State of Colorado reactivates staffing shortage fusion center

The Colorado Unified Coordination Center (UCC) announced the reactivation of the Staffing Shortage Fusion Center (SSFC). Organizations that can ask for assistance include residential care facilities, hospitals, correctional facilities and other licensed care settings.

The fusion center only accepts staffing requests for assistance directly related to COVID-19 in which staff shortages are impacting patient care. Requests are submitted via a designated intake form and limited to short term assistance to bridge a gap, but are not intended to be a long term staffing solution.

The fusion center was originally activated from November 2020 to March 2021 to support staffing shortages. During that time it filled 4,850 shifts with 160 supplemental staff in 58 facilities statewide. Between April 1 and September 30, CDPHE has continued to provide staffing resources for residential care facilities, filling 994 shifts in 31 unique facilities.

The fusion center is led by the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) through the UCC. The SSFC includes representation from:

?     Colorado Department of Public Safety

?     Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

?     Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

?     Colorado Residential Care Strike Team

?     Colorado Hospital Association

?     Colorado Department of Corrections

?     Colorado National Guard

?     Colorado Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing

?     Colorado Department of Human Services

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

State of Colorado reactivates staffing shortage fusion center

CDOT: Overnight closure of eastbound I-70 Glenwood Canyon Emergency Repairs project canceled for Wednesday, Sept. 29

The Colorado Department of Transportation has cancelled the planned night closure tonight of the eastbound lanes of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon due to the forecasted weather in the canyon. A closure is still scheduled for Friday, Oct. 1 from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and now planned for Sunday, Oct. 3., to allow work to take place.

The overnight closures on Friday and Sunday will allow crews to conduct work that is essential to rebuild the eastbound retaining wall that supports the eastbound lanes. Westbound lanes will not be affected and will remain open. The closures will require that eastbound travelers use the recommended northern alternate route (more information below). The eastbound closure point will be Exit 116/Glenwood Springs.

  • Although westbound will remain open, motorists should anticipate a permanent one lane closure at mile point 123.5. westbound the closure is ½ mile long.
  • Several night closures are identified in the contract in order to perform safety critical work that would be difficult to perform under live traffic. Those closures will impact one direction of travel at a time.
  • It is imperative for motorists to drive the posted speed limit through the work zone and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

On July 29 and 31 of this year, the canyon was impacted by several major materials slides, including mudslides. The debris did considerable damage to the interstate at Mile Point 123.5, known as Blue Gulch.

Motorists traveling eastbound are encouraged to utilize the alternate route (please see map below). That route is CO 13 Rifle to Craig, east on US 40 to Steamboat over Rabbit Ears Pass to Kremmling down CO 9 to Silverthorne.

Stay informed and connect with the project

Project information is available at: 

Project email: I70GlenwoodCanyon@gmail.com

CDOT: Overnight closure of eastbound I-70 Glenwood Canyon Emergency Repairs project canceled for Wednesday, Sept. 29

GCECA: Glenwood Canyon reopened to traffic

Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority

Sept. 29, 2021, 1:07 p.m.: Interstate 70 is again open in both directions between mile markers 87 and 133 in both east-and westbound lanes, west Rifle to Dotsero.

Colorado Department of Transportation

Water and debris flow onto Interstate 70 in Glenwood canyon, necessitating a closure.

Sept. 29, 2021, 9:18 a.m.: I-70 through Glenwood Canyon is closed due to Flash Flood Warning and mudflow

The Colorado Department of Transportation has closed Interstate 70 in both directions through Glenwood Canyon at mile points 133 (Dotsero) and MP 116 (Glenwood Springs) due to a Flash Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service at 8:10 a.m. today, Sept. 29. The Flash Flood Warning is in effect through 1 p.m. barring any changes to the forecast. Some mudflow in the Canyon was also detected. Motorists should plan on Glenwood Canyon being closed through the remainder of the Flash Flood Warning.

A traffic control point is in place at eastbound Exit 87 (West Rifle) to guide motorists to the northern alternate route (see map below). Visitors and local traffic traveling eastbound to Glenwood Springs and destinations in the Roaring Fork Valley can continue down US 6 and enter back on eastbound I-70 at Exit 90 (Main Rifle), Exit 97 (Silt) or Exit 105 (New Castle).

CDOT crews will continue to assess the burn scar area and will determine if it is safe to reopen when the Warning is lifted. In the event that a new mudslide occurs or a significant amount of slide materials from the mudslide path blocks the interstate, the closure may be extended past the Flash Flood Warning being lifted. Motorists should monitor COtrip.org for road closure information and continue to check the weather forecast before traveling in this area or through the mountains. 

Motorists are urged to continue tuning into weather forecasts and checking COtrip.org before traveling through the Canyon this holiday weekend and prepare for closures. 

TRAFFIC IMPACTS: 

  • Full closure of I-70 between Dotsero (MP 133) and Glenwood Springs (MP 116) – Motorists are strongly encouraged to use the recommended northern alternate route
    • Westbound motorists from the Denver metro area should exit I-70 at Exit 205 (Silverthorne) and travel north on Colorado Highway 9 towards Kremmling. Travelers will continue west on US Highway 40 and then south on CO 13 to complete the alternate route and return to westbound I-70 at Rifle (Exit 90).
  • Eastbound travelers can detour using the same route in reverse.

ENCOUNTERING INCLEMENT WEATHER

Heavy rains and summer storms can lead to challenging driving conditions. Colorado highways, particularly those in mountainous areas, can be vulnerable to the impacts of weather and the natural environment. It is important that the traveling public be aware of summer weather conditions and forecasts. Just as motorists prepare for driving in the winter time, during summer months, travelers should also be ready for heavy rain storms, hail storms and what can potentially occur after those storms – flooding, mudslides and falling rocks.

WHY CLOSURES ARE NEEDED

The safety of motorists is vital. When CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol determine that a road must be closed, the decision is made to protect everyone including motorists and response crews. The need for some closures is obvious – mudslides cover the highway, large boulders tumble onto the road, or a severe vehicle crash occurs. 

If you are stuck in a closure waiting for a road to be cleared of mud or rocks, do not leave your car unless absolutely necessary. Never hang out in the grassy median located between lanes. If traffic is moving in the opposite direction, the median can be a hazardous area. Emergency response vehicles and heavy equipment may also need the median area to move about and access the emergency scene.

BE PREPARED

Highway closures can last for as little as a few minutes or for as long as several hours. When drivers set out on a trip, especially through high country roads or the I-70 mountain corridor, it would be wise to have the car supplied with an emergency kit. The kit should contain at the very minimum: water, snacks, flashlight, and a blanket. Remember to also carry water for your pets if you’re traveling with animals. You may even consider packing some items to keep you or children occupied while waiting in the car. Activity books, colored pencils or a deck of cards can help pass the time.

DRIVER SAFETY

Heavy rains can cause flooding, mudslides and rock falls in regions downstream and on roadways adjacent to canyons, steep slopes or cliff walls. While I-70 through Glenwood Canyon will close well before there is a potential for flooding on the highway, motorists may drive up onto a flooded area on other mountainous roads and should follow the several precautions listed below:

  • Never drive through any flooded area, you do not know how deep or how fast the water is running.
  • Even 8-10 inches of water can float an average-sized car, which can be easily swept off the road.
  • Driving too fast on wet roads or in flooded areas can cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Never use your cruise control during rainy conditions with standing water on the roadway.
  • Any amount of flooding or mud can obstruct the roadway and hinder drivers from knowing exactly where to drive. If you cannot see the roadway, be smart and wait for the water to subside.
  • Water and mud can contain unknown hazards hidden under the surface – rocks or other debris, like plant material and tree branches.

Sept. 29, 2021, 9 a.m.: I-70 in Glenwood Canyon is closed at Exit 87 (West Rifle), Exit 109 (Canyon Creek), Exit 116 (Glenwood Springs) and Exit 133 (Dotsero), due to flash flooding potential for the Grizzly Creek burn scar. A flash flood warning is in effect for the burn scar. Local eastbound traffic on I-70 will be allowed east of Exit 109, but motorists should expect delays. Eastbound I-70 detour: CO 13 Rifle to Craig, east on US 40 to Steamboat over Rabbit Ears Pass to Kremmling down CO 9 to Silverthorne. Westbound I-70 detour: See prior route, in reverse.

National Weather Service

Sept. 29, 2021, 8:41 a.m.: The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a flash flood warning for the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area in Western Eagle County in west central Colorado; East Central Garfield County in west central Colorado until 1 p.m. MDT.

At 8:41 a.m. MDT, emergency management reported thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Flash flooding is already occurring.

Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flow moving through the Glenwood Canyon area. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.

HAZARD: Life threatening flash flooding. Thunderstorms producing flash flooding in and around the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area.

SOURCE: Emergency management reported.

IMPACT: Life-threatening flash flooding of areas in and around the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area.

  • Some locations that will experience flash flooding include… Glenwood Springs and Shoshone. This includes the following highways Interstate 70 in Colorado between mile markers 116 and 129.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

This is a life threatening situation. Heavy rainfall will cause extensive and severe flash flooding of creeks, streams, and
ditches in the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area. Severe debris flows can also be anticipated across roads. Roads and driveways may be washed away in places. If you encounter flood waters, climb to safety.

Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority

Sept. 29, 2021, 8:40 a.m.: Interstate 70 is closed between mile markers 87 and 133 eastbound, west Rifle and Dotsero, and mile markers 133 to 116 westbound, Dotsero to Glenwood Springs, due to a flash flood warning with debris flow.

GCECA: Glenwood Canyon reopened to traffic

NWS: Flash flood watch issued for Grizzly Creek burn area – extended until midnight

National Weather Service

Sept. 29, 2021, 3:29 p.m. – The flash flood watch has been extended until midnight.

Sept. 29, 2021, 8:10 a.m. – The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a flash flood watch until 6 p.m. for the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area in portions of northwest Colorado and west central Colorado, including the following areas: in northwest Colorado, Flat Tops; in west central Colorado, Central Colorado River Basin and Gore and Elk Mountains/Central Mountain Valleys.

National Weather Service Meteorologists are forecasting possible heavy rainfall over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area, which may lead to flash flooding and debris flows.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS:

Monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

NWS: Flash flood watch issued for Grizzly Creek burn area – extended until midnight

NWS: Flash flood warning issued for Pine Gulch burn area

National Weather Service

Sept. 28, 2021, 4:03 p.m.: The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a flash flood warning for the Pine Gulch Fire Burn Area in Southwestern Garfield County in west central Colorado, North Central Mesa County in west central Colorado, until 6 p.m.

At 4:03 p.m. MDT, Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain over the Pine Gulch Fire Burn Area. Up to 0.5 inches of rain have fallen. The expected rainfall rate is 0.2 to 0.5 inches in 30 minutes. Additional rainfall amounts of 0.5 to 1 inch are possible in the warned area. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected to begin shortly.

Excessive rainfall over the burn scar will result in debris flow moving through the Pine Gulch Burn area. The debris flow can consist of rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.

HAZARD: Life threatening flash flooding. Thunderstorms producing flash flooding in and around the Pine Gulch Fire Burn Area.

SOURCE: Radar.

IMPACT: Life threatening flash flooding of areas in and around the Pine Gulch Fire Burn Area. Some locations that will experience flash flooding include De Beque.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS: Heavy rainfall will cause extensive and severe flash flooding of creeks, streams, and ditches in the Pine Gulch Fire Burn Area. Severe debris flows can also be anticipated across roads. Roads and driveways may be washed away in places. If you encounter flood waters, climb to safety.

Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Please report observed flooding to local emergency services or law enforcement and request they pass this information to the National Weather Service when you can do so safely.

NWS: Flash flood warning issued for Pine Gulch burn area

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

The following are updated statistics from Valley View:

Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats – 9/28/21:

Specimens collected thru Valley View: 37,117
Positive results: 2,575
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 321
Admitted patients discharged: 275

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

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for September 28, 2021

The following are updated statistics from Grand River Health:

Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats – 9/28/2021:

Number of individuals tested: 10,230
Positive results: 3,030
Pending results: 18
New positives since 9/21/21: 25
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 67
Patients transferred: 15
Patients discharged: 50
Reported numbers are from Grand River Health only and could change at any time.

Flu Shot clinics will be held on Fridays in October from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. by appointment only. For more information on how to sign up visit www.grandriverhealth.org.

Vaccine update: Grand River Health is offering Covid 19 vaccinations to the general public ages 12+ in our clinics in Rifle and Battlement Mesa. Please call 625-1100 (option 1) to schedule.

All clinic services, hospital and specialty services and After Hours care are open. All patients will be screened appropriately. All appointments can be made by calling 625-1100. Patients are asked to wear an ear loop mask while in the facility.

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for September 28, 2021

CDPHE: State extends public health order 20-20

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has extended public health order 20-20, requiring long term care facilities to schedule booster shot vaccinations clinics before the end of October 2021 for those eligible for the Pfizer booster shot. This eighth amended order went into effect Sept. 27, 2021 and will continue to be in effect until further amended or rescinded.

Vaccine effectiveness may decrease over time in some people, and a booster dose can help bring up immunity levels. Booster doses are common practice in routine childhood vaccines and require multiple doses at specific intervals to be most effective. 

Last week, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially recommended Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for people at higher risk for COVID-19. Booster doses should be given at least six months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. The updated CDC guidance recommends Pfizer booster shots for people 65 years and older, residents in long-term care settings, and people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions. The recommendations also state that people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions and people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Here is a brief summary of changes:

  • Adds a paragraph requiring that nursing homes, assisted living residences, intermediate care facilities, and group homes that have individuals who are eligible for a booster shot complete a COVID-19 booster shot vaccination clinic no later than October 25, 2021, and schedule such clinic no later than October 1, 2021.

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

CDPHE: State extends public health order 20-20

CDOT: Nighttime closures anticipated Wednesday and Friday for I-70 Glenwood Canyon emergency repairs project work

CDOT performs construction work in Glenwood Canyon.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is conducting two nighttime closures of the eastbound lanes of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon for safety and schedule-critical work. The work is scheduled tomorrow night, Wednesday, Sept. 29 and Friday, Oct. 1 from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Westbound lanes will not be affected and will remain open. The work is essential for crews to be able to rebuild the eastbound retaining wall that supports the eastbound lanes. Crews will be able to safely work more quickly without traffic on eastbound lanes, which is important for reaching the goal of having all lanes open by Thanksgiving.


The overnight closures on Wednesday and Friday will require eastbound travelers to use the recommended northern alternate route (more information below). The eastbound closure point will be Exit 116/Glenwood Springs.

  • Although westbound will remain open, motorists should anticipate a permanent one lane closure at mile point 123.5. westbound the closure is ½ mile long.
  • Several night closures are identified in the contract in order to perform safety critical work that would be difficult to perform under live traffic. Those closures will impact one direction of travel at a time.
  • It is imperative for motorists to drive the posted speed limit through the work zone and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

On July 29 and 31 of this year, the canyon was impacted by several major materials slides, including mudslides. The debris did considerable damage to the interstate at Mile Point 123.5, known as Blue Gulch.

Motorists traveling eastbound are encouraged to utilize the alternate route (please see map below). That route is CO 13 Rifle to Craig, east on US 40 to Steamboat over Rabbit Ears Pass to Kremmling down CO 9 to Silverthorne.

Stay informed and connect with the project

Project information is available at: 

CDOT: Nighttime closures anticipated Wednesday and Friday for I-70 Glenwood Canyon emergency repairs project work

NWS: Flash flood watch issued for Grizzly Creek burn area until 9 p.m.

National Weather Service

Sept. 28, 12:06 p.m.: The National Weather Service in Grand Junction has issued a flash flood watch until 9 p.m. this evening for the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area in portions of northwest Colorado and west central Colorado, including the following areas: in northwest Colorado, Flat Tops. In west central Colorado, Central Colorado River Basin and Gore and Elk Mountains/Central Mountain Valleys.

National Weather Service Meteorologists are forecasting possible heavy rainfall over the Grizzly Creek Fire Burn Area, which may lead to flash flooding and debris flows.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

NWS: Flash flood watch issued for Grizzly Creek burn area until 9 p.m.