State provides tips for enjoying a safe Independence Day holiday

DENVER – As Coloradans get ready to celebrate Independence Day weekend, state officials ask everyone to continue acting responsibly to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to follow all fire restrictions. Colorado has made great progress, but we don’t want our summer fun to result in more cases. We all share the responsibility for protecting the workers we interact with, our loved ones, and higher-risk populations. While celebrating, Coloradans should:

  • Wear a face-covering when around others. 
  • Convene only in small groups.
  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distancing.
  • Follow all local COVID-19 guidelines and fire restrictions. To check fire conditions and restrictions, visit
  • Avoid risky activities that could lead to COVID-19 exposures or physical injuries. To learn about how to stay safe and assess risks, visit

“With the freedom that we celebrate this weekend comes responsibility,” said Scott Bookman, the state health department’s Incident Commander for COVID-19. “We hope everyone will keep taking the daily preventive steps – especially wearing masks and practicing physical distancing – to protect themselves and their communities. And with people out picnicking and barbecuing, it’s crucial to think ahead and plan for frequent hand-washing.”

Coloradans who choose to travel should check with the local public health agency at their destination to make sure they are up to date on guidelines, restrictions, and COVID-19 related rules. Those looking to explore the vast, great outdoors should check out COTREX to see what trails, trailheads, and activities are allowed on state and federal public lands – and to see which places are not crowded.

Coloradans also should take steps to prevent fires. It’s fire season, and this year Coloradans need to be especially careful, both due to high fire danger and the added risks and complexity that COVID-19 adds to the equation. The actions of all Coloradans can prevent situations where people have to evacuate their homes and firefighters and first responders have to deploy to camps. Additionally, we want to prevent air pollution from smoke, which could impact those who are at higher risk for severe illness. 

Public officials are also asking Coloradans to avoid risky behaviors this weekend to maintain our current sufficient levels of emergency response capacity for hospitals, search and rescue, and first responders.

“We really need everyone to get through this weekend with all of their fingers intact,” Bookman said. “Usually we see a lot of emergency room visits on Independence Day. Right now our hospital capacity is good, but we need people to play it safe and stay out of the hospital if you can.” Continue to stay up to date by visiting

State provides tips for enjoying a safe Independence Day holiday

Governor Polis extends Safer at Home and updates Protect Our Neighbor framework, announces closure of bars

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today extended the Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors Executive Order, and provided an update on Colorado’s next steps during the COVID-19 pandemic, introducing more details on the Protect Our Neighbors framework. The governor was joined by Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment; Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s top epidemiologist; Joni Reynolds, the Gunnison County Public Health Director; and Jason Vahling, the City and County of Broomfield Public Health Director.

“Protect Our Neighbors will allow Colorado to respond more swiftly and effectively at the community level in the event of another surge of cases. We live in a diverse state with cities, booming suburbs, small resort towns, and rural areas with plenty of wide-open spaces. Each community is having their own unique experience with this virus. Going forward, we want to increase our ability to tackle outbreaks at a community level and only issue statewide orders when absolutely necessary,” said Gov. Polis. “We are making some much-needed investments in our local public health agencies, so they can contain and quell an outbreak before it gets out of control. The fate of Colorado in both virus suppression and economic recovery is largely in the hands of Coloradans. If we continue taking the critical steps of staying at home, wearing masks when leaving the house and following social distancing practices, then we will get through this together.”

The Governor did not announce any additional relaxing of restrictions today, but described the new phase: Protect Our Neighbors that will give local communities more freedom to provide economic opportunity while ensuring that they have the necessary public health capacity. The introduction of the new phase means that different parts of the state could be at different phases of reopening, based on local conditions and capabilities. 

“Each day, we make progress to build the capacity of our public health system — from ramping up statewide testing sites to onboarding new case investigators and contact tracers systemwide, to identifying creative ways to aggressively acquire PPE. I am proud of the team at CDPHE who have stood strong during this very difficult time, and I’m grateful for our local public health partners who are leading the response against COVID in their communities,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment. “It is important that Coloradans don’t let up now, and this new phase – Protect Our Neighbors – isn’t just words. It means we all accept personal responsibility for the things we can do every day to keep ourselves and others healthy.” 

Moving forward, communities that can demonstrate strong public health and health care systems, paired with low virus levels, can take on more control over their reopening plans. In order to reopen to this greater extent, communities must have: 

  • Low virus prevalence; 
  • Health care capacity to handle a surge; and  
  • Strong public health capacity to contain outbreaks and surges locally, including the ability to test, track, and trace.

In order to qualify for Protect Our Neighbors, a county (or region) must do two things:

  • Certify qualification according to the scientific metrics; and
  • Submit a mitigation and containment plan on what the county or region will do if they fall out of compliance with any of the metrics. This containment plan must be accompanied by letters of support from local elected leaders including county commissioners and mayors, the hospitals that serve that community, law enforcement, county emergency management, local public health, and if applicable, tribes.

The certification process will begin next week. To learn more about how a community can qualify, click here

Communities in Protect Our Neighbors will be able to permit all activities to occur at 50 percent of pre-pandemic capacity, with at least six feet between non-household members and no more than 500 people in one setting at a time. Local communities may issue more detailed guidelines or public health orders for different settings, so long as the capacity does not exceed these caps. 

The governor also discussed funding and support for local governments as Colorado looks to move into Protect Our Neighbors. In total, the state is investing $346 million in state and local capacity, with $75 million going directly from the state to Local Public Health Agencies. Gov. Polis also announced two new sources of available funding: a planning grant or Infrastructure Strengthening Grant. 

All counties or local public health agencies can apply for a planning grant of up to $50,000. If counties have already identified infrastructure needs, they may apply for Infrastructure Strengthening Grants, with a maximum state award of $150,000 and a maximum total grant of $300,000. These grants will require local matching funds and can be spent on investments such as 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.

Governor Polis announced the closure of bars. Bars that have taken steps to open as restaurants may continue to operate in-person service, so long as they have patrons seated with their own party only in set seating, spaced six feet apart, and with no mingling. Bars are permitted to sell alcoholic beverages to-go for takeout or delivery consumption if the alcoholic beverages are sold with food. All of the guidelines previously in place around social distancing still apply. Bars may still operate if open under a county variance pursuant to the terms of that county variance. More information can be found in the governor’s executive order.

View the governor’s presentation. Watch the full news conference on the governor’s Facebook page

Governor Polis extends Safer at Home and updates Protect Our Neighbor framework, announces closure of bars

Carbondale asks community and visitors to “Love Local”

CARBONDALE, Colo. – Carbondale reopens its arms at a social distance and asks locals and visitors alike to “Love Local” in a dual call-to-action to spend locally by shopping, dining, adventuring, and creating to support the local business community while also practicing public health and safety guidelines– wearing a non-medical mask or face covering, social distancing, and hand washing– to keep the community safe during the reopening following the COVID-19 global pandemic health crisis and shutdown.

Love Local is a call-to-action asking Carbondale residents to spend locally to support their neighbors, friends, and the entire community by shopping, dining, and spending in their hometown. According to Garfield County, if everyone in Carbondale spent just $20 more in in the county this year instead of shopping online or out of town, that would equal over $1.2 million for the local economy. Another way to spend locally is by purchasing a Carbondale Chamber gift certificate which can be spent locally in one of the 60 participating retail and dining businesses in town—in the past 12 months $27,600 worth of Chamber gift certificates were spent in local businesses—keeping money local in the Carbondale economy. Gift certificates can be purchased by contacting the Carbondale Chamber:

Love Local is a reminder to keep each other safe. As a small and close-knit community, Carbondale locals must continue to follow the public health guidelines from Garfield County Public Health and continuing to practice social distancing, hand washing and wearing a face covering or non-medical mask while indoors in spaces where there is public interaction, according to the Town’s local mask ordinance. Visitors are advised to get educated on the local guidelines before they arrive in town. Lodging and hotels will also be provided with information postcards to provide to visitors, along with a limited supply of the specially designed buff face coverings. More information on local public health guidelines are at

The Love Local icon will start to feature online and in shop windows, on marketing collateral and local advertising,  along with the guidelines.

The Town of Carbondale, Carbondale Creative District, and Carbondale Chamber & Tourism have partnered on several initiatives to help reignite the town’s economy by devising solutions local businesses to expand capacity while meeting social distancing and other mandated public health requirements. A reconfigured Main Street provides more in-street retail space and patio dining, as well as street closures for pedestrians.

Carbondale Arts has commissioned local artists Chris Erickson and Stanley Bell to create a street mural on Main Street to celebrate the summer opening. The mural, designed to reflect Main Street’s role as the central nervous system and heart of the community, was unveiled Sunday, June 28, 2020, in a live painting by Erickson and Bell. More live painting continues Sunday, July 5, 2020.

Carbondale Arts and Carbondale Chamber have also created specially designed buff, which can be worn as a face covering, featuring artwork by local artist Brian Colley. The buffs will be available for purchase at Carbondale Farmer’s Market every Wednesday through the summer, The Launchpad, and at Carbondale Chamber throughout the summer.

“We urgently remind the community to Love Local right now, as we move through the reopening process in the safest way possible,” said Dan Richardson, Mayor of Carbondale. “Our small businesses are open, Main Street is decked out and ready to welcome customers. We just need to keep up the hard work of following public health and safety guidelines so we don’t go backward in our progress.”

“Carbondale’s Creative District community has done remarkable things to take programming online and virtual during these times. Locals and visitor audiences can still feel connected, be entertained, and safely support the arts and local businesses,” said Amy Kimberly, Executive Director of Carbondale Arts and Carbondale Creative District.

“Summer has arrived, and Carbondale is open. While it may feel like business as (un)usual, we commend our small business community who have worked hard to reconfigure around public health guidelines to bring some kind of normality and service with a smile behind the mask for our locals,” said Andrea Stewart, Executive Director of Carbondale Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. “We welcome visitors again and we urge travelers to learn about the latest guidelines and public health regulations before they arrive. Masks are required, but there’s a smile behind it and we look forward to welcoming you.”

Carbondale asks community and visitors to “Love Local”

Garfield County: Virus prevalence keeps Garfield County from moving into next phase

Warning precedes 4th of July holiday weekend

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Governor’s Office announced today guidance for the Protect Our Neighbors phase. With the current increase in COVID-19 cases in Garfield County, the county does not meet the qualifications to move into this next phase of opening. As such, Garfield County will still remain in the Safer at Home phase of reopening, with its one approved variance still in place.

Under the new state guidance, any county that wishes to move into the Protect Our Neighbors phase must demonstrate that they meet specific qualifications designated by the state. The state will post this information today or tomorrow.

“Garfield County must prove that our community is ready to move forward, and to do this now requires individual action countywide,” said Yvonne Long Public Health Director.

“Looking ahead to the July 4 holiday weekend we are concerned. We know people will be socializing, and it is up to them to do it responsibly, so as not to further spread the disease. Looking at the data, we can see that our last increase in cases in part stem from the Memorial Day weekend, based on symptom onset dates. We need to take precautions this weekend, so we don’t see another surge in cases.”

One of the criteria to move into the next phase is a steady or declining virus prevalence in the county. The state has adapted a red/high, yellow/medium, green/low system to measure prevalence of disease spread. The county’s transmission rate is currently in the ‘red’ category with 35 COVID cases in the past 14 days. To be in the green/low category requires 15 cases or less in a 14-day period.

“Today’s statewide announcement gives us a goal, to move to the less restrictive Protect Our Neighbor phase. If everyone is ready and willing to take the personal measures required, we can move in the right direction of COVID containment,” said Long. While Garfield County remains under Safer at Home orders, the Protect Our Neighbors phase or stricter measures will be in place in counties statewide until the pandemic spread is contained.

The county is launching a community campaign to encourage citizens and businesses to pledge to help. It focuses on “More Masks, More Distance, equals More Business in Garfield County.”

Garfield County Public Health indicates in order to move forward to Protect Our Neighbors, it is incumbent on each business, each visitor, each adult, each teen and child in Garfield County to pledge to:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Walk, ride or play 6 feet away.
  • Work successfully.
  • Will get symptoms tested within 1-2 days.
  • Want to stay home if you are ill.


La prevalencia del virus evita que el Condado de Garfield pase a la siguiente fase

La advertencia precede por el fin de semana festivo del 4 de julio

CONDADO DE GARFIELD, CO – La Oficina del Gobernador anunció hoy la guía para pasar a la fase de Proteger a Nuestros Vecinos. Pero con el aumento en casos de COVID-19 en el Condado de Garfield, el condado no cumple con los requisitos para pasar a la siguiente fase de apertura. Como tal, el condado de Garfield seguirá en la fase de Más Seguro en Casa, con su única variación aprobada aún vigente.

Bajo la nueva guía estatal, el condado que desee pasar a la fase Proteger a Nuestros Vecinos debe demostrar que cumple con los requisitos específicos designados por el estado. El estado publicará esta información hoy o mañana.

“El Condado de Garfield debe demostrar que nuestra comunidad está preparada para seguir adelante, y para hacer esto requiere una acción individual en todo el condado”, dijo la Directora de Salud Pública, Yvonne Long.

“Mirando hacia este fin de semana festivo del 4 de julio, estamos preocupados. Sabemos que las personas socializarán, y depende de ellos hacerlo de manera responsable, para no propagar aún más la enfermedad. Al observar los datos, podemos ver que nuestro último aumento de casos se debe en parte al fin de semana del Día de Los Soldados Caídos (Memorial Day), según las fechas de inicio de síntomas. Necesitamos tomar precauciones este fin de semana, para no ver otro aumento en casos “.

Uno de los requisitos para pasar a la siguiente fase es una prevalencia constante o decreciente de virus en el condado. El estado ha adaptado un sistema rojo/alto, amarillo/medio, verde/bajo para medir la prevalencia de contagio de la enfermedad. La tasa de transmisión del condado está actualmente en la categoría “roja” con 35 casos COVID en los últimos 14 días. Para estar en la categoría verde/baja requiere 15 casos o menos en un período de 14 días.

“El anuncio estatal de hoy nos da una meta, pasar a la fase menos restrictiva de Proteger a Nuestros Vecinos. Si todos están listos y dispuestos a tomar las medidas personales requeridas, podemos avanzar en la dirección correcta de contención de COVID,” dijo Long. Mientras el Condado de Garfield permanece bajo las órdenes de Más Seguro en Casa, la fase Proteger a Nuestros Vecinos o las medidas más estrictas estarán vigentes en los condados de todo el estado hasta que se contenga la propagación de la pandemia.

El Condado está lanzando una campaña comunitaria para alentar a los ciudadanos y las empresas a comprometerse a ayudar. Se centra en “Más cubrebocas, más distancia, equivale a más negocio en el Condado de Garfield”.

Salud Pública del Condado de Garfield indica que, para avanzar a la fase de Proteger a Nuestros Vecinos, es necesario que cada negocio, cada visitante, cada adulto, cada adolescente y niño en el condado de Garfield debe comprometerse a:

  • Usar cubrebocas.
  • Lavar las manos con frecuencia.
  • Camine, monte bicicleta o juegue a 6 pies de distancia.
  • Trabajar con éxito.
  • Evaluar los síntomas dentro de 1-2 días.
  • Quedarse en casa si está enfermo.
Garfield County: Virus prevalence keeps Garfield County from moving into next phase

Governor Polis takes action in response to COVID-19

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis signed executive orders in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

The Governor extended an executive order allowing food trucks to operate at Colorado’s rest areas to support truckers and the movement of commercial vehicle activities.

The governor also amended and extended an executive order ordering the temporary suspension of certain statutes concerning taxpayer filing requirements for certain taxable property due to COVID-19. 

Governor Polis takes action in response to COVID-19

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for June 30, 2020

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

Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats 6/30/2020:
Number of individuals tested: 1,711
Positive results: 66
Pending results: 48
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 June 30, 2020

Updated Valley View Hospital COVID-19 cumulative stats

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

Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats – 6/30/2020:
Specimens collected thru Valley View: 2,966
Positive results: 129
Pending results: 21
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 29
Admitted patients discharged: 20
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 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.

“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 to an outside lab.

“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 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 Hospital COVID-19 cumulative stats

Governor Polis takes action in response to COVID-19

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis signed executive orders today in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

The Governor signed an executive order directing the Colorado Department of Human Services to access federal funds for child care services during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure stability and consistency for child care providers and protect the vital role they play for children and families.

Gov. Polis signed an Executive Order extending the use of telehealth services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The governor extended an executive order concerning the temporary suspension of certain requirements preventing the issuance of marriage licenses, and extended an executive order concerning the suspension of certain regulatory statutes.  The Governor extended an executive order ordering the temporary suspension of certain regulatory statutes concerning petition gathering for unaffiliated and independent candidates for office. 

Governor Polis takes action in response to COVID-19

Colorado Office of Emergency Management uses donated warehouse space for state COVID-19 response efforts

Centennial, Colo. – The Colorado Office of Emergency Management announces that global logistics real estate leader Prologis, Inc. has donated 64,491 square feet of warehouse space to the State Emergency Operations Center.  The space will be used for storage and distribution of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 resources supporting state and local efforts through the end of the year.  The donation is valued at more than $304,720.  

“The private sector plays a critical role in the disaster response and recovery efforts of the state,” stated Colorado Office of Emergency Management Director Mike Willis, “This donation is a key example of our Colorado partners stepping up to support our efforts in a way that saves thousands of dollars for our community.”

The state’s logistics staff and warehouse manager received the keys to the space on Monday, June 23.  PPE and other resources will be consolidated this week from two other locations that the state is renting.  

“As Colorado works to recover from the pandemic, we are proud to support organizations like the Office of Emergency Management which is on the frontlines of COVID-19 response efforts,” said Prologis chief legal officer and ESG head Edward S. Nekritz. “Through our Space for Good Program, we are in a unique position to contribute our platform of available assets in service to our communities.” 


Oficina de Manejo de Emergencias de Colorado aprovecha el espacio donado en un almacén para los esfuerzos de combate contra el COVID-19

Centennial, Colorado, 25 de junio de 2020: La Oficina de Manejo de Emergencias de Colorado anunció que la corporación global líder en logística de bienes raíces, Prologis, Inc., ha donado 64,491 pies cuadrados de un almacén al Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias del estado. El espacio se dedicará a almacenar y como punto de distribución de los equipos de protección individual (EPI) esenciales, además de los recursos para apoyar los esfuerzos estatales y locales para combatir el COVID-19 hasta fin de año. La donación representa un valor de más de $304,720. 

“El sector privado desempeña un papel vital en los esfuerzos estatales de respuesta y recuperación ante desastres”, declaró el director de la Oficina de Manejo de Emergencias de Colorado, Mike Willis. “Esta donación es un ejemplo clave de cómo nuestros colaboradores en Colorado ponen de su parte para apoyar nuestros esfuerzos, de una manera que ahorra miles de dólares para la comunidad”.

El personal de logística del estado y el gerente del almacén recibieron las llaves del espacio el lunes 23 de junio. Los EPI y otros recursos de dos otros lugares que el estado alquila se consolidarán en el nuevo espacio esta semana.

“A medida que el estado de Colorado trabaja para recuperarse de la pandemia, estamos orgullosos de organizaciones como la Oficina de Manejo de Emergencias de Colorado, que se encuentra en la primera línea de los esfuerzos de combate contra el COVID-19”, comentó el director de asuntos legales y director de criterios ambientales, sociales y de gobierno corporativo (ASG) de Prologis, Edward S. Nekritz. “Mediante nuestro programa Space for Good, nos encontramos en una posición única para poder contribuir con nuestra plataforma de recursos disponibles para servir a nuestras comunidades”. 

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Colorado Office of Emergency Management uses donated warehouse space for state COVID-19 response efforts