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Eagle County files local disaster emergency declaration with state over COVID-19

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March 8, 2020, 8:28 am

Eagle County officials on Saturday, March 7, filed a local disaster emergency declaration with the State of Colorado in response to the arrival of COVID-19 in the county. The declaration is an administrative tool that can help facilitate access to funding and other resources. 

The declaration will be in effect until March 12, unless extended by an action of the Board of County Commissioners. The board will consider extending the time frame during its regular afternoon meeting on March 10, which begins at 1:30 p.m.

Eagle County officials say it was important to file the declaration as soon as possible, because some resources are triggered based on the date a declaration was put in place.

Emergency declarations are a typical response to COVID-19 arriving in a community. States, counties and cities across the country are using them to ensure appropriate resources are available for response and recovery.

“While there will likely be more cases of COVID-19 in Eagle County, the declaration does not mean we think our community is less safe than anywhere else affected by the virus,” said Kathy Chandler-Henry, chair of the Eagle County Board of Commissioners. “This is just one more tool to aid in our response.”

Those with questions about COVID-19 can call the CO HELP Hotline at 1-877-462-2911. Community updates are being shared at www.ECEmergency.org.

State officials sent out this press release on Saturday, March 7:

No additional presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 identified in Colorado today

DENVER, March 7: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) state lab identified no additional presumptive positive tests today. The CDPHE lab conducted 44 tests today.

We are focused on ensuring the public has access to accurate and up to date information. We are acting promptly and appreciate the coordination and efforts of local public health departments and officials. Colorado is in this together and we must continue to act accordingly,” said Executive Director Jill Hunsaker Ryan.  

CDPHE released the following information about the additional cases of COVID-19 in Colorado. 

As of March 7, 2020, eight cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Colorado:

Denver County

  • One case in a man in his 40s. The investigation is ongoing. 
  • One case in a woman in her 70s, exposed during international travel.

Douglas County

  • One case in a school-aged female, exposed during international travel.
  • One case in a woman in her 40s, exposed during international travel. 
  • One case in a woman in her 70s, exposed during international travel. 

Eagle County

  • One case in a woman in her 50s, exposed during international travel. 

El Paso County

  • One case in a man in his 40s. The investigation is ongoing.

Summit County

  • One case in a man in his 30s, an out-of-state resident who was exposed during international travel or through contact with an out-of-state case.

This week, the state laboratory expanded testing guidelines to ensure early detection in order to slow and limit transmission. 

When cases test positive, the individual and their close contacts like family members and roommates are instructed to “isolate” (isolation is in the case of a person with a positive COVID test) or “quarantine” themselves (quarantine is if there is a suspected exposure). Meanwhile the state or local public health agency works to identify other possible contacts. Public health agencies can issue individual quarantine and isolation orders requiring individuals to remain at home for a certain period of time. Quarantine orders also include instructions for how to seek care and testing if the individual becomes symptomatic. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and local public health agencies began to issue orders on Thursday with the announcement of positive cases.

Per protocol, each local public health agency is the lead investigator on cases involving people who reside within their jurisdictions. They will provide information as necessary and appropriate to protect the public’s health. The state will provide technical assistance to counties and will act as the lead investigator on any cases that occur in Colorado but involve residents of other states or countries.  The department will update numbers on our website and provide daily media summaries as long as necessary. 

COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People who have sustained contact within six feet of an infected individual are most at risk of transmission.

The department continues to work closely with the CDC and public health agencies across the state and is committed to protecting the health and safety of Coloradans. Health officials advise Coloradans to stay informed, take simple disease prevention measures, and prepare. 

  • Take simple disease prevention measures
    • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Stay home if you’re sick, and keep your children home if they are sick. Talk to your employer about working from home if necessary.
    • Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
  • Be calm and prepared.
  • Stay informed with reliable, up-to-date information.
    • People who have general questions about coronavirus disease 2019, can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, for answers in many languages,  or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English.
    • Coloradans can also visit the CDC and CDPHE websites for more information on best practices.
    • If you have upcoming travel plans visit the CDC’s website for the latest travel information. 

Continue to stay up to date by visiting colorado.gov/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus

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