screened appropriately and patients with current symptoms will be scheduled for appointments in the respiratory clinic. 

All appointments can be made by calling 625-1100. Patients are asked to wear a mask while in the facility.

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for July 2, 2020

State health department amends Safer-At-Home public health order allowing professional sports to resume and temporarily closing bars

DENVER, July 1, 2020:  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released an amended Public Health Order 20-28 for the Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors phase. The order is effective until July 30.

The new guidance and changes are listed below:

  • Professional sports may resume pre-season practices, training, and league play after receiving approval from CDPHE on a reopening plan that details disease prevention and mitigation strategies.
  • Bars that do not serve food from a licensed retail food establishment must close to in-person service. Bars that offer food from a licensed retail food establishment for on-premise consumption and follow the restaurant requirements – including seating all patrons at tables a minimum of 6 feet apart – may operate up to 50% of the posted occupancy limit or 50 patrons indoors, whichever is less. Additionally, bars may use the calculator for indoor events  to allow for occupancy up to 100 patrons indoors.  All bars may continue to operate to-go, curbside and delivery service.
  • Libraries are no longer limited to curb-side only services, though curbside services are encouraged.
  • Real estate open houses may occur in accordance with indoor event requirements.

“We have started to see an increase in cases and are making every effort to prevent transmission of this virus,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy. “Bars are more likely to have people congregating and mingling in close proximity, and for longer duration. We have updated the public health order to limit the operation of bars and other alcohol establishments to be in line with our current level of disease transmission.”

For extensive information on Safer-at-Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors phase, including sector-specific guidance, please visit covid19.colorado.gov/safer-at-home.  Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

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El departamento de salud estatal modifica la orden de salud pública Más Seguros en Casa, permitiendo la reanudación de deportes profesionales y cerrando temporalmente los bares

DENVER, 1 de julio de 2020: el Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE, por sus siglas en inglés) emitió la modificación de la Orden de Salud Pública 20-28 para la fase Más Seguros en Casa y en Nuestros Entornos Naturales. La orden seguirá en vigencia hasta el día 30 de julio.

A continuación se indican los nuevos cambios y directrices:

  • Los deportes profesionales pueden reanudar sus prácticas de pre-temporada, entrenamientos y partidos de ligas después de haber recibido una aprobación por parte del CDPHE de un plan de reapertura que detalle las estrategias de prevención y mitigación de la enfermedad.   
  • Los bares que no sirven alimentos dentro de un establecimiento de venta minorista de alimentos con licencia deben dejar de prestar servicios en persona. Los bares que ofrecen alimentos de un establecimiento de venta minorista de alimentos con licencia para consumo en el lugar y que cumplan los requerimientos para los restaurantes, incluyendo sentar a todos los clientes en mesas con un mínimo de 6 pies de distancia entre cada mesa, pueden operar con un 50% de la capacidad máxima de personas o un máximo de 50 clientes en ambientes cerrados, la cantidad que sea menor. Adicionalmente, los bares pueden utilizar el calculador de espacios para eventos en ambientes cerrados para permitir una capacidad de hasta 100 clientes en un ambiente cerrado. Todos los bares pueden continuar con sus operaciones de servicios para llevar, de entrega al vehículo en la banqueta y de entrega a domicilio.
  • Las bibliotecas ya no están limitadas a servicios de entrega a vehículo en la banqueta, aunque se recomienda este método de entrega de servicios. 
  • Se pueden realizar eventos de puertas abiertas de bienes raíces (open houses), de conformidad con los requerimientos para eventos en ambientes cerrados.

“Hemos comenzado a observar un aumento en el número de casos y estamos haciendo todo lo posible para prevenir la transmisión de este virus”, declaró la Dra. Rachel Herlihy, epidemióloga estatal. “Existe una mayor probabilidad en los bares de que las personas se congreguen y socialicen a una proximidad cercana por períodos más largos. Hemos actualizado la orden de salud pública para limitar las operaciones de los bares y otros establecimientos que ofrecen alcohol para que estén alineados con la incidencia actual de transmisión de la enfermedad”.

Para obtener información más detallada sobre la fase Más Seguros en Casa y en Nuestros Entornos Naturales, incluyendo guías específicas por sector, por favor consulte: covid19.colorado.gov/safer-at-home

Manténgase informado en: covid19.colorado.gov.

State health department amends Safer-At-Home public health order allowing professional sports to resume and temporarily closing bars

Fire at Mile Marker 109

PRESS RELEASE

July 1, 2020

109 Fire

Glenwood Springs, Colo – At 7:32 a.m. on July 1, 2020, Glenwood Springs Fire Department was called to a brush fire on the south side of I-70 near mile marker 109.5.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a one-acre fast-moving grass fire between the interstate and railroad tracks.  Firefighters quick response contained the fire within 20 minutes of arrival.  Incident Commander, Jesse Hood, said, “Great team effort with quick response was critical in extinguishing this fire in the high winds.”

The right lane of eastbound I-70 was closed in the area of the fire.  Union Pacific also stopped train traffic due to the proximity of the railroad tracks to the fire.  Both have since been reopened.

A brush truck, two water tenders, a state water truck, two command vehicles and nine firefighters responded to this incident.

Colorado River Fire Rescue, Colorado State Patrol, Garfield County Sheriff, and Colorado Department of Transportation responded to this incident.

No evacuations were ordered as structures were not threatened.

No injuries have been reported at this time.

This was likely a human caused fire.  The Garfield County Fire Investigation team is investigating this incident.

There will be no further information released.

Fire at Mile Marker 109

CDPHE: State health department releases Protect-Our-Neighbors roadmap

Local communities will be able to qualify if they meet certain criteria

DENVER, June 30, 2020: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) today announced the final roadmap for local communities to qualify for the Protect our Neighbors phase of the COVID-19 response. Local communities will be able to qualify for this status to gain more local control in their communities if they meet certain criteria, including low viral transmission and preparedness of the public health agency to successfully respond to an increase in cases. Once communities meet certification criteria, submit a surge mitigation plan, and are approved by the state, they will be able to permit activities at 50% of pre-pandemic capacity, with at least 6 feet between non-household members, and no more than 500 people in one setting at a time. 

“This is the gold standard of pandemic preparedness, and it is a goal for our communities to aspire to. Not all of our communities will be able to achieve this goal immediately, ” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “It’s going to be up to all of us to keep wearing masks, washing our hands, and keeping our distance. We need to all do our part to keep transmissions low and prevent a surge on our hospital systems.”

Next week, CDPHE will provide more information and training on the process for applying for certification, as well as grant funding that will be available to help communities enhance their COVID-19-related planning and infrastructure.

Three things will enable a community to qualify for Protect-Our-Neighbors certification status:

  • Low disease transmission levels (including stable or declining COVID-19 hospitalizations or fewer new cases in the past two weeks),
  • Local public health agency capacity for testing, case investigation, contact tracing, and outbreak response (including the ability to test 15 people per 10,000 residents per day; the ability to conduct case investigation and contact tracing for at least 85% of assigned cases within 24 hours; a plan that documents the ability to investigate and contact trace their share, based on population, of our state’s overall 500 cases per day goal; and strategies to offer testing to close contacts of outbreak-associated cases)
  • Hospital ability to meet the needs of all patients and handle the surge in demand for intensive hospital care (including the capacity to manage a 20% surge in hospital admissions/patient transfers and two weeks of PPE available.)

A county may seek to qualify for Protect Our Neighbors by themselves, or voluntarily form a “region” with neighboring counties. Communities that can demonstrate strong public health and health care systems — paired with low virus levels — can take on more control over their own reopening plans and help the state avoid statewide shutdowns. 

“Protect Our Neighbors empowers local governments, public health agencies and partners to meet the needs of their communities and scale their response,” said Hunsaker Ryan. “If communities are successful in controlling the outbreak locally, the state will not have to rely on suppressing the virus through extreme statewide shutdowns.”

Protect Our Neighbors requires all Coloradans to continue to support and protect people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults and people with underlying medical conditions. It’s important to remember that different communities may be in different phases — Stay-At-Home, Safer-At-Home, or Protect Our Neighbors — and may move between levels during this pandemic. Communities that are able to loosen restrictions under Protect Our Neighbors may need to tighten restrictions again to Safer-at-Home or Stay-at-Home levels if they see case increases, outbreaks, or a surge on their hospital systems.

The Protect-Our-Neighbors metrics were drafted by a workgroup consisting of epidemiologists and public health experts from the CDPHE, the University of Colorado School of Public Health, and local public health agencies from across the state. The group included representatives from urban, rural and frontier counties. In addition, the workgroup consulted health care coalitions and health care systems leadership in drafting treatment metrics. They met over the course of five sessions and reviewed scientific literature, case studies, and expert consultation to develop metrics that would achieve the goal of ensuring that they signify a systems readiness for broader reopening.

In order to help support communities’ ability to achieve success, the state is making additional federal CARES Act funding available: 

  • Planning grant of up to $50,000 to engage consultants and community partners, and to fund community engagement efforts with communities impacted by and at increased risk.  
  • Infrastructure Strengthening Grants of up to $300,000 (up to $150,000 in state funds + local match) to invest in technology; community resource coordination; communication activities to increase compliance with the public health orders; funding for community-based partners and cultural brokers; and enhanced prevention and containment efforts. 

For extensive information on Protect-Our-Neighbors, including guidance for communities to qualify for this phase, please visit covid19.colorado.gov/protect-our-neighbors.  Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

CDPHE: State health department releases Protect-Our-Neighbors roadmap

Parachute officer shares personal struggle with COVID-19

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – As 42-year-old Police Sergeant Justin Mayfield walks around his garage, you can hear heavy breathing, an indication of the shortness in his breath that still persists 14 weeks after his bout with COVID-19.

“There is still so much we don’t know about how long the aftereffects of the illness last. I still get worn out just getting up to get something, or doing a trivial task in the garage. I’m getting better every day, but I’m not back to where I was pre-COVID.” 

Mayfield knew he was coming down with something a few days after returning from a training in Eagle County in early March of 2020, when the COVID pandemic was just beginning to take root there. Following the training, Mayfield went back to work as usual, but three days later he began to feel sick. On the fourth day, his wife and teenage son also began to feel ill. “I believe the training may have been where I picked it up. You just don’t know.” said Mayfield.

Both Mayfield and his son knew that something was wrong when their senses of smell and taste became ‘off.’  “We had just purchased fresh chicken and when I smelled it, I thought it smelled completely terrible like it had gone bad. My son came in and said that dinner smelled rotten.” Loss of taste is a commonly reported symptom of the illness.

After visiting Grand River Health, Mayfield received a letter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that said he had tested positive for COVID-19, and needed to isolate. His wife and son were presumed to be positive for the virus.

“It was one of the most unique experiences. You cough so dang hard your back gets worn out and it hurts every muscle in your body,” Mayfield said.

The family members all reported a dry hacking cough, feeling run down and lethargic. Justin’s wife Jamie ran a low-grade fever for 13 consecutive days. Their son Alistair slept for most of the day. Mayfield joked, “he slept even more than is typical for a normal 17-year-old kid.”

The family stayed in isolation for the full recommended two weeks, but even three weeks later the virus was still affecting them. “There was one day in the middle I felt better,” said Mayfield “but the next day it was back.”

“I experienced weird body aches like knives stabbing my foot one day and the next day it was in my shoulder. My wife had a chest x-ray and the physician said it looked like “COVID lung” and there were two spots of pneumonia beginning to form.”

The family knew how quickly the virus could become serious and purchased a pulse oximeter to monitor their heart rates and oxygen levels. “We were watching and if it dropped, we were going to the ER,” said Mayfield. “We didn’t want to take any chances. It got close. It was in the low nineties.”

The American Lung Association considers 95 to 97 percent normal, and anything below 90 percent a reason to go to the emergency room. “We were also watching our heart rates. Our resting heart rates would be at 60 beats per minute and jump to 125 or 145 just getting a glass of water from the kitchen.”

After the illness, Mayfield tested positive for COVID antibodies. “I have the COVID antibodies, and though I don’t have to wear a mask now, when I’m at work I usually do,” he said. “I’m trying to lead by example. We want to go back to normal and handwashing and social distancing seem to be the key to doing that.”

Responding to those who are reluctant to take COVID precautions, Mayfield offers, “It is frustrating to hear people blow it off. It is real and it is very serious. Find someone who has it and spend a night with them, and then see how real it is the next day. Come hang out with me and you will realize it’s not made up.”

Mayfield admitted that in the past he and his wife often tried to tough out illnesses, going to work if possible. “We have learned, don’t try to power through. That is how you are going to infect everybody. We were those people, don’t be those people.”

Mayfield acknowledged that had schools not closed before springs break, his wife who is a teacher, would likely have gone to work and unknowingly infected kids at school who in turn could have infected their families.

The CDC, and health experts point to four simple strategies to fight the virus, staying home when sick, wearing a personal face covering, maintaining social distancing and practicing good personal hygiene. Staying home in isolation for those who are sick, and quarantine for those that feel they have been exposed is critical.

Sergeant Mayfield will share his personal experience with COVID in a live-stream Friday, June 26, at 10:30 a.m. on the City of Glenwood Springs Facebook page. Joining him will be public health epidemiology nurse Sara Brainard to discuss the changing COVID landscape, data trends, and the contact tracing process.

Oficial de Policía de Parachute comparte lucha personal con COVID-19

CONDADO DE GARFIELD, CO – Mientras el Sargento de Policía Justin Mayfield, de 42 años, camina por su garaje, se puede escuchar una respiración agitada, una indicación de la falta de aliento que aún persiste 14 semanas después de su pelea con COVID-19.

“Hay tanto que no sabemos acerca de cuánto tiempo duran las secuelas de la enfermedad.  Todavía me canso al levantarme agarrar algo o hacer una tarea trivial en el garaje.  Estoy mejorando cada día, pero no he vuelto a donde estaba antes de COVID “.

Mayfield sentía que se estaba enfermando unos días después de regresar de un entrenamiento en el Condado de Eagle a principios de marzo de 2020, cuando la pandemia de COVID apenas empezaba a presentarse allí.  Después del entrenamiento, Mayfield regreso a trabajar como siempre, pero a los tres días empezó a sentirse enfermo.  Al cuarto día, su esposa y su hijo adolescente también comenzaron a sentirse enfermos.  “Creo que en el entrenamiento pudo haber sido donde me contagie.  Simplemente no lo sabes.”  dijo Mayfield.

Mayfield y su hijo sabían que algo andaba mal cuando su sentido del olfato y del gusto se volvieron “desagradables”.  “Acabábamos de comprar pollo fresco y cuando lo olí, pensé que olía completamente mal como si se hubiera hecho malo.”  Mi hijo entró y dijo que la cena olía a podrido.”  La pérdida del gusto es un síntoma comúnmente reportado de la enfermedad.

Después de visitar la Clínica de Grand River, Mayfield recibió una carta del CDC que decía que había dado positivo por COVID-19 y necesitaba aislarse.  Y se sospechó que su esposa e hijo eran positivos para el virus.

“Fue una experiencia única. Toses con tanta fuerza que la espalda se desgasta y duele cada músculo de su cuerpo.”

La familia reportó una tos seca, sintiéndose con mucha fatiga y letárgica. La esposa de Justin, Jamie, tuvo fiebre baja durante 13 días consecutivos. Su hijo Alistair durmió la mayor parte del día. Mayfield bromeó: “dormía más de lo normal de un niño de 17 años.”

La familia permaneció aislada durante las dos semanas recomendadas, pero tres semanas después, el virus todavía los estaba afectando. “Hubo un día que me sentí mejor a medio día,” dijo Mayfield, “pero al día siguiente me sentía mal nuevamente.”

“Experimenté dolores extraños en el cuerpo como cuchillos apuñalando mi pie un día y al día siguiente el dolor estaba en mi hombro. Mi esposa se hizo una radiografía de tórax y el médico dijo que parecía “pulmón de COVID” y que había dos manchas de neumonía que empezaron a formarse “.

La familia sabía que el virus podía volverse grave rápidamente y compró un oxímetro de pulso para monitorear su frecuencia cardíaca y sus niveles de oxígeno. “Estábamos mirando y si se caía, iríamos a la sala de emergencias. No queríamos arriesgarnos. Estuvo cerca. Estuvimos en los bajos noventa.”  La Asociación Americana del Pulmón considera que entre el 95 y el 97 por ciento es normal y cualquier cifra por debajo del 90 por ciento es razón para ir a la sala de emergencias. “También estábamos observando nuestro ritmo cardíaco. Nuestra frecuencia cardíaca en reposo era de 60 latidos por minuto y saltaba a 125 o 145 cuando iba a la cocina por un vaso de agua.”

Después de la enfermedad, Mayfield dio positivo por anticuerpos de COVID. “Tengo los anticuerpos COVID, y aunque no tengo que usar un cubre bocas cuando estoy en el trabajo, generalmente lo hago. Estoy tratando de dar el ejemplo. Queremos volver a la normalidad y el lavado de manos y el distanciamiento social parecen ser la clave para hacerlo.”

Respondiendo a aquellos que se reúsan a tomar precauciones contra COVID, Mayfield dice: “Es frustrante escuchar a la gente no importarle. Es real y es muy serio.

Encuentra a alguien que lo tenga y pasa una noche con ellos y luego ve que tan real es al día siguiente. Ven a pasar un rato conmigo y te darás cuenta de que no está inventado.”

Mayfield admitió que en el pasado él y su esposa a menudo trataban de resistir enfermedades, yendo a trabajar si era posible. “Hemos aprendido, no trates de lucharlo. Así es como vas a infectar a todos. Éramos esa gente, no seas esa gente.”

Mayfield reconoció que, si las escuelas no hubieran cerrado antes de las vacaciones de primavera, su esposa, que es maestra, probablemente habría ido a trabajar y sin saberlo habría infectado a niños en la escuela que a su vez podrían haber infectado a sus familias.

Los CDC y los expertos en salud señalan cuatro estrategias simples para combatir el virus, quedarse en casa cuando están enfermos, usar un cubre bocas, mantener distanciamiento social y practicar una buena higiene personal.  Quedarse en Casa aislado para aquellos que estén enfermos, y la cuarentena para aquellos que sienten que han estado expuestos es fundamental.

El Sargento Mayfield compartirá su experiencia personal con COVID en una transmisión en vivo el viernes 26 de junio a las 10:30 am en la pagina de Facebook de la Ciudad de Glenwood Springs. Junto a él estará la enfermera de epidemiología de Salud Pública, Sara Brainard, para analizar cómo está cambiando el panorama de COVID, las tendencias de datos y el proceso de búsqueda de contactos.

Parachute officer shares personal struggle with COVID-19