Jefferson County, Colo. – With spring on the way, people in Jeffco are beginning to spend more time in our great outdoors and the spring sports season is kicking off. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) reminds all residents that the use of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is still required in both indoor and outdoor settings in Jeffco where six-foot distancing cannot be maintained. This includes sports and recreation settings — as well as other extracurricular activities such as band and choir — and applies to participants and spectators.
“Because of the hard work of our community and diligence with prevention steps like wearing masks and social distancing, coupled with vaccination efforts, we are seeing progress,” said Dr. Dawn Comstock, Executive Director, JCPH. “Yesterday, guidelines against in-person visitation in long term care facilities were lifted, allowing many to make plans to see their elderly relatives for the first time in many months. Most students will soon be returning to 100% in-person learning here in Jeffco. Restrictions on businesses were further reduced when Jeffco moved into Level Blue on the state’s Dial 2.0. However, despite all these encouraging signs, the pandemic is not yet over. We need to continue to work together — and continue to wear our masks — and be patient for just a bit longer.”
In Jefferson County, all residents over 10 years old are required to wear a mask in accordance with JCPH’s Public Health Order 20-008, which was enacted July 24, 2020. JCPH’s order continues to supersede any state-level orders, and any variance granted by the State of Colorado allowing individuals to remove their face covering while participating in certain sports does not apply in Jefferson County.
Since September 2020, school sports and club athletics have been linked to 22 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks in Jeffco, including more than 200 athletes testing positive for the virus. While essentially all team sports have been affected, the greatest number of outbreaks have been among athletes participating in gymnastics, wrestling, hockey and football. Because school athletes usually belong to more than one cohort (their team and however many classes they attend), these outbreaks often required school cohort quarantines. Additionally, these outbreaks can have a significant impact on the broader spread of disease in a community, especially since individuals can have COVID-19 without showing symptoms and pass it on unknowingly to other residents.
In addition to wearing a mask, teams and individuals should also implement other protective measures including:
“Thank you for sticking with it and doing your part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. We wish all of our Jeffco athletes a healthy and successful spring season,” Comstock said.
For more information or questions about the use of masks, visit www.jeffco.us/4056/Mask-Guidance. You can also find information about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, data and more at www.jeffco.us/coronavirus.
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.