Jefferson County, Colo. – Today Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) announced a series of new mitigation strategies to help curb the alarming spread of COVID-19 in the county. Strategies include issuing a new local Public Health Order 20-009 (PHO 20-009) that focuses on reducing opportunities for individuals to gather in public and private settings, and calling on all residents to do their part to help keep our community and economy healthy and open. The new public health order is effective as of 12:01 a.m. on October 30, 2020, and will continue until midnight on November 29, 2020, or until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended.
In the past two weeks, there have been 1,815 total cases of the virus in Jefferson County, or 311.3 per 100,000 residents (10/14-10/28). Over this same time period, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have also increased across the region by more than 80 percent. Additionally, Jefferson County’s two-week average positivity rate is 6.2 percent, which indicates the virus is widespread in our community and that there are likely more people with COVID-19 who haven’t been tested.
“We have continued to see cases of the virus increase across our county over the past months at very concerning rates, and have been out of compliance with the state’s two-week case count limits for Level 2 of the Dial Framework since October 16,” said Dr. Margaret Huffman, Director of Community Health Services at JCPH. “We have a brief window of opportunity to get our cases under control, or our county will be moved to Level 3 and face even more restrictions. I want to emphasize how critical these next couple of weeks are — we’ve seen other counties be moved on the Dial already, but that doesn’t have to be the path for Jeffco if we can all come together right now.”
Similar to trends in neighboring counties, gatherings among people who do not live in the same household have been a common source of exposure for Jeffco residents diagnosed with COVID-19. Evidence also shows that limiting interactions and gatherings among people slows virus transmission. Therefore, JCPH will relinquish its local variance and implement PHO 20-009, which does the following:
In addition to the new Public Health Order, JCPH recently launched a community-wide campaign, “Together We Go Forward,” that calls on everyone to do their part to help keep our community open. The campaign highlights six individual actions that, when combined at a collective level, make a big difference and help protect our community’s health, safety and economy:
“We believe this mitigation approach balances a few things: doing what we have to do to help get our cases down and avoid even tighter restrictions, allowing businesses and schools to continue to operate, and providing our community tangible steps they can take to help forge a better path forward,” Huffman said. “We are hopeful that, by working together with our community, we will get a handle on this virus now so we can all go into the holiday season on a safer, healthier course."
To access Public Health Order 20-009, click here. For more information about COVID-19, including guidance for the community and businesses under the state’s Dial Framework, visit www.jeffco.us/safer-at-home. You can also learn more about the Dial from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment here.
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.