Eagle County officials put out the following information on Friday as COVID-19 cases surge to levels not seen since the spring:
In response to the increased transmission of COVID-19 in the community, as well as a request from the Colorado Governor’s Office, Eagle County Government will be restricting in-person interactions at county facilities beginning Nov. 16. The county will continue to provide services via phone and/or online.
Office- and department-specific changes and contact information are available at www.eaglecounty.us. These precautions will be in effect through the end of November, then will be reevaluated.
Community information and resources in response to COVID-19 are available at www.eaglecountycovid.org.
Message from county commissioners
Eagle County is preparing to move into the high-risk orange level of the COVID risk meter. We anticipated this would likely happen after the state put us on notice, but it’s a blow nonetheless. Many communities across the state are experiencing a similar transition as cases increase, so we’re not alone, but that doesn’t make the restrictions any more pleasant. To be clear, we are not shutting down. The specific orange level restrictions are outlined in this infographic.
For the most part, businesses and schools have followed safe practices and have not been the cause of spread. They are rigorous in setting themselves up to require mask wearing and proper social distancing. In well-organized networks like a school, if there is a known case, it is relatively straightforward to identify others who are at risk and pursue aggressive quarantining. That process is effective. It is private, casual gatherings that are the source of the spread.
The key message we hear from our public health officials is that moving in the wrong direction is not a foregone conclusion. Far from it. It is completely, totally, undoubtedly in our power to very quickly reverse the trend and move into less restrictive levels. Following the 5 Commitments of Containment is essential. So is taking real responsibility and carefully evaluating your personal choices. The more social interactions you have on a daily basis with members outside your household, the more likely you are to come into contact with the virus. By saying “no” to gatherings that aren’t likely to involve a real commitment to mask wearing and social distancing, you are doing your part to help slow the spread.
The motto we unveiled for this stage of the fight against COVID, “we got this,” is more than a catchy tagline. We mean it. We can do this, we can get through this challenge. It requires focus and dedication from the entire community, but it’s completely doable. We can have these numbers turned around in as little as a week or two if we wear masks, keep our distance, avoid unnecessary social situations, and quarantine and isolate when infected or sick. We can position ourselves much better for the winter holiday season if we all do our part.
Message from Eagle County Public Health
I want to start with a little bit of tough love this week. Halloween has demonstrated that we can and must do better. We continue to investigate multiple parties related to the holiday that have led to several outbreaks of COVID-19. At a time when our community was already seeing an increase this was not the “treat” we needed. That said, there are many community members that continue to play their part by staying in, not hosting or attending large gatherings, and keeping their commitment at home and on the weekends. For all of you, I want you to know how grateful we are. Keep it up.
As we continue to see rising case numbers, testing will continue to play a significant role in fighting the virus and we want you to have a little more information in case you need testing. First thing, if you are sick stay home. If those symptoms last more than 24 hours, make an appointment to get tested. It is important that you don’t get tested until after 24 hours, because it is possible to have a negative test result at this time even if you have COVID-19. Second, testing should be prioritized for people that are currently sick, followed by people that have been quarantined and are asked to be tested because they have developed symptoms. If you have a trip planned that requires you to be tested, you’ll need to plan accordingly to comply with the rules of the airline or destination and find an alternative testing site that does not interfere with our capacity to test the people in our community that have a clear medical need.
A map of all testing locations is available at https://sites.google.com/eaglecounty.us/covidtestingsites/home. More information about testing along with some great Q&As is available on this Vail Health page.