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Public Health - News

Posted on: October 16, 2020

Jefferson County At Risk of Tighter Restrictions

Jefferson County At Risk of Tighter Restrictions

Jefferson County, Colo. – Due to a continued increase in COVID-19 cases, Jefferson County is at risk of tighter restrictions, including being moved to Level 3 of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Dial Framework. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is calling on Jeffco residents to stay strong and focused on preventing the spread of this virus, so we can move forward together as a community and keep our businesses open.

“It’s normal to feel exhausted by COVID-19 and the things we have to do to prevent the spread of the virus. Many of us are feeling ‘COVID-19 fatigue,’” said Christine Billings, Head of Jefferson County Public Health’s Office of Pandemic Response. “We have been carrying the weight of this pandemic for much longer than we expected. But the virus is still circulating, and we can’t give up now. We must dig deep and work together as a community to slow the spread.”

In the past two weeks, there have been 1,013 total cases of the virus in Jefferson County, or 174 per 100,000 residents (10/2-10/15). The limit to maintain our Level 2 status is 175 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period.

We expect to surpass our Level 2 limits on or around Friday, October 16. When this occurs, Jefferson County will be been given a grace period during which we must get our cases back below those limits. During this time, we will meet with CDPHE to discuss current trends, local-level considerations and mitigation strategies. Over an agreed upon timeline, CDPHE will assess whether local trends are improving, the risk to the community and the strength of local mitigation efforts. After considering all of these factors, CDPHE will determine next steps needed to protect our community, which could include moving our county to a more restrictive level (Level 3).  

Being moved to Level 3 of the Dial Framework would mean stricter capacity limits for a variety of businesses and activities, which would be detrimental for our community. According to CDPHE’s guidelines, Level 3 restrictions include (but are not limited to):

  • Retail locations would be limited to 25% capacity. 
  • Restaurants would be limited to 25% capacity or 50 people per room, whichever is less. 
  • Bars would remain closed unless they serve food (restaurant limits would apply).
  • Offices would be limited to 25% of their employees being able to work in person. 
  • Gyms and fitness centers would be limited to virtual operations, or with groups of 10 or fewer outdoors only.
  • Outdoor events would be limited to 75 people max, based on the state’s Social Distance Calculator. Indoor events would be limited to a maximum of 25 people, using the calculator.
  • Houses of worship and life rites would be limited to 25% of the posted occupancy limit indoors, not to exceed 50 people per room, whichever is less.  

Additionally, our local variance could be permanently rescinded. Since CDPHE will only grant site-specific variances going forward, losing the variance would be a significant hardship on the community. 

“As a community, we have the power to choose our next steps in the COVID-19 recovery process,” Billings said. “We can move forward if everyone comes together to take important prevention steps in our daily lives. We’ve curbed spikes like this before, and we can do it again.” 

Everyone can help keep our community open by taking the following actions:

  • Follow the “three Ws”wear a mask, watch your distance (stay 6 feet from others who don’t live with you) and wash your hands.  
  • Avoid gatherings with people who do not live with you, including small social gatherings like backyard parties and family gatherings.
  • Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested. Find more info about testing and a listing of test sites in and around Jeffco here
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, like doorknobs, light switches and your phone. Find tips for keeping your home safe here.
  • Plan ahead and choose safe alternatives for traditional holiday celebrations. Get tips for celebrating Halloween and Día de lost Muertos here
  • Get a flu shot. While it will not stop you from getting COVID-19, it will protect you and your family from the flu this season and keep you safe from the potential compounding complications of having flu and COVID-19. Get info about local flu clinics here.

For more information about COVID-19 in Jefferson County, including local trends, guidelines, community resources and more, visit www.jeffco.us/coronavirus. You can also learn more about CDPHE’s Dial Framework and how it applies to counties by visiting covid19.colorado.gov

About Jefferson County Public Health

Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.

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