Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
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There is a global outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, named COVID-19. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is aggressively managing this outbreak in collaboration with other national, state and local partners. Our number one priority is protecting the health of our community.
For general questions about COVID-19, community members can call CO-HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, or email [email protected] for answers in English, Spanish, Mandarin and more.
Last updated: June 4, at 5:00 p.m.
Updates to this page are made on Mondays and Thursdays.
- What's New?
- What is JCPH doing?
- Where can I Get Resources?
- Am I at risk?
- What can I do to protect myself?
- how do i get tested?
- What are the Symptoms?
- Stigma related to COVID-19
- As of June 4, the CDC reports there have been 1,842,101 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. There have been 107,029 deaths in the U.S. to date.
- There have been 27,060 cases of COVID-19 in Colorado and 1,494 deaths among cases (1,228 deaths due to COVID-19) (CDPHE).
- There have been 2,734 cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County (confirmed and probable) and 178 total deaths (JCPH).
- To date, JCPH has processed 342 orders from health and medical partners for PPE: 248 orders were filled by JCPH and 94 orders were sent to the Jefferson County EOC and the State EOC. We have distributed over 41K N95 masks, 47K surgical masks, 115K gloves, 5,000 gowns and other PPE to help protect our healthcare workers while they are providing care to patients. These materials were provided to first responders, hospitals, ancillary care partners, home health providers, midwives, dental practices, emergency eye care practices, orthodontics and our vulnerable populations who receive services in their homes. (Note: We are unable to accommodate PPE requests from the general public).
- This week, Governor Polis and CDPHE announced a new public health order, Safer-at-Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors. JCPH aligns with this order.
- CDPHE also released new/updated guidance for short-term rentals, personal services and childcare facilities this week.
- Jefferson County has submitted a variance request to CDPHE. Read more.
- Jefferson County kicked off a new effort to spotlight businesses that are working to promote the safety of employees and customers. To nominate a business to be featured, complete this submission form. Learn more here.
- On June 1, CDPHE released additional modeling results from an expert group of public health scientists led by the Colorado School of Public Health.
- Please continue to use and share CDPHE’s Symptom Checker. Use this tool to report your symptoms and help public health build a better picture of how the novel coronavirus is spreading in Colorado.
JCPH, CDPHE and our health and medical partners, as well as the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Management, are aggressively responding to this outbreak. We have activated our Jefferson County Public Health Emergency Operations Plan and are using the incident command system to allow for enhanced and coordinated response efforts. The Jefferson County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is also activated.
Current strategies are to:
- Investigate need for changes in how costs are coded for the COVID-19 response in the future, starting with the 2021 JCPH budget year.
- Finalize the PPE request triage process for orders.
- Finalize PPE forecasting to analyze the PPE needs for future purchases.
- Create additional and more detailed guidelines for JCPH re-opening.
- Plan for the increase in case investigations due to targeted testing efforts at long term care facilities and increased mobility of the Jefferson County population.
- Respond to the Governor’s upcoming extension of the Safer-at-Home order and coordinate with Jefferson County on the Jefferson County variance application.
- Update the JCPH data dashboard to guide decision making and illustrate the impact of COVID-19 on Jefferson County.
- Utilize the EOC Liaison and ESF8 roles to address Non-Congregate Housing, Unmet Community Needs, and Health Equity as it relates to the impacts of COVID-19.
- Identify a method to help prioritize operations within the COVID-19 response to be maintained in the ICS and what indicators would support that decision making.
- Develop a community testing guide for community partners to increase testing capacity across Jefferson County to include persons experiencing homelessness, persons who are home-bound, facilities identified with an outbreak, and asymptomatic spread in high risk settings.
- Further develop contact tracing and outbreak strategies for Jefferson County based upon identification of contact tracing software, policy guidance and staffing.
Jefferson County has compiled resources to help our community get essential help and services during this time. Please visit our Jeffco Community Resources page to find resources for food, housing, unemployment support, health access and more. This page will be updated regularly.
Community members can also call 2-1-1 for COVID-19 support. 2-1-1 is a confidential and multilingual service connecting people to vital resources across the state
The risk to individuals is dependent on exposure. Under current circumstances, certain people will have an increased risk of getting the infection. For example:
- People who live in areas where widespread community transmission is occurring.
- People who had direct close contact with someone who was confirmed to have COVID-19.
Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, including:
- Older people (over age 60), especially those over 80.
- People who have chronic medical conditions like heart, lung, or kidney disease or diabetes.
- Older people with chronic medical conditions are at the highest risk.
People at higher risk should stay at home and pay extra attention to preventive measures. Reach out to others if you need something. Read more in this fact sheet for people at higher risk.
Stay at Home as Much as Possible
Wear a Non-Medical Cloth Face Covering
There is evidence that people can spread the virus while being asymptomatic. Although staying at home is still the best way to prevent the spread, when you need to leave your house, wearing a bandana or non-medical mask made of cloth covering your mouth and nose can help prevent the spread to others if you have the virus.
Because of the lack of medical-grade masks that are so crucial to protecting health care providers on the front lines, it is paramount that these types of masks not be sought after or used by the general public.
Learn how to safely wear a face covering. IMPORTANT: No child under the age of 3 should ever wear a mask or other face covering.
Even With a Face Covering, Continue to Take Important Everyday Actions
Everyone can also protect themselves and others by practicing the following actions:
- If you’re sick, always stay home and away from public places.
- Avoid close contact (at least 6 ft.) with others.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing and sneezing, throw the tissue away and then wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your face including your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, like door knobs and your phone.
- Get a flu shot if you have not had yours yet.
At this time, there is no vaccine to protect against COVID-19 and no medications approved to treat it.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested. Getting tested will provide the diagnosis you need to determine your next steps.
- If you test positive, you will need to isolate yourself, take care of yourself and monitor your symptoms.
- Talk with your healthcare provider for guidance about your care. Consider a telehealth visit or nurseline before seeking in-person care.
- The people who have been in close contact with you will need to take precautions. Read more about self-quarantining.
- You can also “do your part” and get text messages with more information about support available by reporting your symptoms to CDPHE’s symptom tracker.
Coloradans can get tested at no cost. The Division of Insurance has directed Colorado-regulated insurance plans not to charge copays for testing, and Medicaid patients can also get tested without cost. For individuals without insurance, community testing sites can send samples to the state lab and the state will cover the cost.
Community Testing Site in Jeffco
Jefferson County has a COVID-19 community testing site. STRIDE Community Health Center’s Wheat Ridge location is offering drive-thru testing. Individuals do NOT have to have symptoms in order to be tested, and testing is offered on a first come, first served basis. There is no fee collected at the time of testing and STRIDE will see individuals without insurance. Find more test sites on this new interactive map from CDPHE.
What Kinds of Tests are Available?
There are several different types of tests being used to test for COVID-19:
- Molecular-based testing: This is a molecular amplification test detects genetic material from a specific virus in patient samples. Most molecular tests for COVID-19 are called PCR tests, however, there are a few other molecular tests that are not called PCR. PCR is currently the best way to test for current infection with COVID-19.
- Antigenic testing: An antigenic test can quickly detect fragments of proteins found on or within the virus that causes COVID-19. The test is similar to a rapid flu test and is performed at the point-of-care by collecting a sample from the nasal cavity using a swab. Results can be obtained in a couple of hours. While antigen tests can be less expensive and offer fast results, they are not as sensitive as PCR tests. This means a PCR test might be needed to confirm a negative antigen test. A positive test, however, can be treated as a positive result.
- Serological testing: A serological test is a blood test that looks for antibodies in your blood. It can detect the body’s immune response to the infection caused by the virus, rather than detecting the virus itself. While these tests can detect previous exposure to COVID-19, they cannot reliably determine if a patient is currently infected and able to spread the virus to others. Because much is still unknown about how long immunity may last following COVID-19 infection, these tests may give a false sense of safety to patients. We do not yet know whether having antibodies to COVID-19 means that you can’t get sick again.
***Important note about serological testing: During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are distributing rapid serological test kits to detect antibodies in COVID-19 patients. CDPHE discourages the use of any serological test that has not been approved by the FDA or at the state level, for any purpose other than research. CDPHE will update this guidance accordingly as more information becomes available. More information about serological testing can be found in CDC’s Interim Guidelines for COVID-19 Antibody Testing.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
How Severe is it?
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases.
WHY MIGHT SOMEONE BLAME OR AVOID INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS (CREATE STIGMA) BECAUSE OF COVID-19?
People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety can lead to social stigma, for example, towards Chinese or other Asian Americans or people who were in quarantine.
Stigma is discrimination against an identifiable group of people, a place or a nation. Stigma is associated with a lack of knowledge about how COVID-19 spreads, a need to blame someone, fears about disease and death and gossip that spreads rumors and myths.
Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.
HOW CAN PEOPLE HELP STOP STIGMA RELATED TO COVID-19?
People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or ethnic groups and how COVID-19 actually spreads can help stop stigma.
- Caring for Your Mental Health During COVID-19, English, 4/9/2020
- COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions, English, 6/4/2020
- How to Self-Isolate or Quarantine, English, 3/27/2020
- Information For People at Higher Risk, English, 3/17/2020
- Explaining the COVID-19 Epidemic (PDF)
- Three Simple Steps for Cleaning & Disinfecting, English, 4/1/2020
- Stop the Spread of Germs (English)
- Stop the Spread of Germs (Español)
- How to Safely Use a Face Covering, English, 4/6/2020
- COVID-19: Flattening the Curve, English, 3/23/2020