State launches community-based “Step Up Colorado” informational campaign

Oct. 20: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) launched “Step Up Colorado” today, a community-based informational campaign to reduce the spread of COVID-19. State officials ask Coloradans to “step up” by wearing masks and keeping their distance to slow the spread of COVID-19. The launch comes at a pivotal time, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state. 

The campaign was informed by more than 20 meetings with local public health agencies, nonprofits, and other community-serving organizations; input from the Health Equity Response Team; multiple statewide research panels; and Colorado surveys conducted by the Risk and Social Policy Working Group.

“Something COVID-19 has taught us is that what we each do personally impacts our communities. We need everybody to do their part because as much as we would like it to be over, the pandemic is far from over. We can’t become complacent. That’s why we’re asking all Coloradans to do everything they can to reduce the spread,” said CDPHE Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan, on Tuesday.

The campaign will build awareness of public health guidelines related to COVID-19 among all Coloradans, with additional focus on Colorado’s communities that have been most impacted by this pandemic, including those aged 65 and over, 18-24-year-olds, and Black and Hispanic/Latino Coloradans. 

A critical part of the campaign is the involvement of some 60 community influencers throughout the state from diverse backgrounds of many races, nationalities, ages, genders, abilities, and more. In conjunction with more traditional media efforts, influencers will ensure the broad reach of the campaign. 

“This has been community-based from the get-go, tapping into stakeholders across Colorado as we built a campaign that showcases Colorado’s diversity and strength. We’ve all had to sacrifice in different ways to slow the spread of this devastating disease,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan.

The campaign features a variety of Coloradans implementing behavior modifications in their daily lives to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As cases tick up, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist, stressed the importance of acting swiftly to protect people from the short- and long-term consequences of the virus and save lives. 

“We know Coloradans are up to the task and each of us has their own reasons to step up,” said Dr. Herlihy. 

Step Up Colorado will run statewide through Dec. 30. To share messages from the Step Up Colorado campaign, like and follow CDPHE on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

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El Estado de Colorado Lanza la Campaña Comunitaria “Échale Ganas Colorado” 

20 de octubre – El Departamento de Salud Pública y del Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE por sus siglas en inglés) lanzó el día de hoy “Échale Ganas Colorado”, una campaña basada en la comunidad dedicada a reducir la propagación del COVID-19.  Los líderes del estado le piden a los coloradenses que le ‘echen ganas’ usando sus tapabocas y manteniendo distancia física.  El lanzamiento se hace en un momento crítico cuando los casos de COVID-19 siguen aumentando en todo el estado. 

El desarrollo de la campaña utilizó información recaudada en más de 20 reuniones con agencias locales de salud, organizaciones comunitarias sin fines de lucro, y con el Equipo de Trabajo para la Equidad de Salud.  De igual forma, la creación de la campaña fue guiada por los hallazgos de varias investigaciones de mercado, así como los estudios realizados por el Grupo de Trabajo de Riesgo y Políticas Sociales

“El COVID-19 nos ha enseñado que las acciones individuales suman e impacta a la comunidad en general. Necesitamos que cada persona ponga de su parte pues todavía estamos lejos del final de la pandemia. No nos podemos confiar.  Por eso es que le pedimos a los coloradenses que hagan todo lo que puedan para reducir la propagación de la enfermedad,” afirmó la Directora Ejecutiva de CDPHE, Jill Hunsaker Ryan.

La campaña está dedicada a concientizar a todos en Colorado sobre las medidas de salud pública relacionados con el COVID-19.  Esta iniciativa tiene un enfoque adicional en alcanzar a aquellos que han sido más afectados por la pandemia: personas mayores de 65 años, afroamericanos, latinos, y jóvenes adultos entre los 18 y 24 años.

Un componente fundamental de la campaña es el contar con 60 embajadores de diversa edades, orígenes y grupos étnicos a lo largo del estado que están motivando a sus comunidades a que le echen ganas para ayudar a controlar al COVID-19. La campaña también contará con apoyo en los medios, pero los embajadores son los que llevarán este esfuerzo de comunicación a cada rincón del estado. 

“Desde el primer día, hemos trabajado muy de cerca con todos los interesados en el tema en comunidades a lo largo del estado. Así se ha creado una campaña que refleja la diversidad y fortaleza de Colorado. Todos hemos sido afectados y hemos tenido que sacrificar algo; así que es hora de trabajar más unidos que nunca y parar la propagación de esta devastadora enfermedad,” comentó Jill Hunsaker Ryan.

La campaña muestra diversas personas modificando comportamientos cotidianos a fin de evitar el contagio.  La epidemióloga del estado, Doctora Rachel Herlihy, recalcó que en la medida que los casos se incrementan, es muy importante actuar rápidamente a fin de asegurar el que la economía e instituciones en el estado se mantengan activos.  “Sabemos que los coloradenses pueden hacerlo y cada uno de nosotros tiene su propia motivación para echarle ganas”, expresó la Doctora Herlihy. 

La campaña Échale Ganas Colorado estará activa en todo el estado hasta el 30 de diciembre.  Sigue las redes sociales de CDPHE en Facebook, Twitter o Instagram para compartir mensajes de “Échale Ganas Colorado”. Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

State launches community-based “Step Up Colorado” informational campaign

Governor Polis provides update on COVID-19

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis provided an update on the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic today. Gov. Polis was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, Colorado’s lead epidemiologist, Jill Ryan, Executive Director of CDPHE, and Kate Greenberg, Colorado’s Commissioner of Agriculture. 

“Colorado needs to step up to save lives now. We have a short window of time to get the deadly virus under more control before the holiday season and protect our families, ourselves, and to avoid economic setbacks,” said Governor Polis. “Getting this virus under control requires you to reduce your social interactions, stay at least six feet apart from others, wear a mask, and wash your hands regularly. These cases aren’t going to change magically on their own. Every Coloradan has made sacrifices during this pandemic and that should strengthen our resolve to do everything we can now, during the most challenging period of the pandemic.”

Governor Polis and Director Jill Ryan discussed the dial framework which the state unveiled in September further to provide transparency, clarity, and predictability for Coloradans and local government officials as they work to protect their communities and reopen their economies. This tool provides a real-time, visual representation of a Colorado community’s success in containing the spread of COVID-19. 

Governor Polis and Director Ryan also announced that the State is partnering with CDPHE to launch a new, statewide media campaign called “Step Up, Colorado” in English, and “Echale Ganas, Colorado” in Spanish. This campaign emphasizes the importance of Coloradans wearing their masks and keeping their distance whenever they are around others. The Governor urged everyone to “step up” to help spread the word and encourage all Coloradans to protect each other from COVID-19. Click the image to watch more or here

The Governor provided an update on wildfires. This August, Dan Gibbs, Executive Director at the Department of Natural Resources, gave us all a firsthand account of what it was like to fight on the front lines of the Grizzly Creek Fire. Director Gibbs was recently called to help fight the Cameron Peak Fire northeast of Estes Park. The Governor thanked Director Gibbs and all the other men and women who are on the front lines of the multiple fires around our state. Gibbs has been a Type II wildland firefighter for 13 years.

Gov. Polis and Dept. of Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg made an exciting announcement about the Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund. Colorado agricultural producers are eligible for grant awards up to $12,500. Farmers’ markets, food hubs, processors, and other intermediaries that support producers are eligible for up to $50,000. Grant dollars were made available through CARES Act funds.

“COVID-19 has had serious impacts on agriculture and underscored how vital our food systems are,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “It is critical that farmers, ranchers, and processors receive financial support to ensure their operations continue in the wake of this unprecedented pandemic. The Department of Agriculture has been fighting for them every step of the way and will continue to do so as we build a more resilient future.” 

Colorado was one of the few states in the country to hold a State Fair this year. The respond and rebuild grants will be administered by the independent Colorado Farm & Food Systems Respond & Rebuild Fund. Applications are open now and will be accepted through Monday, November 9, 2020. Apply here

Watch today’s news conference. View today’s presentation. 

Governor Polis provides update on COVID-19

WRNF: Forest officials stress caution as fire danger remains high

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Forest officials with the White River National Forest are urging the public to remain vigilant and follow fire restrictions and common-sense campfire use where allowed.

In spite of cool evening temperatures and shorter days, fire danger remains high across the White River National Forest with unseasonably dry and windy conditions. All ranger districts remain in Stage 1 fire restrictions.

“We are still seeing large fires with extreme fire behavior in many parts of Colorado,” said White River National Forest Deputy Supervisor Lisa Stoeffler. “The same potential exists in the White River National Forest, and resources are stretched thin across the region. This isn’t your typical October in Colorado. We absolutely need people to be smart when it comes to fire.”

Fire personnel continue to report illegal and abandoned campfires, and despite colder overnight temperatures, these fires have high potential to spread during warm daytime conditions.  

“We’re responding to frequent human-caused wildfires – about one a day,” said Lathan Johnson, Upper Colorado River Fire Management Officer.  “We need for the public to abide by the current fire restrictions.”

Under Stage 1 fire restrictions, campfires and charcoal are only allowed in developed Forest Service campgrounds in the metal fire rings and grates provided. Where fires are allowed campers should drown their campfires with water and stir until coals are cool to the touch before leaving camp.

Propane and other petroleum-fueled stoves and camping equipment are allowed throughout the forest under Stage 1, as are sheep-herder and other wood-burning stoves often used in hunting tents provided they are fully enclosed metal stoves with a chimney at least five feet in length and have a spark arrestor with a screen opening of ¼ inch or less.

For more information about the current Stage 1 fire restrictions on the White River National Forest, call 970-945-2521 or visit www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

WRNF: Forest officials stress caution as fire danger remains high

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

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

Valley View COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 10/20/2020

Specimens collected thru Valley View: 10,802
Positive results: 511
Pending results:  27
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 74
Admitted patients discharged: 66
Reported numbers are from Valley View only and could change at any time.

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 same-day 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

Consumer advisory: What to do if you receive a disconnection notice from your utility?

With the temporary moratorium on disconnections ending on June 12, 2020, utilities in Colorado have begun issuing shutoff notices to electric and natural gas customers for non-payment of past due amounts.

The Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) want consumers to be aware of what to do if they receive a disconnection notice and assistance that is available to help them pay their energy bills.

Here are the steps to take to avoid disconnection:

Consumer advisory: What to do if you receive a disconnection notice from your utility?

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for October 20, 2020

RIFLE, COLO. – The following are updated statistics from Grand River Health:

Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats – 10/20/2020:

Number of individuals tested: 3,876
Positive results: 262
Pending results: 37
New positives since 10/15/20: 12
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 12
Patients transferred: 4
Patients discharged: 7

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 October 20, 2020

COVID-19 hospitalizations rise, cases remain at 1,000 per day

Public health urges Coloradans to follow public health guidelines

October 19, 2020 – State officials are urging Coloradans to continue adhering to COVID-19 protocols as cases and hospitalizations are on the rise. Coloradans are urged to limit in-person gatherings, wash hands regularly, maintain physical distance, and wear a mask when around people outside of their household to help reduce the number of people who get sick with COVID-19.

The total number of patients in Colorado currently hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 381 on Monday, the highest figure since May. The number of new cases each day over the last week has been about 1,000 daily.

“These numbers are definitely a concern for us. We need everyone to follow public health guidance to control disease transmission and ensure that health care and public health capacity isn’t strained,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy. “We also want Coloradans who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to get tested.”

The testing positivity rate for today also is up, at 6.24%. The seven-day average is 5.45%. The higher positivity rate also indicates disease transmission is increasing and that more cases may be going undetected. To improve our ability to respond through public health efforts like contract tracing, more people need to get tested. 

Anyone who may have been exposed to the virus, but does not have symptoms, should get tested 7 days after suspected exposure. People exposed should quarantine for a full 14 days, regardless of test results. People who have symptoms should get tested right away.

People can get tested at the more than 50 community test sites throughout the state. The sites offer free testing to anyone. People can find the nearest testing site by going to https://covid19.colorado.gov

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

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Las hospitalizaciones de COVID-19 están en aumento, los casos permanecen a 1,000 por  día

Las agencias de salud pública instan a los habitantes de Colorado a seguir las directrices de salud pública 

REMOTO, 19 de octubre, 2020: Los oficiales del estado están instando a los habitantes de Colorado a continuar adhiriéndose a los protocolos para el COVID-19 mientras los casos y las hospitalizaciones están en aumento. Los habitantes de Colorado están instados a limitar las reuniones en persona, lavarse las manos regularmente, mantener distancia física, y usar un tapabocas cuando se encuentren alrededor de personas que no sean parte de su vivienda, para reducir el número de personas que se enfermen con el COVID-19.

El número total de pacientes en Colorado que se encuentran actualmente hospitalizados con casos confirmados del COVID-19 se elevó el lunes a 381, el número más alto desde mayo. El número de casos cada día la semana pasada fue de unos 1,000 diarios.

 “Estos números son definitivamente una preocupación para nosotros. Necesitamos que todos sigan las directrices de salud pública para controlar la transmisión de la enfermedad y asegurar que la capacidad de la salud pública y el cuidado médico no se vea propasada”, dijo la Dra. Rachel Herlihy, epidemióloga del estado. “También queremos que los habitantes de Colorado que puedan haber sido expuestos al COVID-19, se hagan la prueba de detección”.

La tasa de positividad de pruebas de detección para el día de hoy también se ha elevado, a un 6.24%. El promedio en siete días es de 5.45%. La tasa de positividad más alta también indica que la transmisión de la enfermedad está aumentando y que más casos podrían pasar inadvertidos. Para mejorar nuestra habilidad para responder a través de los esfuerzos de salud pública como el rastreo de contactos, más personas tienen que hacerse la prueba de detección.

Cualquier persona que pudiese haber sido expuesta al virus, pero que no tenga síntomas, debe hacerse la prueba 7 días después de una supuesta exposición. Las personas expuestas deben hacer cuarentena por 14 días completos, independientemente de los resultados de las pruebas. Las personas que tienen síntomas deben hacerse la prueba inmediatamente.

Las personas pueden hacerse la prueba en los más de 50 centros de detección comunitarios en todo el estado. Los centros ofrecen pruebas de detección gratuitas para todos. Las personas pueden encontrar su centro de detección más cercano visitando https://covid19.colorado.gov.

Continúe manteniéndose informado visitando covid19.colorado.gov.

COVID-19 hospitalizations rise, cases remain at 1,000 per day

Colorado finalizes guidance for ski areas and resorts

State reviewed feedback from community members and organization from across the state

Oct. 19, 2020 – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) finalized its guidance for ski areas and resorts today. The guidance goes into effect immediately. After releasing a draft of the guidance on Oct. 14, the state reviewed feedback from community members and organizations from across the state, and incorporated feedback into the finalized guidance.

Ski areas are a vital driver of the Colorado economy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these areas also present unique challenges for controlling virus transmission. A successful ski season will require a strong partnership between ski areas, local governments, local businesses, and the state. 

These guidelines draw from existing and well-known COVID-19 guidelines including:

  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet between parties.
  • Wearing masks to the maximum extent possible.
  • Health screening and symptom tracking.
  • Isolating and quarantining, as required.

Also established are some new baseline standards to create common expectations for mountain-specific activities such as:

  • Isolation housing to create opportunities for visiting guests to safely isolate and quarantine themselves in the event that they test positive or need to quarantine during their stay and cannot travel.
  • Ensuring safe employee housing environments.
  • Limiting ski school cohorts/groups to no more than 10 people.
  • Prioritizing the immediate safety and sheltering needs of guests and staff due to extreme weather events when in conflict with these COVID-19 guidelines.

“Outdoor activities like skiing and snowboarding can be lower risk if done with proper precautions, both on and off the slopes,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, CDPHE. “We have to proceed carefully and be willing to evolve if necessary. We’ve been grateful for the cooperation of ski and resort areas. Our top priority is the safety of Coloradans and ensuring the health care systems in these areas aren’t overrun.” 

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El estado finaliza la guía para las áreas y centros de esquí

El estado revisó los comentarios de miembros de la comunidad y organizaciones de todo el estado

REMOTO, (19 de oct, 2020): El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE, por sus siglas en inglés) hoy finalizó su guía para áreas y centros de esquí. La guía entra en vigencia inmediatamente. Después de emitir un borrador de la guía  el día 14 de octubre, el estado revisó los comentarios de miembros de la comunidad y de organizaciones de todo el estado, e incorporó sus comentarios en la guía final.

 Las áreas de esquí son un motor vital de la economía de Colorado. Durante la pandemia del COVID-19, estas áreas también son retos únicos para el control de la transmisión del virus.  Una temporada de esquí exitosa requerirá una fuerte alianza entre las áreas de esquí, los gobiernos locales, los negocios locales y el estado.

Estas directrices se basan en las directrices existentes y conocidas para el COVID-19 que incluyen:

?        El distanciamiento físico de al menos 6 pies entre las personas.
?        El uso de tapabocas en la mayor medida posible.
?        Las evaluaciones de salud y el rastreo de síntomas.
?        El aislamiento y la cuarentena, como se requiera.

También están establecidos los nuevos estándares base para crear expectativas comunes para las actividades específicas de montaña, tales como:

?        Tener vivienda para el aislamiento, con el fin de proveer oportunidad para que los visitantes puedan aislarse y hacer cuarentena de manera segura, en caso de que tengan pruebas positivas o necesiten estar en cuarentena durante su estadía y no puedan viajar.
?        Asegurar ambientes de vivienda seguros para empleados.
?        Limitar grupos fijos y grupos normales en las escuelas de esquí, que no sean de más de 10 personas.
?        Priorizar la seguridad y la necesidad de refugio inmediatos para los visitantes y el personal en caso de condiciones climáticas extremas, cuando estén en conflicto con estas directrices para el COVID-19.

“Las actividades al aire libre como es el esquí y el snowboarding pueden ser de menor riesgo si se realizan con las precauciones apropiadas, tanto en las pistas de esquí como fuera de ellas”, dijo Jill Hunsaker Ryan, directora ejecutiva del CDPHE. “Tenemos que proceder con sumo cuidado y estar disponibles para proceder más allá, si es necesario. Estamos muy agradecidos por la cooperación de las áreas y centros de esquí. Nuestra principal prioridad es la seguridad de los habitantes de Colorado y de asegurar que los sistemas de atención médica en estas áreas no sean rebasados.”

Colorado finalizes guidance for ski areas and resorts

Governor Polis takes action to address COVID-19, support election cybersecurity

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis took action to address COVID-19 and support election cybersecurity. 

The Governor extended an executive order allowing voluntary or elective surgeries and procedures to proceed under certain conditions. 

The Governor also signed an executive order activating up to 10 members of the Colorado National Guard Defensive Cyber Operations Element to assist with election cybersecurity defense efforts during the 2020 Presidential election.  The National Guard members may participate in training activities and assist with election cybersecurity defense efforts from October 19, 2020, through November 4, 2020, and will help ensure that Colorado remains a model for elections.

Governor Polis takes action to address COVID-19, support election cybersecurity

Governor Polis takes action to address COVID-19 pandemic

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis took action today to address the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The governor extended an executive order increasing the Medicaid home health workforce and eliminating cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees. The governor also extended an executive order related to criminal justice

Governor Polis takes action to address COVID-19 pandemic