CDPHE and CSPH: New modeling data shows plateauing hospitalizations and a slight upward trend in Colorado’s infection rate

REMOTE, Sept. 16: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Colorado School of Public Health released a new modeling report that indicates the spread of SARS-CoV-2 was reduced for much of July and August, leading to declines in hospitalizations and infections. However, in recent weeks, the estimated effective reproductive number has increased while hospitalizations have plateaued.

The latest modeling provides projections based on COVID-19 hospital census data to characterize the current status of the COVID-19 epidemic in Colorado, and the collective impact of efforts to reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It also provides projections based on various policy scenarios around physical distancing, mask-wearing, and case detection, and containment. The models are based on Colorado data and assumptions based on the current state of the science.

Key findings from the report:

  • COVID-19 hospitalizations have been decreasing since mid-July. This decline has slowed and hospitalizations appear to be at a plateau.
  • The estimated effective reproductive number has increased following an upward trend over recent weeks. The current effective reproductive number is estimated to be between 0.93 and 1.14. Due to lags between infection and hospitalizations, this reflects transmission occurring through late-August (approximately August 25).
  • The model-estimated number of infectious individuals in Colorado remains relatively low. The model-estimated rate of new infections as well as reported cases had been declining since mid-July, but the decline now appears to be leveling off.
  • Our current estimate of physical distancing is between 65% and 72% (65% for the week of August 17-25 and 72% during the three-week period August 3-25). If physical distancing remains at 65%, we will begin to see gradual growth in cases and/or hospital demand.

The Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) assembled the expert group that works with the state on modeling projections. The group includes modeling scientists at the ColoradoSPH and the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, as well as experts from the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, and Colorado State University. 

All modeling reports are available on the Colorado School of Public Health’s COVID-19 website. 

The state will continue to review data and model findings as the pandemic continues to inform future policy decisions. 

CDPHE and CSPH: New modeling data shows plateauing hospitalizations and a slight upward trend in Colorado’s infection rate

White River National Forest to reduce fire restrictions in some areas

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – The White River National Forest will reduce fire restrictions to Stage 1 in the Aspen-Sopris, Eagle-Holy Cross, and Rifle ranger districts beginning Friday.

The Blanco and Dillon ranger districts will remain in Stage 2 fire restrictions at this time.

Detailed orders describing the specifics of the two types of restrictions are available at www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.  

The primary difference between the two stages for campers and recreationists on the forest is that under Stage 1, campfires and charcoal are only allowed in the designated metal grates in developed Forest Service campgrounds and picnic areas. Campfires or charcoal are not allowed anywhere on the ranger districts under Stage 2 restrictions. Propane stoves and other petroleum-fueled camping equipment are allowed under both stages. 

Officials consider several criteria when determining the need for fire restrictions, including current and anticipated fire danger, resource availability, and consistency with neighboring jurisdictions. Local, county, state and federal officials in the area evaluate and coordinate fire restrictions weekly during fire season.

“Although we have received some moisture, there is still a fire danger in western Colorado,” said White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams. “We try to coordinate fire restrictions as closely as possible with counties and other neighboring agencies.”

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

White River National Forest to reduce fire restrictions in some areas

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

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

Valley View COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 9/15/2020

Specimens collected thru Valley View:  8,389
Positive results: 433
Pending results:  46
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 66
Admitted patients discharged: 57
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

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for September 15, 2020

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

Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats 9/15/2020:

Number of individuals tested: 3,129
Positive results: 189
Pending results: 35
New positives since 9/10/20: 3
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 10
Patients transferred: 4
Patients discharged: 6

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 September 15, 2020

RFSD closes Basalt Elementary Early Childhood Center due to confirmed COVID cases

Two staff members at the Basalt Elementary Early Childhood Center tested positive with Covid over the weekend, and another staff member is exhibiting Covid symptoms. Because of this situation, the Basalt Elementary Early Childhood Center will be short-staffed and will temporarily close until September 28 during the 14-day quarantine period.

“We understand this closure puts families in a difficult situation, and we apologize for the inconvenience,” said Early Childhood Director Cindy Gray. 

The Roaring Fork Schools are working closely with Public Health and have contacted all students and staff who had close contact with those individuals. The district cannot divulge names to protect patient confidentiality.

RFSD closes Basalt Elementary Early Childhood Center due to confirmed COVID cases

National Interagency Team: Pine Gulch Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)

BAER stands for Burned Area Emergency Response, a federal program that addresses post fire effects on public lands. Wildfires can cause complex ecological problems, from severe loss of vegetation and soil erosion, to a decrease in water quality, and flash flooding. The BAER program addresses post-fire emergency stabilization of these and other post wildfire problems, in order to protect public safety and prevent further degradation of the landscapes.

The BAER assessment team composition is determined both by the size of the fire and the nature of values potentially threatened by post-fire effects. Generally, specialists in soils, hydrology, geology, engineering, wildlife, botany, and archaeology assess the fire’s effects and predict the post-fire effects. Each resource specialist brings a unique perspective to the BAER process, to help the team rapidly determine whether the post-fire effects constitute urgent threats to human life, safety, property, or critical natural and cultural resources and to produce an integrated plan to respond to those threats.

The objective of the BAER program is to determine the need for and to prescribe and implement emergency treatments on federal lands to minimize threats to life and property resulting from the effects of a fire or to stabilize and prevent unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural resources. During the assessment stage, the BAER process may identify values at risk on private of other jurisdiction lands, those issues will be communicated to the cooperators. Severely burned areas, steep slopes, places where water runoff will be excessive, fragile slopes above homes, businesses, municipal water supplies, and other valuable facilities are focus areas.

The BAER Team for the Pine Gulch Fire is currently working with the Fire Management Team, local agencies, has began analyzing data, developing projection models, and will begin working with landowners and stakeholders on findings.

Find more information about BAER Teams.

National Interagency Team: Pine Gulch Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER)

Firefighters get first-hand look at hot spots in Grizzly Creek drainage

Yesterday, two firefighters were ferried by helicopter into the Grizzly Creek drainage to get a closer look at four hot spots near the edge of uncontained line discovered during previous surveillance flights and drone operations.
Division North Supervisor Dusty Calfee and Task Force Leader Jake Fischer spent seven hours in the drainage, reaching three of the four most prominent hot spots and getting line around two of the spots.

“What’s causing the heat and smoke is fire coming from down low in the duff,” Calfee said. “It’s leaf litter, needle cast and small branches, and it’s that creeping, smoldering type of fire that doesn’t always get spotted by helicopters.”

Calfee and Fischer hiked through 8-foot high brush, and crossed through shin-deep water multiple times. They noted several other locations during their hike showing low-intensity heat.

“This is not the type of fire activity that poses an immediate threat,” said Calfee. “At the moment, fire activity is minimal. If it were to find jackpots of fuel, activity could increase and become a threat in dry fall conditions. Should that happen, we may need to take action using aerial resources, or other strategies. We will continue to closely monitor the fire in the drainage, and take action when needed.”

The remote location inside the Grizzly Creek drainage is a safety risk for firefighters due to steep slopes, vertical cliff bands, scree fields and stretches of continuous brush. These factors make it very difficult to construct containment line in all the areas showing heat. The terrain makes it extremely difficult to extricate an injured firefighter if necessary.

Most of the other work being done on the fire involves suppression repair. Excavator work continues on the Transfer Trail Road, which will remain closed until work is complete. On the southern edge of the fire, crews have completed repair of all fire line. They are now cleaning up piles of logs and debris, and starting fence repair.

The Grizzly Creek Fire remains at 32,431 acres, and is 91% contained, with 86 people working on the fire.

The BLM and Forest closures that include the area south of Coffee Pot Road are still in place. A map of the closures is available on InciWeb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/.

The BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office and the White River National Forest remain under Stage 2 fire restrictions, which prohibit all campfires and charcoal, even in developed areas. For more information, go to www.blm.gov or www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

Firefighters get first-hand look at hot spots in Grizzly Creek drainage

Garfield County Public Health: Coronameter update, ‘Why I Mask Up’ video premier and updated mask FAQs

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has added content to its mask frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, including “Can a business still deny me entry if I have a medical exemption to wearing a face covering?” The page has additional information about masks and sports/recreation, in the workplace and in schools.

CDPHE highlighted mask frequently asked questions:

Is the mask order a law?
Yes, executive orders and public health orders have the force of law. People who do not comply with the executive order may be subject to civil or criminal penalties.

Who has to wear a mask?
The order applies to people in Colorado over 10 years old when they are in a public indoor space or when they are waiting for or using public transportation or ride-shares.

Who does not have to wear a mask?

  • People who are 10 years old and younger.
  • People who cannot medically tolerate a face covering.
  • Children ages 2 and under should NOT wear masks or cloth face coverings.

What does it mean to be unable to medically tolerate a face covering?
Essentially, this means a person who has trouble breathing or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face-covering without assistance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more from the CDC about other reasons face coverings may not be possible in every situation or for some people. 

How do I prove I cannot medically tolerate a face covering? Do I need a written exemption?

  • You do not need a written exemption.
  • You may tell the establishment that you cannot medically tolerate a mask. But please be aware that if you cannot medically tolerate a mask, you should consider limiting any visits to businesses to protect yourself and others. If you need help getting groceries or other necessities, you can call 211 to be connected to local resources that may be able to help you.
  • Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), businesses may offer reasonable accommodations for individuals with medical disabilities that make it so that they can’t wear a mask. This could include offering delivery or call-ahead curbside pickup instead of allowing entry into the building – more information.
    • The CDC recommends businesses post a sign outside that says, “Masks required” and provide a phone number and email address for someone to contact should they be unable to use a mask.

Is there guidance available regarding both mask order and ADA compliance?
Yes. If someone is unable to wear a mask due to a medical exemption, we encourage businesses to work with those exempted individuals to create alternative accommodations such as curbside pickup or delivery. For more information, refer to the Guidance to Employers and Places of Public Accommodation Regarding Equal Opportunity Employment and Reasonable Accommodations Due to the Presence of COVID-19.

“Why I Mask Up” video premiers in Spanish
Garfield County essential workers, doctors, business owners, coaches and school officials are masking up to stop COVID. Masks are one of the leading ways to keep the virus levels down and keep the economy, schools and activities we love open! Why do we mask up? Watch the video to see more.

Coronameter update for September 11
Indicators on the Coronameter have not moved since the meter’s last update on Tuesday.  People who have COVID-like symptoms should seek testing within 48 hours of symptom onset. As cooler weather sets in and indoor activities increase, it will be even more important to take COVID precautions. Take precautions for both your own health and for the health of others.

The Coronameter is updated at the end of the day on Tuesdays and Fridays on the Garfield County COVID data page and shared on the Public Health Facebook page.

__________________________________________________________________________

AVISO COMUNITARIO
11 de septiembre, 2020

Actualización del Coronametro, estreno del video ‘Porque Uso Cubrebocas’, y actualización de preguntas frecuentes sobre cubrebocas

El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado ha agregado contenido a su  página de preguntas frecuentes (FAQ) sobre cubrebocas, que incluye “”¿Puede un negocio negarme la entrada si tengo una exención médica para usar un cubrebocas?  La página tiene información adicional sobre cubrebocas y los deportes/recreación, en el lugar de trabajo y en las escuelas.

CDPHE recalca sobre las preguntas frecuentes hacia el uso de cubrebocas:

¿Es la orden de cubrebocas una ley?

Sí, las órdenes ejecutivas y las órdenes de salud pública tienen fuerza legal. Las personas que no cumplan con la orden ejecutiva pueden estar sujetas a sanciones civiles o penales.         

¿Quién tiene que usar cubrebocas?

La orden se aplica a personas en Colorado mayores de 10 años cuando se encuentran en un espacio público al interior o cuando están esperando o usando transporte público o viajes compartidos. 

¿Quién no tiene que usar un cubrebocas?

  • Personas de menores de 10 años.
  • Personas que no pueden tolerar médicamente un cubrebocas.
  • Niños menores de 2 años NO deben usar cubrebocas o cubiertas faciales de tela.

¿Qué significa no poder tolerar médicamente un cubrebocas?

Básicamente, esto significa una persona que tiene problemas para respirar o cualquier persona que esté inconsciente, incapacitada o que no pueda quitarse el cubrebocas sin ayuda, según los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC). Lea más del CDC sobre otras razones por las que es posible que no sea posible cubrir el rostro en todas las situaciones o para algunas personas.

¿Cómo puedo demostrar que no puedo tolerar médicamente un cubrebocas? ¿Necesito una exención por escrito?

  • No necesita una exención por escrito.
  • Puede informar al establecimiento que no puede tolerar médicamente un cubrebocas. Pero tenga en cuenta que, si no puede tolerar médicamente un cubrebocas, debería considerar limitar las visitas a negocios para protegerse y proteger a los demás. Si necesita ayuda para comprar comida u otras necesidades, puede llamar al 211 para que lo comuniquen con los recursos locales que pueden ayudarlo.
  • Según la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA), negocios pueden ofrecer arreglos razonables para personas con discapacidades médicas que no pueden usar un cubrebocas. Esto podría incluir ofrecer la entrega en la acera o que puedan llamar para llevar en lugar de entrar al edificio; – más información.
    • El CDC recomiendan que los negocios coloquen un letrero en el exterior que diga “Se requieren cubrebocas” y proporcionen un número de teléfono y una dirección de correo electrónico para que alguien se comunique en caso de que no puedan usar un cubrebocas.

¿Hay orientación disponible sobre la orden de cubrebocas y el cumplimiento de la ADA?

Si. Si alguien no puede usar un cubrebocas debido a una exención médica, alentamos a negocios trabajar con esas personas exentas para crear adaptaciones alternativas, como la entrega en la acera. Para obtener más información, consulte la Orientación para Empleadores y Lugares de Alojamiento Público con Respecto a la Igualdad de Oportunidades de Empleo y Adaptaciones Razonables Debido a la Presencia de COVID-19.

El video de “Porque uso Cubrebocas” se estrena en español

Trabajadores esenciales, médicos, dueños de negocios, entrenadores y funcionarios escolares del Condado de Garfield están usando cubrebocas para detener el COVID. ¡Los cubrebocas son una de las principales formas de mantener bajos los niveles del virus y mantener abierta la economía, las escuelas y las actividades que amamos! ¿Por qué usamos cubrebocas? Vea el video para ver más.

Actualización del Coronametro para el 11 de septiembre

Los indicadores del Coronametro no se han movido desde la última actualización del medidor el martes. Las personas que tienen síntomas similares a los de COVID deben buscar pruebas dentro de las 48 horas posteriores al inicio de los síntomas. A medida que se establezca un clima más fresco y aumenten las actividades en el interior, será aún más importante tomar precauciones contra el COVID. Tome precauciones tanto por su propia salud como por la salud de los demás.

El Coronametro se actualiza al final del día los martes y viernes en la página de datos sobre COVID del Condado Garfield  y compartida en la página de Facebook de Salud Pública.

Garfield County Public Health: Coronameter update, ‘Why I Mask Up’ video premier and updated mask FAQs

Grizzly Creek fire update

Coffee Pot Road to re-open Saturday; Crews continue suppression repair

EAGLE, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management and the White River National Forest will re-open the Coffee Pot Road beginning Saturday, Sept. 12 and are asking the public to recreate in the area responsibly.

“We understand the high public interest in accessing the Coffee Pot Road. We still have crews working in the area, so we are asking people to drive carefully, and if they are hunting, to be aware of their surroundings,” said
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams.

“Be mindful in doing your part to minimize road damage as you drive onto open side roads north of Coffee Pot Road,” said BLM Colorado River Valley Field Manager Larry Sandoval. “If your vehicle begins to cause ruts, please consider other access options, and know that repaired fire suppression lines are not open to motorized travel.”

The BLM and Forest closures that include the area south of Coffee Pot Road are still in place. A map of the closures is available on Inciweb: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6942/.

The BLM boat launch at Dotsero Landing will also open Saturday for take-out only. Lyon’s Gulch and Cottonwood Landing above Dotsero remain open for put-in and take-out. The Colorado River recreation areas from Dotsero through Glenwood Canyon to No Name remain closed.

The Transfer Trail Road closure will continue because of the high amount of heavy equipment still working in the area.

The Grizzly Creek Fire remains 32,431 acres (a small reduction this week due to mapping) and 91 percent contained. About 100 personnel remain on the fire, monitoring the open containment lines and continuing suppression repair as roads dry to allow better access.

Rain and snow have helped reduce fire activity. Firefighters are awaiting an infrared flight that will show where any heat may remain after this week’s precipitation.

Meanwhile, the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team is continuing its assessment of the fire. The BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office and the White River National Forest remain under Stage 2 fire restrictions, which prohibit all campfires and charcoal, even in developed areas. For more information, go to www.blm.gov or www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver.

Closure order-|

Closure order map-|

Forest Order-|

Grizzly Creek fire update