Garfield, Eagle counties mull Cottonwood Pass options

Garfield County

CDOT reports that full closure of Glenwood Canyon should end in ‘days, not weeks’

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Commissioners from Garfield and Eagle countries met with Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) officials on Tuesday to discuss the Interstate 70 closure in Glenwood Canyon, and potential improvements to Cottonwood Pass Road, a mostly undeveloped route that connects the town of Gypsum to Highway 82 between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.

Interstate 70 is closed through Glenwood Canyon due to a series of large mudslides and debris flows that damaged the roadway on July 29, rendering it impassable. The slides originated near a burn scar from last summer’s Grizzly Creek Fire, which encompassed 32,631 acres.

CDOT Executive Director Shoshana M. Lew told the commissioners that the full closure should be in place for days, rather than weeks, and that some form of throughfare would be open as soon as repairs are made, and the canyon is deemed safe.

“We’re working in real time to get a contractor in there to get this fixed,” she added.

CDOT Region 3 Director Mike Goolsby reported that most of blockage has been removed from the roadway, though there are four large areas of debris in the Colorado River. The greatest extent of damage to the interstate exists at mile marker 123.5 in the eastbound lane, where there’s a hole in the road that’s 20 feet deep, and 70 to 80 feet in diameter. The Glenwood Canyon Recreation Trail is likely closed indefinitely, CDOT added.

“The governor wants all four lanes in the canyon open by Thanksgiving,” Goolsby said.

Both Garfield and Eagle county commissioners noted that the impacts on the area’s workforce and residents traveling to medical appointments have been substantial. They also noted how the closure has affected business and supply lines on the Western Slope.

Governor Jared Polis has requested $116 million in federal aid from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Emergency Relief program to help with Interstate 70 cleanup and repair efforts. Of that amount, 10 percent was approved for an emergency disbursement on Tuesday afternoon.

If the funding request is approved, $50 million is slated to cover a study of Cottonwood Pass and the development of safety improvements, added CDOT Chief Engineer Steve Harelson. 

Cottonwood Pass traffic increased heavily during closure

Despite being a potentially dangerous and unrecommended alternative to Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, traffic through the remote corridor over Cottonwood Pass is on the rise, necessitating the meeting between the two county’s elected officials.

“We are seeing how connected we are in terms of workforce during this closure,” said Eagle County Board Chair Matt Scherr.

Eagle County estimated safety improvements, including lane widening, realignment, and additional guardrails, could cost $10.05 million for the basic, two-lane county road in the short term. The improvements would also mean that Cottonwood Pass would be closed for a period of time.

In 2010, large scale safety improvements on Cottonwood Pass were estimated at between $47 and $62 million, and those numbers are estimated to be much larger now, according to Eagle County’s presentation. 

The hard gypsum soil in the area makes large-scale work difficult, necessitating the use of special equipment and perhaps even blasting the ground, according to Eagle County Engineer Ben Gerdes.

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky thanked Eagle County for its work to keep Cottonwood Pass open during the canyon closure. He noted the stress that the increased traffic has had on homeowners along the route. 

“I’m hearing from the folks that live below Cottonwood Pass,” Jankovsky said. “They are just inundated with traffic. From my perspective, this needs to continue to be a two-lane county road that’s utilized by our citizens.”

Cottonwood Pass Road (10A) itself is roughly 15.5 miles long in Eagle County, with just 1.8 miles of that road located in – and maintained by – Garfield County. Overall, the passage is around 26 miles between Highway 82 and Gypsum Creek Road.

From Highway 82, Cottonwood Pass Road (10A) is met from Garfield County by taking Spring Valley Road to County Road 115 (Red Canyon Road) and meeting with County Road 113 (Cattle Creek Road), which then connects with 10A near the boundary with Eagle County. The 10A road is typically open from April to November, weather conditions permitting.

The Garfield County roads leading to Cottonwood Pass aren’t designed to handle the increased traffic volume, and many pass uncomfortably close to homes and ranch properties. All the routes connecting Highway 82 and Gypsum Creek Road feature tight corners and switchbacks, which can be especially perilous during inclement weather.

Garfield County bars semis and commercial vehicles from traveling on these roads, outside of local deliveries to homeowners. According to Eagle County Road and Bridge, any vehicle greater than 8’6” in width, 14’6” in height and 45 feet in length requires a permit to travel over Cottonwood Pass. However, during a closure in Glenwood Canyon, a 35-foot length limit is in effect by Eagle County due to increased vehicle traffic.

“It’s not going to be a commercial route,” said Commissioner John Martin. “It just can’t be. The sheriff’s office would run out of tow trucks.”

Garfield, Eagle counties mull Cottonwood Pass options

Garfield County resolution on COVID guidance

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – During the April 19 Board of County Commissioners meeting, the board passed a resolution providing guidance following the expiration of the statewide COVID-19 dial executive orders. Counties are now able to implement regulations at the local level, though there are still some limited requirements being maintained across the state. 

Garfield County resolution

The resolution encourages all citizens to continue to follow all five containment strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19:

a. washing hands
b. wearing masks while indoors and continuing to remain at least 6 feet away from non-household contacts
c. avoiding large crowds
d. staying home when sick and getting tested as soon as possible
e. isolating/quarantining if testing positive. 

Public Health will continue to maintain COVID-19 data metrics, contact tracing, outbreak investigations, vaccinations, and regulatory authority for restaurant and food service entities. 

All Garfield County businesses are encouraged to reopen to the extent each is comfortable and to make their own decisions about whether and to what extent to limit capacity or impose other safety measures, subject to remaining in compliance with any applicable municipal requirements and the continued state requirements. 

State Public Health Order 20-38

The State COVID-19 Dial has evolved into Public Health Order 20-38: Limited COVID-19 Restrictions, that addresses large gatherings and other indoor high risk settings.
Summary of new state public health order

Masks: are still required indoors in public places. Outdoor masks are no longer required. The state public health order requires compliance with the current executive mask order. For help, see the CDPHE mask guidance. Masks are required in the following scenarios:

  • For counties with a one week disease incidence rate in excess of 35 per 100,000
  • Public indoor spaces where 10 or more unvaccinated individuals are present
  • Employers must implement the face covering requirements
  • Preschool through grade 12 schools (including extracurricular activities)
  • Child care centers and services and indoor children’s camps 
  • Public areas of state government facilities
  • Congregate care facilities
  • Prisons/Jails
  • Emergency medical and other healthcare settings 
  • Personal services
  • Limited healthcare settings 

Social distancing: Individuals are encouraged to remain at least 6 feet away from non-household contacts, wash their hands, and wear a face covering to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission.

Sector specific guidance (restaurants, places of worship, retail): All sectors must follow mask guidance and CDPHE strongly suggests following the sector guidance for disease mitigation. 

Schools: Schools are required to follow the CDPHE schools and child care outbreak guidance.

Nursing homes: PHO 20-20 orders are still in effect, providing requirements For Colorado Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Residences, Intermediate Care Facilities, And Group Homes For COVID-19 Prevention And Response. 

Mass indoor gatherings of 100-500 people, may operate at 100% capacity; must use masks and maintain 6’ social distancing between parties of unvaccinated people. For events over 500 people, please contact Public Health at 970-625-5200 x 8120 or email Public Health.

Outdoor events do not need to consult with LPHA’s with the following exception:

Outdoor ticketed, seated event venues in excess of 30,000 square feet require consultation between the local public health agency and CDPHE concerning capacity and disease mitigation practices. 

CDPHE has the ability to enact additional restrictions for any county experiencing hospitalizations that threaten to exceed 85% of hospital or hospital system capacity.

The State Order became effective Friday, April 16, 2021 and will expire in 30 days unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing.

Garfield County resolution on COVID guidance

Curative van known as ‘Western Garfield free COVID testing’ to utilize nasal swab testing for symptomatic people only

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced earlier this week that it will no longer use Curative testing for residential facilities due to concerns regarding test accuracy.

Garfield County utilizes a Curative mobile van listed on the Garfield County testing site as the “Western Garfield free COVID testing,” that travels weekly to New Castle on Sundays and to Parachute and Rifle on Mondays.

The state raised concerns that the “oral swab” Curative tests were yielding false negative results. In light of this issue, the mobile van traveling to Garfield County has secured “nasal swab” tests, which are more accurate, to use in tests with symptomatic patients at the Curative mobile testing sites.

Asymptomatic people may also receive false negative results. This is because the type of test that Curative uses is not sensitive enough to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic people. If you are concerned that you have been exposed to COVID-19 and may be asymptomatic, use any of the other testing providers in Garfield County listed on the COVID-19 testing site; which includes primary care doctor’s offices and the Roaring Fork COVID testing sites.

There are no additional safety concerns with Curative testing.

A list of COVID-19 testing sites in Garfield County can be found on the Garfield County COVID-19 testing site.

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COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

22 de Enero, 2021

Camioneta Curative conocida como ‘Prueba COVID gratuita del Occidente de Garfield’ solo hará la prueba nasal a personas sintomáticas

CONDADO DE GARFIELD, CO – El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE, por sus siglas en inglés) anuncio a principios de esta semana, que ya no utilizará las pruebas Curative (por sus siglas en inglés) para instalaciones residenciales, debido a preocupaciones sobre la precisión de las pruebas.

El Condado de Garfield utiliza la Camioneta de Curative nombrada en el sitio en la página de pruebas del Condado Garfield como “prueba COVID gratuita del Occidente de Garfield”, que viaja cada semana los Domingos a New Castle y los Lunes a Parachute y Rifle.

El Estado expresó su preocupación de que las pruebas Curative “oral” dan resultados falsos negativos. A causa de este problema, la camioneta móvil que viaja al Condado de Garfield ha obtenido pruebas “nasal”, que son más precisas, para usar en pruebas con pacientes sintomáticos en los sitios de pruebas móviles Curative.

Las personas asintomáticas también pueden recibir resultados falsos negativos. Esto se debe a que el tipo de prueba que usa Curative no es lo suficientemente sensible para detectar COVID-19 en personas asintomáticas. Si le preocupa haber estado expuesto al COVID-19 y puede estar asintomático, use cualquiera de los otros proveedores en el sitio de pruebas COVID-19; que incluye consultorios médicos y los sitios de prueba COVID de Roaring Fork.

No hay preocupaciones de seguridad adicionales con las pruebas Curative.

Puede encontrar una lista de los sitios de prueba de COVID-19 en el Condado de Garfield en el sitio de Prueba de COVID-19 del Condado de Garfield.

Curative van known as ‘Western Garfield free COVID testing’ to utilize nasal swab testing for symptomatic people only

Garfield County COVID-19 summary

Garfield County, CO – Garfield County is averaging approximately 41 COVID-19 cases per day. This is significantly below the levels seen towards the middle of December, where the county was averaging 68 cases per day.

Test turnaround time is currently averaging 2.3 days from collection to notification. The desired number of days is two, therefore test turnaround time in the county is generally good.

The incidence rate, while high, at 892.5 per 100,000 persons for the last 14-day period, is moving generally in a declining direction.

The test positivity rate had one day last week above ten percent, but numbers below that are an indicator that Garfield County is testing enough people and finding more cases earlier than at the end of November or beginning of December.

People exposed to COVID-19 on New Year’s Eve would be most contagious between January 3 – 7. Based on incubation periods and test turnaround times, the health department will know how the holidays affected cases by next week.

Public Health, working with hospital partners, hopes to report the number of vaccines administered each week. Garfield County has been vaccinating 1A and limited 1B categories. 4.8% of Garfield County residents have received their first dose.

Geographic AreaTotal CasesCurrently HospitalizedDeathsRecovered
Global90,074,323Not Available1,932,05349,923,251
United States22,300,696130,781363,598N/A
Colorado358,9479775,19018,891
Garfield County4,444N/A33 confirmed, and 3 being investigatedN/A
Eagle County3,780N/A14N/A
Pitkin County1,488N/A4N/A
Mesa County10.00841875,305

*Statistics from Johns Hopkins University, covidtracking.com, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Cases since last week

  • 299 cases reported/added since last week for a 7-day rolling average of 42.7 cases added per day
  • Dates with most cases added:
    • 1/7: 83
    • 1/5: 54

Vaccinations

  • Public Health is working with hospital partners to obtain the number of vaccinations administered. These numbers include Phase 1A, 1B, and 70+:
    • Valley View Hospital (through 1/8): 2,078
    • Grand River (through 1/8): 880
    • Total amount of vaccine allocated to Garfield County to date: 2,915

Deaths

  • 33 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths, 3 pending investigation
  • 0 new deaths reported since last week

State dial information (week dates)

  • Two-week incidence:
    • Monday: 797.8
    • Tuesday: 807.7
    • Wednesday: 811.1
    • Thursday: 807.7
    • Friday: 877.5
    • Saturday: 924.1
    • Sunday: 892.5
      • Increases are likely because of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, though these increases are less of a surge than those experienced in November.
  • Hospitalizations, days with stable or declining hospitalizations:
    • Monday: 8
    • Tuesday: 9
    • Wednesday: 7
    • Thursday: 8
    • Friday: 9
    • Saturday: 9
    • Sunday: 10
  • Test positivity:
    • Monday: 9.4%
    • Tuesday: 9.4%
    • Wednesday: 9.7%
    • Thursday: 9.3%
    • Friday: 10.3
    • Saturday: 9.7%
    • Sunday: 9.9%
      • Staying under 10%, especially during the holidays period is a positive for Garfield County numbers.
Garfield County COVID-19 summary

Garfield County to enforce orange level COVID-19 dial standards for businesses with proper signage

Businesses must post signage displaying the restriction level they choose for operations

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Under a new resolution, Garfield County is enforcing orange level regulations, plus existing variances, on the state’s COVID-19 dial and allowing local businesses to decide what level of restrictions they determine is best to operate under. The state of Colorado has moved the county to the red, or “severe risk” level, but the county is continuing to recognize orange or “high risk” for its businesses, which would otherwise need to invoke more restrictive measures under red, as long as they display proper signage.

Garfield County’s COVID-19 metrics for incidence rate are at the red level as determined by the state, but its test positivity and hospitalization rates are in orange and yellow, respectively, making the orange level a more accurate representation of the current situation in the county.

The Board of County Commissioners view the red level as unfairly punitive against select businesses, especially restaurants and fitness centers, which would be devastated under the level red restrictions. No outbreaks have been reported at movie theatres or gyms and fitness centers, and very few cases (15 total) have come from restaurants – those cases involved staff, not patrons.

“The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has provided no epidemiological evidence to justify the disparate treatment between restaurants, movie theatres and gyms and these other business sectors,” the resolution notes. “Without that evidence, there is no way to reconcile these decisions that effectively put restaurants and gyms alone out of business.”

Garfield County Attorney Tari Williams said the county is allowing businesses to decide for themselves whether level orange with variance standards or level red most closely aligns with their interests and urged each to carefully consider the potential consequences associated with each decision.

“We will be asking businesses that do not want to follow the red level as currently written to post signage that Garfield County Public Health will assist with, out in front of the businesses,” she said. “This allows citizens to know whether the businesses are applying the level red or level orange standards.”

All businesses that want to continue operating under orange may follow the county’s resolution, but must place signage in a prominent location near the entrance informing customers that it has opted to follow level orange restrictions.

The signage is required to operate at the orange level. The resolution notes that businesses not posting signage could face enforcement if they do not follow the state’s level red restrictions. Customers can then determine what stores they’d like to patronize and will know before entering the level at which that establishment is operating.

“It is the Board of County Commissioners’ (BOCC) desire to protect as many small businesses as possible from economic ruin, while recognizing that its local health care workers, Public Health Department, and related services have been pressured to a critical level by balancing the serious need to contain various virus spread with the need to ensure small businesses survive,” the resolution notes.

“The Board of County Commissioners, sitting as both the BOCC and the Garfield County Board of Health, hereby directs the Garfield County Public Health agency to continue to enforce all state executive orders and public health orders but only to level orange,” it continues.

The resolution passed unanimously, 3-0, and can be read in its entirety at garfield-county.com/public-health/executive-orders. Flyers representing each businesses choice are also available on that page, and businesses can contact Garfield County Public Health at (970) 625-5200, ext. 8120, or by email at publichealthinfo@garfield-county.com.

“This explains why the board of county commissioners believe we should still be at the level orange,” said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky of the resolution. “This resolution gives businesses the ability to operate under level orange and they need to make the choice of what’s best for them. I hope that if the state has issues with this, they come back and talk to the county and not try and enforce this on individual businesses. I’d want the county to carry as much of the burden on this as possible.”

“As a plea to the state, please work with us so we can keep our businesses thriving and open,” added Commissioner Mike Samson.

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COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

16 de diciembre, 2020

El Condado hará cumplir los estándares del marcador nivel naranja de COVID-19 para empresas con señalización adecuada

Las empresas deben colocar letreros que muestren el nivel de restricción en el que operan

CONDADO GARFIELD, CO – Bajo una nueva resolución, el Condado Garfield está haciendo cumplir regulaciones del nivel naranja, además de las variaciones existentes, del marcador COVID-19 del estado y permitiendo que empresas locales decidan bajo qué nivel de restricciones es la adecuada para operar su negocio. El estado de Colorado ha movido al condado al nivel rojo o de “riesgo severo”, pero el condado continúa reconociendo el naranja o el “alto riesgo” para empresas, que de otra manera necesitarían invocar medidas más restrictivas bajo el marcador rojo, siempre y cuando muestran la señalización adecuada.

Las métricas de COVID-19 del Condado Garfield para la tasa de incidencia están en el nivel rojo según lo determinado por el estado, pero las tasas de positividad y hospitalización de las pruebas están en naranja y amarillo, respectivamente, lo que hace que el nivel naranja sea una representación más precisa de la situación actual en el condado.

La Junta de Comisionados del Condado considera que el nivel rojo es injustamente punitivo contra empresas seleccionadas, especialmente restaurantes y gimnasios, que quedarían devastados bajo las restricciones a nivel rojo. No se han reportado brotes en cines o gimnasios y centros recreativos, y muy pocos casos (15 en total) provienen de restaurantes; esos casos involucran al personal, no a clientes.

“El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE, por sus siglas en inglés) no ha proporcionado evidencia epidemiológica para justificar el trato desigual entre restaurantes, cines y gimnasios y estos otros sectores comerciales”, señala la resolución. “Sin esa evidencia, no hay forma de conciliar estas decisiones que de manera efectiva ponen fuera del negocio a restaurantes y gimnasios”.

La fiscal del Condado Garfield, Tari Williams, dijo que el condado está permitiendo que las empresas decidan por sí mismas si el nivel naranja, con estándares de variación, o el nivel rojo se alinea más estrechamente con sus intereses e instó a cada uno a considerar cuidadosamente las posibles consecuencias asociadas con cada decisión.

“Pediremos a los negocios que decidan no seguir el nivel rojo como está escrito actualmente, que coloquen letreros que Salud Pública del Condado Garfield ha creado, para que los pongan a la entrada del negocio”, dijo. “Esto permite a ciudadanos saber si las empresas están aplicando los estándares de nivel rojo o naranja”.

Todas las empresas que quieran seguir operando en naranja pueden seguir la resolución del condado, pero deben colocar letreros en un lugar notorio cerca de la entrada para informar a los clientes que han optado por seguir las restricciones de nivel naranja.

Se requiere la señalización para operar en el nivel naranja. La resolución señala que aquellas empresas que no publiquen letreros se les podría exigir cumplimiento de restricciones de nivel rojo del estado si no siguen las restricciones.  Los clientes pueden entonces determinar qué tiendas les gustaría patrocinar y sabrán antes de entrar a que nivel opera ese establecimiento.

“Es el deseo de la Junta de Comisionados del Condado (BOCC, por sus siglas en inglés) proteger a la mayor cantidad posible de pequeños negocios de una posible ruina económica, y a la vez reconoce que trabajadores de salud, el Departamento de Salud Pública y servicios relacionados han sido presionados a un nivel crítico al equilibrar la gran necesidad de contener la propagación de varios virus con la necesidad de garantizar la supervivencia de las pequeñas empresas”, señala la resolución.

“La Junta de Comisionados del Condado, que actúa como BOCC y Junta de Salud del Condado de Garfield, por la presente ordena a la agencia de Salud Pública del Condado de Garfield que continúe haciendo cumplir todas las órdenes ejecutivas estatales y las órdenes de salud pública, pero solo hasta el nivel naranja”, continúa.

La resolución fue aprobada por unanimidad, 3-0, y se puede leer en su totalidad en garfield- county.com/public-health/executive-orders.  Para obtener información sobre señalización, las empresas pueden contactar Salud Pública del Condado de Garfield al (970) 625-5200, ext. 8120, o por correo electrónico a publichealthinfo@garfield-county.com

“Esto explica por qué la junta de comisionados del condado cree que aún deberíamos estar en el nivel naranja”, dijo el comisionado Tom Jankovsky sobre la resolución. “Esta resolución brinda a las empresas la capacidad de operar bajo del nivel naranja y deben elegir lo que sea mejor para ellas. Espero que, si el estado tiene problemas con esto, regresen y hablen con el condado y no intenten hacer cumplir esto individualmente por empresas. Quiero que el condado cargue con la mayor carga posible sobre esto “.

“Como una súplica al estado, por favor trabajen con nosotros para que podamos mantener nuestros negocios prósperos y abiertos”, agregó el comisionado Mike Samson.

ORANGE LEVEL OPTION

RED LEVEL OPTION

Garfield County to enforce orange level COVID-19 dial standards for businesses with proper signage

Garfield County deems numerous services essential

Designation helps keep businesses open as state moves county COVID dial to red

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Commissioners have categorized numerous local industries and services essential, allowing them to remain open at a greater capacity in light of the state of Colorado moving the county to the red category on its COVID-19 dial.

The state sent a letter informing the county of its decision on Wednesday. The Board of County Commissioners met on Thursday afternoon to discuss the state’s change.

“I’m shocked and disappointed by the state of Colorado,” said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “This really hurts gyms and restaurants. From my perspective, it’s discriminatory against these businesses and those who work for them. It’s a shutdown through the holidays.”

The board unanimously passed a resolution deeming noncritical retail, restaurants, gyms and fitness centers as essential, bolstering them into the “critical” category and allowing them to remain in operation at 50 percent capacity. The resolution also included that last call for alcoholic beverages would be at 10 p.m. This covers Garfield County, and municipalities may enact stricter policies if they desire.

Commissioner Mike Samson said he’s heard from many in the public and especially people in the restaurant industry that are adamantly opposed to the change to red.

“The state is the one that wants to put us here,” he said. “We can’t stop them, but there are things we can do as county commissioners to try and alleviate this burden. It’s unfair to hammer these people in this way. I do not want to lose more businesses in Garfield County.”

Jankovsky added that restaurants provide a more supervised and controlled environment with social distancing, disinfection of dining areas and staff and customers wearing masks, unless they’re eating.

“I’m really proud of how restaurants have operated here in Garfield County,” Jankovsky said.

Factors that qualify a county for red include test positivity rate of more than 15 percent; a two-week incidence of more than 350 cases per 100,000 people; and stable hospitalizations or no more than two new COVID-19 hospital admissions per day. The county’s positivity rate is currently 12.9 percent and there have been 700 new cases between Nov. 26 and Dec. 9, or 1,057 per 100,000. Eight of the last 14 days had stable or declining hospitalizations.

Commissioner John Martin said the county is looking to stay exactly where it is, orange on the COVID dial with existing variances, and prioritizing the people, businesses and maintaining local control of regulations. He stressed personal responsibility in protecting our community from COVID-19.

“The government cannot shield you from this virus no matter how hard we try,” he said. “This virus will be with us for likely many years, and if you don’t protect yourself, you’re at high risk and you’re not taking care of your neighbor. But we should not shut down the entire county for this. These policies have not worked for a year, and we need to try our own approach.

“What it amounts to is we need to have some common sense. What is the goal here? It’s to keep people safe, but also to have those people again in control of themselves and the risks,” Martin added. “We are not going to put a red blanket over everything.”

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COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

10 de diciembre, 2020

El Condado de Garfield considera que numerosos servicios son esenciales

La designación ayuda a mantener abiertos a negocios a medida que el estado cambia el marcador de COVID del condado a rojo

CONDADO GARFIELD, CO – Los comisionados del Condado Garfield han categorizado numerosas industrias y servicios locales esenciales, lo que les permite permanecer abiertos a una mayor capacidad después de que el estado moviera al condado de Garfield a la categoría roja en su marcador de COVID-19.

El estado envió una carta informando al condado de su decisión el miércoles. La Junta de Comisionados del Condado se reunió el jueves por la tarde para discutir el cambio del estado.

“Estoy conmocionado y decepcionado por el estado de Colorado”, dijo el comisionado Tom Jankovsky. “Esto realmente perjudica a gimnasios y restaurantes. Desde mi perspectiva, es discriminatorio contra estas empresas y quienes trabajan para ellas. Es un cierre durante los días festivos”.

La junta aprobó por unanimidad una resolución que considera que tiendas minoristas, restaurantes y gimnasios no críticos son esenciales, lo que los coloca en la categoría de “críticos” y les permite permanecer en funcionamiento al 50 por ciento de su capacidad. La resolución también incluyó que la última convocatoria para bebidas alcohólicas sería a las 10 p.m.  Esto cubre al Condado Garfield, pero municipios pueden anunciar políticas más estrictas si lo desean.

El comisionado Mike Samson dijo que ha escuchado mucho del público y especialmente a personas en la industria de restaurantes que se oponen rotundamente al cambio al rojo.

“El estado es el que quiere ponernos aquí”, dijo. “No podemos detenerlos, pero hay cosas que podemos hacer como comisionados del condado para tratar de aliviar esta carga. Es injusto golpear a esta gente de esta manera. No quiero perder más negocios en el Condado Garfield “.

Jankovsky agregó que los restaurantes brindan un ambiente supervisado y controlado practican el distanciamiento social, desinfectan áreas del comedor y el personal y clientes utilizan tapabocas, a menos que estén comiendo.

“Estoy muy orgulloso de cómo han funcionado los restaurantes aquí en el Condado de Garfield”, dijo Jankovsky.

Factores que califican a un condado para el marcador rojo incluyen una tasa de positividad de prueba de más del 15 por ciento; una incidencia de dos semanas de más de 350 casos por 100,000 personas; y hospitalizaciones estables o no más de dos nuevos ingresos hospitalarios por COVID-19 por día. La tasa de positividad del condado es actualmente del 12.9 por ciento y ha habido 700 casos nuevos entre el 26 de noviembre y el 9 de diciembre, o 1,057 por cada 100,000. Ocho de los últimos 14 días hubo hospitalizaciones estables o en descenso.

El comisionado John Martin dijo que el condado busca permanecer exactamente dónde está, en el color naranja del marcador de COVID con las variaciones existentes, y priorizar a personas, empresas y mantener el control local de las regulaciones. Enfatizo sobre la responsabilidad personal de proteger a nuestra comunidad del COVID-19.

“El gobierno no puede protegerte de este virus por mucho que lo intentemos”, dijo. “Este virus estará con nosotros probablemente durante muchos años, y si no te proteges, corres un alto riesgo y no cuidas a tu vecino. Pero no deberíamos cerrar todo el condado por esto. Estas políticas no han funcionado durante un año y debemos probar nuestra propia propuesta”.

“Lo que significa es que debemos tener algo de sentido común. ¿Cuál es el objetivo aquí? Es mantener a las personas seguras, pero también para que esas personas vuelvan a tener el control de sí mismas y de los riesgos ”, dijo Martin. “No vamos a poner una manta roja sobre todo”.

Garfield County deems numerous services essential

Garfield County deems numerous services essential

Designation helps keep businesses open as state moves county COVID dial to red

The Garfield County Commissioners have categorized numerous local industries and services essential, allowing them to remain open at a greater capacity in light of the state of Colorado moving the county to the red category on its COVID-19 dial.

The state sent a letter informing the county of its decision on Wednesday. The Board of County Commissioners met on Thursday afternoon to discuss the state’s change.

“I’m shocked and disappointed by the state of Colorado,” said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “This really hurts gyms and restaurants. From my perspective, it’s discriminatory against these businesses and those who work for them. It’s a shutdown through the holidays.”

The board unanimously passed a resolution deeming noncritical retail, restaurants, gyms and fitness centers as essential, bolstering them into the “critical” category and allowing them to remain in operation at 50 percent capacity. The resolution also included that last call for alcoholic beverages would be at 10 p.m. This covers Garfield County, and municipalities may enact stricter policies if they desire.

Commissioner Mike Samson said he’s heard from many in the public and especially people in the restaurant industry that are adamantly opposed to the change to red.

“The state is the one that wants to put us here,” he said. “We can’t stop them, but there are things we can do as county commissioners to try and alleviate this burden. It’s unfair to hammer these people in this way. I do not want to lose more businesses in Garfield County.”

Jankovsky added that restaurants provide a more supervised and controlled environment with social distancing, disinfection of dining areas and staff and customers wearing masks, unless they’re eating.

“I’m really proud of how restaurants have operated here in Garfield County,” Jankovsky said.

Factors that qualify a county for red include test positivity rate of more than 15 percent; a two-week incidence of more than 350 cases per 100,000 people; and stable hospitalizations or no more than two new COVID-19 hospital admissions per day. The county’s positivity rate is currently 12.9 percent and there have been 700 new cases between Nov. 26 and Dec. 9, or 1,057 per 100,000. Eight of the last 14 days had stable or declining hospitalizations.

Commissioner John Martin said the county is looking to stay exactly where it is, orange on the COVID dial with existing variances, and prioritizing the people, businesses and maintaining local control of regulations. He stressed personal responsibility in protecting our community from COVID-19.

“The government cannot shield you from this virus no matter how hard we try,” he said. “This virus will be with us for likely many years, and if you don’t protect yourself, you’re at high risk and you’re not taking care of your neighbor. But we should not shut down the entire county for this. These policies have not worked for a year, and we need to try our own approach.”

“What it amounts to is we need to have some common sense. What is the goal here? It’s to keep people safe, but also to have those people again in control of themselves and the risks,” Martin said. “We are not going to put a red blanket over everything.”

View the December 10, 2020 – Public Health Order 20-36, as Amended and Dial Distinctions between Orange, Red, and Purple with Variances on the Garfield County website. 

Garfield County deems numerous services essential

Five additional COVID-related deaths being investigated in Garfield County

Additional deaths would bring county total to eleven

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has notified Garfield County of five additional deaths thought to be related to COVID-19, bringing the total COVID-19 deaths in Garfield County to 11. Public Health officials and the Garfield County Coroner’s office are working on verifying the causes of death, in order to report the results on the Garfield County COVID-19 data page.

The current number of certified COVID deaths in the County is six. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is reporting 10 deaths for the county.

 “We are aware of the unfortunate increase in deaths, said Yvonne Long, Garfield County Public Health Director. “It is tragic to see our numbers take such a sharp increase. The certification process has created a lag in reporting between the state and the county, however, the numbers will update as soon as the process is complete.”

The differences between the Garfield County Public Health numbers and the state numbers are because the Garfield County Coroner’s office must certify that a death was COVID-19 related for the county to count it in the total.  

“The state has a different process and will report the deaths as soon as they are notified,” said Garfield County Coroner, Rob Glassmire. “The official determination on cause of death either by the coroner’s office or a physician certifying the death can take sometimes a week to 10 days. Regardless of the determination on cause of death, these deaths will be on the state website.” “Our condolences and thoughts are with all of these families. This is a sad reminder of how COVID is impacting our community,” said Long.

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Se investigan cinco muertes adicionales relacionadas con COVID en el Condado Garfield

Las muertes adicionales llevarían el total a once en el condado

CONDADO GARFIELD, CO – El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente del Estado de Colorado ha notificado al Condado Garfield de cinco muertes adicionales que se cree están relacionadas con COVID-19, lo que eleva el total de muertes por COVID-19 en el Condado Garfield a 11. Funcionarios de salud pública y la Oficina del Forense del Condado Garfield están trabajando para verificar la causas de muerte, para poder informar los resultados en la página de datos del COVID-19 del Condado Garfield.

El número actual de muertes certificadas por COVID en el condado es de seis. El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente del Estado de Colorado reporta 10 muertes para el condado.

“Estamos conscientes del desafortunado aumento de muertes, dijo Yvonne Long, Directora de Salud Pública del Condado Garfield. “Es trágico ver que nuestros números aumentan fuertemente. El proceso de certificación ha creado un retraso de informes entre el estado y el condado, sin embargo, los números se actualizarán tan pronto se complete el proceso”.

Las diferencias entre las cifras de Salud Pública del Condado Garfield y las cifras estatales se deben a que la Oficina del Forense del Condado Garfield debe certificar que una muerte estaba relacionada con COVID-19 para que el condado la cuente en el total.  

“El estado tiene un proceso diferente y reportará las muertes tan pronto como se les notifique de ellas”, dijo el Forense del Condado de Garfield, Rob Glassmire. “La determinación oficial sobre la causa de la muerte, ya sea por parte de la oficina del forense o de un médico certificando la muerte, puede llevar a veces una semana a 10 días. Independientemente de la determinación sobre la causa de la muerte, estas muertes estarán en el sitio web del estado”. “Nuestras condolencias y pensamientos están con todas estas familias. Este es un triste recordatorio de cómo COVID está impactando a nuestra comunidad”, dijo Long.

Five additional COVID-related deaths being investigated in Garfield County

State moves Garfield County to ‘high-risk’ orange on COVID-19 dial

County commissioners had asked CDPHE to remain in the yellow ‘concern’ level

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has moved Garfield County into the orange, or “high-risk” category, on its COVID-19 dial, which is a tool to determine its restrictions during the pandemic. The Board of County Commissioners appealed to CDPHE earlier this week to remain in the yellow, or “concerned” category, noting that it more accurately reflects the situation in Garfield County.

In a phone meeting on Nov. 17 with Mara Brosy-Wiwchar, chief of staff at CDPHE, the board argued that Garfield County has worked with its citizens and businesses to promote education and best practices, and that further limiting the local economy would be both financially damaging and unduly punitive to all that are complying by current rules.

For Garfield County, the change means some tighter restrictions, though the state has indicated that current variances will remain in place. New variance requests are prohibited until the county is back at the yellow level. Municipalities may implement more stringent measures, but none less strict than those at the orange level.

The major changes under orange, factoring in Garfield County’s existing variances, include no more than 10 people from no more than two households at public and private gatherings; in-person office occupancy of no more than 25 percent, with remote work encouraged; indoor and outdoor events are limited to 25 percent of posted occupancy, or 50 and 75 people, respectively, whichever is less. Personal services are also limited to 25 percent occupancy, or 25 people, whichever is less.

Retail establishments remain at 50 percent capacity, with options for curbside pick-up, delivery and shopping hours for seniors and at-risk persons. Indoor restaurant service rules remain the same, however outdoor dining areas must limit groups to no more than 10 customers per group, and patrons must be six feet apart. Restaurant liquor sales must end by 10 p.m.

Organized recreational youth or adult indoor sports are not allowed, but outdoor events may proceed with groups of 10 or less practicing safe social distancing. Houses of worship will continue to operate at yellow levels under the county’s variance. The full list of restrictions and variances under level orange as it will be applied in Garfield County can be read on the county’s public health orders webpage at www.garfield-county.com/public-health/executive-orders.

The yellow or “concern” level is when a county has more than 75 to 175 cases per 100,000 people over a 14-day period or a test positivity rate of no more than 10 percent. Orange status is in effect if a county experiences more than 175 to 350 cases per 100,000 people over a 14-day period or a test positivity rate of no more than 15 percent. Garfield County, home to roughly 58,000 people, reported 395 new positive cases (equates to 659 per 100,000) from Nov. 5 to 18, and a test positivity rate of 12.4 percent.

Limiting the disease’s spread is encouraged by having residents practice safety guidelines of wearing masks, washing their hands often, limiting travel as much as possible, and above all, staying home when ill.

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COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

19 de noviembre, 2020


El Condado Garfield es movido a color naranja considerado “alto riesgo” en el marcador de COVID-19 por el Estado

Comisionados del condado habían pedido a CDPHE que permaneciera en el nivel amarillo de “preocupación”

CONDADO GARFIELD, CO – El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE) ha trasladado al condado de Garfield a color naranja o categoría de “alto riesgo” de su marcador de COVID-19, este marcador es una herramienta para determinar restricciones durante la pandemia.  La Junta de Comisionados del Condado apeló al CDPHE a principios de esta semana para permanecer en color amarillo o categoría “preocupado”, señalando que refleja con mayor precisión la situación en el Condado de Garfield.

En una reunión telefónica el 17 de noviembre con Mara Brosy-Wiwchar, jefa de personal de CDPHE, la junta de comisionados argumentó que el condado de Garfield ha trabajado con sus ciudadanos y empresas para promover la educación y las mejores prácticas, y que limitar aún más la economía local sería tanto económicamente perjudicial e indebidamente punitiva para todos los que están cumpliendo con las normas vigentes.

Para el Condado Garfield, el cambio significa algunas restricciones más estrictas, aunque el estado ha indicado que las variaciones actuales seguirán vigentes. Las nuevas solicitudes de variación están prohibidas hasta que el condado vuelva al nivel amarillo. Los municipios pueden implementar medidas más estrictas, pero no menos estrictas que las del nivel naranja.

Los principales cambios bajo naranja, teniendo en cuenta las variaciones existentes en el Condado Garfield, incluyen no más de 10 personas de no más de dos hogares en reuniones públicas y privadas; ocupación de personal en oficinas de no más del 25 por ciento, con la recomendación de trabajar remotamente; Los eventos al interior y exterior están limitados al 25 por ciento de la ocupación publicada, o 50 y 75 personas, respectivamente, la que sea menor. Los servicios personales también están limitados a una ocupación del 25 por ciento, o 25 personas, la que sea menor.

Establecimientos minoristas permanecen al 50 por ciento de su capacidad, con opciones para llevar, entregar y comprar en la acera para personas mayores y personas en riesgo. Las reglas del servicio de restaurante interior siguen siendo las mismas, sin embargo, las áreas de comedor al aire libre deben limitar los grupos a no más de 10 clientes por grupo, y los clientes deben estar separados por seis pies. Las ventas de licores en restaurantes deben finalizar a las 10 p.m.

No se permiten deportes recreativos al interior para jóvenes o adultos, pero los eventos al aire libre pueden continuar con grupos de 10 o menos practicando un distanciamiento social seguro. Las iglesias continuarán operando en nivel amarillo bajo la variación del condado. Una lista completa de restricciones y variaciones a nivel naranja y como se aplicará en el condado de Garfield se pueden leer en la página web bajo órdenes de salud pública del condado en www.garfield-county.com/public-health/executive-orders.

El nivel amarillo o de “preocupación” es cuando un condado tiene más de 75 a 175 casos por cada 100,000 personas durante un período de 14 días o una tasa de positividad de la prueba de no más del 10 por ciento. El nivel naranja está en efecto si un condado experimenta más de 175 a 350 casos por cada 100,000 personas durante un período de 14 días o una tasa de positividad de la prueba de no más del 15 por ciento. El condado de Garfield, hogar de aproximadamente 58,000 personas, informó 395 nuevos casos positivos (equivale a 659 por cada 100.000) del 5 al 18 de noviembre, y una tasa de positividad de la prueba del 12.4 por ciento.

Se recomienda limitar el contagio de la enfermedad pidiendo a las personas practiquen las guías de seguridad come el usar cubrebocas, lavarse las manos con frecuencia, limitar los viajes tanto como sea posible y, sobre todo, quedarse en casa cuando están enfermos.

State moves Garfield County to ‘high-risk’ orange on COVID-19 dial

Garfield County requests to keep state COVID dial at yellow

CDPHE wants Garfield County to increase to high-risk orange category

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Garfield County has asked the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to remain at the moderate yellow level of its COVID-19 dial amid increasing cases in the county. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held a special meeting on Tuesday with CDPHE, which urged the county to move to the more restrictive orange, or “high-risk” category of its “Safer at Home” status.

Yellow or “concern” is when a county has more than 75 to 175 cases per 100,000 people over a 14-day period or a test positivity rate of no more than 10 percent. Orange status is in effect if a county experiences more than 175 to 350 cases per 100,000 people over a 14-day period or a test positivity rate of no more than 15 percent. Garfield County reported 382 new positive cases from Nov. 3 to 16, and a test positivity rate of 12 percent.

Commissioner John Martin noted that any movement in the state COVID dial would not jeopardize any variances already in place here in Garfield County. These allowed restaurants and places of worship to remain open at 50 percent capacity.

“We’re hoping to keep those where they are at 50 percent capacity,” Martin said. “That’s the desire of the county commissioners at this time.”

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky applauded the efforts of Garfield County businesses to ensure the safety of their customers and was opposed to increasing the level to orange.

“What you’re saying to us is, ‘put this on the backs of the small businesses; put this on the backs of the retail shops; put this on the backs of the restaurants and middle class,’” he said. “We know that they can’t take another shut down. It is not right to put this on small businesses. Our public health department has done a good job of mitigation.”

Mara Brosy-Wiwchar, chief of staff at CDPHE, told the board that Colorado has seen the virus run rampant in recent weeks with community transmission. She told the board that the state would consider the request to remain at yellow and get back with the commissioners.

“I appreciate the care and consideration you’ve given to public health and the pandemic,” she said. “Public Health Director Yvonne Long and the Garfield County Public Health Department are really remarkable in their leadership and I really appreciate the efforts they’re taking to keep your constituents safe. … That being said, your community spread has changed drastically from what it was in the summer to what it is currently.”

Brosy-Wiwchar added that the variances allowing the hot springs establishments in town to remain open would not be affected if the county’s COVID dial increased to orange.

On Tuesday, the state also unveiled a new color in its COVID-19 dial, purple, which would be in place under the direst of circumstances with extreme risk of disease spread. Purple is a “Stay at Home” order that would be in effect if hospital and health care services were approaching 90 percent capacity or experiencing a critical lack of staff and personal protection equipment (PPE).

“Psychologically, this impacts the entire community,” Jankovsky said of an increase to orange. “We are having a mental health crisis. Mind Springs Health reported an average of 314 patient sessions per month in the third quarter at the Glenwood Springs office.”

“We have to keep our businesses going. We have to keep our economy going,” Martin added. “We’re trying to survive.”

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El condado hace solicitud para mantenerse en Amarrillo según el marcador estatal de COVID

CDPHE quiere que el Condado Garfield suba a la categoría naranja de alto riesgo

CONDADO GARFIELD, CO – El Condado Garfield ha pedido al Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE) mantenerse en el nivel amarillo moderado de su marcador COVID-19 en medio de un aumento de casos en el condado. La Junta de Comisionados del Condado (BOCC) tuvieron una reunión especial el martes con CDPHE, que recomendó al condado a pasar a naranja, la más restrictiva, o categoría de “alto riesgo” de su estado “Más Seguro en Casa”.

Amarillo o “preocupante” es cuando un condado tiene más de 75 a 175 casos por cada 100,000 personas durante un período de 14 días o una tasa de pruebas positivas de no más del 10 por ciento. El estado naranja entra en efecto si un condado experimenta más de 175 a 350 casos por cada 100,000 personas durante un período de 14 días o una tasa de pruebas positivas de no más del 15 por ciento. El condado de Garfield informó 382 nuevos casos positivos del 3 al 16 de noviembre, y una tasa de pruebas positivas de un 12 por ciento.

El Comisionado John Martin señaló que cualquier movimiento en el marcador estatal de COVID no pondría en peligro ninguna variación ya existente aquí en el Condado de Garfield. Esta variación permitió que restaurantes e iglesias permanecieran abiertos al 50 por ciento de su capacidad.

“Esperamos mantenerlos al 50 por ciento de su capacidad”, dijo Martin. “Ese es el deseo de los comisionados del condado en este momento”.

El Comisionado Tom Jankovsky aplaudió los esfuerzos de los negocios del Condado de Garfield para garantizar el bienestar de sus clientes y se opuso a cambiar a nivel naranja.

“Lo que nos está diciendo es, ‘ponga esto en la espalda de las pequeñas empresas; poner esto en tiendas minoristas; poner esto en la espalda de restaurantes y clase media ‘”, dijo. “Sabemos que no pueden aguantar otro cierre. No es correcto aplicar esto a pequeñas empresas. Nuestro departamento de salud pública ha hecho un buen trabajo de mitigación”.

Mara Brosy-Wiwchar, jefa de personal de CDPHE, dijo a la junta que Colorado ha visto cómo el virus se propaga desenfrenadamente en las últimas semanas con transmisión comunitaria. Ella le dijo a la junta que el estado consideraría la solicitud de permanecer en amarillo y notificaría a los comisionados.

“Agradezco el cuidado y la consideración que le ha brindado a salud pública y a la pandemia”, dijo. “La Directora de Salud Pública, Yvonne Long, y el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado Garfield son realmente notables en su liderazgo y realmente aprecio los esfuerzos que están haciendo para mantener su comunidad a salvo. … Dicho esto, la expansión de su comunidad ha cambiado drásticamente de lo que era en el verano a lo que es actualmente “.

Brosy-Wiwchar agregó que las variaciones que permiten que los establecimientos de aguas termales en la ciudad permanezcan abiertas no se verían afectadas si el marcador del COVID del condado aumentara a naranja.

El martes, el estado también dio a conocer un nuevo color en su marcador de COVID-19, el púrpura, que estaría en su lugar en las circunstancias más extremas con riesgo extremo de propagación de enfermedades. El morado es una orden de “Quedarse en Casa” que estaría en vigor si los servicios hospitalarios y de atención médica se acercaran al 90 por ciento de su capacidad o experimentaran una falta crítica de personal y equipo de protección personal (PPE).

“Psicológicamente, esto afecta a toda la comunidad”, dijo Jankovsky sobre un cambio a el color naranja. “Estamos teniendo una crisis de salud mental. Mind Springs Health informó un promedio de 314 sesiones de pacientes por mes en el tercer trimestre en la oficina de Glenwood Springs “.

“Tenemos que mantener nuestros negocios en marcha. Tenemos que mantener nuestra economía en marcha”, agregó Martin. “Estamos tratando de sobrevivir”.

Garfield County requests to keep state COVID dial at yellow