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Public Health - News

Posted on: November 4, 2020

State to Move Jefferson County to Level Orange in the Dial Due to Continued Surge in COVID-19 Cases

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Jefferson County, Colo. – Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) was notified today by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) that the county will be moved to Level Orange, formerly Level 3, in the Dial Framework, effective Monday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. MT. 

Despite the county implementing a comprehensive mitigation plan, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate in Jefferson County — three key indicators for how the virus is spreading in a community — have all continued to increase at an alarming pace. In the past two weeks, there have been 2,513 total cases of the virus in Jefferson County, or 431.0 per 100,000 residents (10/20-11/2). Over this same time period, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have also increased across the region by more than 75 percent. Additionally, Jefferson County’s two-week average test positivity rate is 7.7 percent. 

“We were hoping we could avoid these new restrictions, but unfortunately cases have continued to increase in Jeffco and across the state. At the same time, we recognize that this has been such a long event, and we are all experiencing different levels of exhaustion,” said Dr. Margaret Huffman, director of Community Health Services at JCPH. “It’s important to remember all the reasons we have been working so hard to keep ourselves, loved ones and community healthy. Whether it’s to be able to enjoy celebrations together sooner, to protect our healthcare workers who are coping with burnout, or to help keep our schools and favorite businesses open, we have so many reasons to pull together to save lives.”

Here’s what everyone can do to help protect our community’s health, safety and economy: 

  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others. Remember that wearing a mask has been proven to greatly reduce the spread of the virus between individuals. Some early research has indicated that if you do contract the virus, masks could help reduce the dose, or how much of the virus is spread, which could lower the severity of the illness.
  • Watch your distance. Keep 6 feet or more apart and avoid gatherings with people who do not live with you.
  • Wash your hands often. Scrub for 20 seconds with soap and warm water. When using hand sanitizer, make sure to choose a product with 60% or higher alcohol content.
  • Get tested and stay home if you’re sick. There are many free testing sites around Jeffco
  • Be kind to your neighbors. Check in on one another and support your friends and loved ones, especially those who live alone or are homebound. 
  • Support local businesses. Keep them open by slowing the spread. You can also show your support by ordering takeout or delivery from your favorite restaurant, keeping memberships when possible or purchasing a gift card to a local retailer this holiday season.

“Even some small changes, like staying home two or three more times a week, can go a long way,” Huffman said. “Just know that your individual steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 matter and protect those around you. If you look at the last nine months and all your hard work, they likely already have.” 

JCPH’s Public Health Order 20-009 will remain in effect at least until the county officially transitions to Level Orange, and then may be modified or rescinded based on these new changes. 

For more information about CDPHE’s Dial Framework, including guidance for the community and businesses under Level Orange, please visit https://covid19.colorado.gov/data/covid-19-dial. You can also refer to CDPHE’s Dial Public Health Order (PHO 20-36) for more details on Level Orange requirements. 

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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