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.
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JCPH launched a new team, known as the Office of Pandemic Response (OPR), as part of the county’s long-term COVID-19 response and recovery strategy. The OPR’s main purpose will be to control the spread of COVID-19 in the community through at least the next two years by providing community impact support, conducting infection prevention and response, and collecting and assessing epidemiological information for everyone in the county. The OPR will function from August 2020 to December 2022, operating under a $4.2M grant from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, via the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE).
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:
Certain people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, including:
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. Follow the Safer at Home Level 2 guidance.
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:
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.
Learn more on our mask guidance page or the state’s mask guidance page.
Even With a Face Covering, Continue to Take Important Everyday Actions. Everyone can also protect themselves and others by practicing the following actions:
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.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
Learn more from CDPHE.
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.
Check out this infographic or visit CDPHE’s webpage to learn more about exposure notification and what it entails.
This year has been a challenging time for the Jefferson County community, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more important than ever for residents to do everything they can to remain as healthy as possible. As we enter flu season, JCPH encourages people to get their flu vaccine, as it is one more way to protect you and your family and give you some peace of mind.
While it’s important to get your flu shot every season, 2020 is an especially important year to get vaccinated to protect from the compounding health problems of flu and COVID-19. Having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time could make you more susceptible to serious complications, and while no one ever wants to be hospitalized, hospitalization during the novel coronavirus pandemic means facilities may be strained for resources and equipment, as well as have stricter visitation guidelines.
To help meet the need within our community for increased vaccination, JCPH is hosting vaccination clinics throughout the remainder of the year. Click here to download a schedule of upcoming clinics.
Learn more about influenza here.