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: August 6, at 4:40 p.m.
- 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?
- What is Exposure Notification?
- Stigma related to COVID-19
- As of August 6, the CDC reports there have been 4,802,491 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. There have been 157,631 deaths in the U.S. to date.
- There have been 49,436 cases of COVID-19 in Colorado and 1,852 deaths among cases (1,729 deaths due to COVID-19) (CDPHE).
- There have been 4,133 cases of COVID-19 in Jefferson County (confirmed and probable) and 227 total deaths (JCPH).
- CDPHE released guidance for schools when dealing with COVID-19 cases and outbreaks.
- We strongly encourage anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested. Community members can find testing information, including information about who should get tested, the importance of getting tested and a current list of free test sites, on JCPH’s Testing Page at www.jeffco.us/testing.
- Use the Colorado COVID-19 Symptom Support tool to share your symptoms to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado and get connected to resources to help you feel better.
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:
- Finalize community testing staffing and contracts.
- Finalize a Mitigation Plan for the Protect Our Neighbors Framework.
- Finalize a regional media campaign for phase 2 of “Living with COVID-19.”
- Finalize a staffing model for JCPH’s transition to the long-term Office of Pandemic Response.
- Create a training plan for onboarding new Case Investigators as well as ongoing training for a surge.
- Finalize an activation plan for surge and sustainability of case investigation for the Epidemiology Branch and long-term response.
- Work with county partners on a survey for community needs and inclusion.
Jefferson County has a wide range of 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
Effective July 24 at midnight, JCPH issued Public Health Order 20-008, which requires residents and visitors to wear a face covering while in indoor and outdoor public settings.
People who do not have to wear a mask include:
- 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
Cloth face coverings prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading respiratory droplets when talking, sneezing or coughing. If everyone wears a cloth face covering when out in public, such as when going to the grocery store, the risk of exposure to COVID-19 can be reduced for the community. Since people can spread the virus before symptoms start, or even if people never have symptoms, wearing a cloth face covering can protect others around you.
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. Visit our testing page to learn more about who should get tested, Jefferson County testing sites and more.
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.
We all need to work together with health departments to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Exposure notification (also called contact tracing) and self-quarantining of people with COVID-19 and close contacts are critical to help slow transmission of COVID-19 in our communities.
- If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, an employee (case investigator) from JCPH might call you to check-in on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with and ask you to stay at home to self-isolate. Unless you give permission, your name will not be revealed to those you came in contact with, even if they ask.
- If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, an employee from JCPH (contact tracer) might call to inform you that you’ve been exposed. They will ask you to stay at home and self-quarantine.
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, 8/6/2020
- 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)
- COVID-19: How Exposure Notification Works, English, 6/9/2020
- How to Safely Use a Face Covering, English, 4/6/2020
- COVID-19: Flattening the Curve, English, 3/23/2020