Most Recent Update
GCPH COVID Notifications
Though social media is a convenient way to disseminate information, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) recognizes that not everyone is on Facebook. For this reason, Public Health puts all our updates on Grand County’s COVID-19 webpage. Additionally, anyone wishing to be personally notified via text or email when COVID updates are made can sign up for notifications at CO.GRAND.CO.US/COVID19NOTIFY.
GCPH Antigen Tests
Last week, GCPH officially launched its Rapid Antigen Testing Program focused on testing local, asymptomatic Grand County residents who have either been: 1) exposed to a positive COVID-19 case, 2) are on quarantine orders, or 3) are a critical/frontline worker in Grand County. In reality, GCPH has been performing Antigen tests since the end of October; however, prior to last week, the program was targeted toward outbreak testing and testing related to the fire response. In total, since the end of October, GCPH has performed approximately 1440 rapid antigen tests. About 85 of these tests have produced positive COVID-19 results (equaling approximately 6% positivity). Grand County will continue to use rapid antigen tests in the coming weeks to quickly identify positive cases and contain potential outbreaks.
COVID Vaccine Update
Today, Governor Polis announced preparations for the release of COVID-19 vaccine to various healthcare centers around the state. While the Pfizer Vaccine will be arriving in Colorado next week, Grand County does not have access to “Ultra-Cold Vaccine Storage units” or pelletized dry ice required to recharge the ultra-cold storage for the Pfizer Vaccine product. Thus, instead of getting the Pfizer Vaccine, Grand County will wait for the Moderna Vaccine that is set to arrive later this month (specific date not known at this present moment).
The governor’s goal for vaccination is two-fold: to save lives and to end the pandemic/crisis. Phases for COVID-19 vaccine delivery was established by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP), which made their recommendations to the CDC and were then adopted by the State of Colorado. These phases are subject to change as more information and vaccines become available. Visit, covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine for additional information.
Phase 1A: Highest-Risk Healthcare Workers and Individuals (Winter 2020-2021)
- Inpatient Healthcare Workers, ICU, ED Staff, Assisted Living Facility Staff
- Long Term Care staff and residents.
Phase 1B: Moderate-Risk Healthcare Workers and Responders (Winter 2020-2021)
- Healthcare Workers with less direct contact with COVID-19 patients, i.e., Outpatient Healthcare Workers and Outpatient Pharmacists.
- Workers in Home Health & Hospice
- EMS, Firefighters, Law Enforcement, Correctional Workers, Dispatchers, Funeral Services, other 1st Responders and COVID-19 Response personnel including Public Health Personnel.
Phase 2A: Higher-Risk individuals and Essential Workers (Winter/Spring 2021)
- Any other healthcare workers not included in Phase 1.
- Persons of any age with obesity; diabetes; chronic lung disease; significant heart disease; chronic kidney disease; cancer or who are immunocompromised.
- People who interact directly with the public at work, such as grocery store workers and school staff.
- People who work in high-density settings, i.e., congregate living.
- Workers providing essential services to maintain the health and safety of the community, i.e., Mountain Parks Electric, Propane and natural gas vendor staff, water and water treatment staff, CDOT, Grand County Road & Bridge, etc.
- Adults who received a placebo during a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial.
Phase 3: The General Public (Summer 2021)
- Anyone age 18-64 without high-risk conditions.
- High-Risk Conditions include: obesity, diabetes, chronic lung disease, significant heart disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer or who are immunocompromised.
Director Brene Belew-LaDue’s Resignation
On December 8, 2020, Director Brene Belew-LaDue tendered her resignation which will be effective January 15, 2021. For the past 17 years, Brene has served as the Director of GCPH and has led the County’s response for outbreaks of pertussis, influenza, hepatitis A, and tuberculosis. She has been the lead for three community health assessments and was a key individual behind the ACHES & PAINS programs. She has also served on the Grand County Rural Health Network Board of Directors. The health of the community has always been her first priority, which is why her decision was a difficult one to make. Nevertheless, GCPH will continue serving the community at the highest level possible. Additionally, Emergency Management and Public Health will be meeting in the coming days to decide what staffing help will be needed to increase capacity for both testing operations and logistical needs as well as vaccine clinics.
Grand County Public Health Updates Quarantine Times in accordance with the CDC and CDPHE
On Dec. 2, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) published options for reducing the length of quarantine for people who remain asymptomatic after exposure to COVID-19. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has reviewed and adopted this guidance, and Grand County Public Health (GCPH) is following suit. Read Full Press Release
Grand County Public Health Temporarily Amends PHO
On December 4, 2020, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) issued a Temporary Amendment Order to the June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order Related to COVID-19 Pandemic Best Practice and Activity Specific Protective Measures (June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order). The amendments reflect temporary modifications to targeted Activity Specific Protective Measures which will reflect CDPHE’s dial framework for Level Red: Severe Risk. The goal of implementing these additional measures is to reduce Grand County’s rising case rates before the holiday season arrives in an attempt to improve the overall health of the community and ensure less burdensome economic restrictions during such time frame. Read Full Press Release | Read Temporary Amendment Order
Now that we are officially entering the Winter Season, please be sure to reference Grand County's Winter Playbook. This book is authorized by Grand County Public Health's Standing Public Health Order; thus, the protective measures listed within are LAW. The playbook includes measures for the following: Private and Group Lessons, Outdoor Sports & Competitions, Indoor Sports & Competition, Downhill & Cross-Country Ski Areas, Sleigh and Carriage Rides, Snowmobile Operators, Snow Tubing Operations, Dog Sledding Operations, Retail & Equipment Rentals, Food and Beverage, Office Areas, Lodging & Hotels, Transportation, Indoor and Outdoor Events, Non-Commercialized Personal Winter Recreation, and Other Protective Measures/Playbooks. View the full playbook at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ew9lixjjCU9JSuf6fvabCTy6ChNdz5MmpheTswXWgsE/edit
SOS: Save our Season, Stop our Spread, Save our Stores
SOS is one campaign Grand County Public Health is currently promoting to draw attention toward the need to take COVID precautions to protect our much needed winter tourism season. SOS also reminds us to shop locally to keep our small businesses afloat during these difficult times. We encourage you to buy gift cards at local businesses and give them to local residents to shop at their leisure.
If you are symptomatic, we recommend contacting your Primary Care Physician first and foremost.
If you are a local, asymptomatic Grand County resident who has been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case, are on quarantine orders, or are a critical/frontline worker in Grand County, you may attend any of the scheduled GCPH antigen testing times. However, because the goal of this program is to detect and contain outbreaks quickly, we ask that asymptomatic people who have not had a COVID exposure or who are not a critical/frontline worker to please coordinate with their primary care provider to get tested. Symptomatic patients and those who are positive for COVID should also contact their Primary Care Physician about testing.
Grand County Board of Health Votes to Move to Safer at Home Level Orange
GRAND COUNTY, CO – On November 12, 2020, the Grand County Board of Commissioners, acting as the Grand County Board of Health, voted 2-1 to move Grand County into Safer at Home - Level Orange until at least November 30th in accordance with the guidance of Grand County Public Health (GCPH). This decision was made with the hope that this action will help Grand County get a handle on its rising disease spread before the winter season. The decision was made during a meeting held with mayors, town managers, town trustees, business owners, and the public to discuss the current state of COVID-19 and how we can respond as a county. Many points of view and comments were taken into consideration prior to the vote. Ultimately, the decision was influenced by the desire to keep control of our COVID-19 response at the county level and not defer to the state. Safer at Home Level Orange entails the following:
|Activity||Capacity or Protective Measures|
|Personal Gathering Size (for any gathering that does not |
fall under another category and that has not completed the Grand County Compliance Verification Form)
|Up to 10 from no more than 2 households|
|P-12 Schools||In-person, hybrid, or remote as appropriate|
|Places Of Worship And Life Rites -|
Indoor Unseated Functions
|25% capacity or 50 (with calculator)|
|Places Of Worship And Life Rites - Indoor Seated Functions||25%, 50 person capacity|
|Places Of Worship And Life Rites - Outdoors||6ft between parties outdoors, per local zoning|
|Restaurants - Indoors||25% capacity, 50 people|
|Restaurants - Outdoors||6ft between parties outdoors, per local zoning|
|Non-critical Manufacturing||25% capacity or 50 people|
|Gyms/Fitness||25% capacity, 25 indoors, or outdoors in groups less than 10|
|Group Sports And Camps||Virtual, or outdoors in groups less than 10|
|Personal Services||25% capacity or 25 people|
|Limited Health Care Settings||25% capacity or 25 people|
|Events - Indoor Unseated||25%, 50 person capacity (with calculator)|
|Events - Indoor Seated||25%, 50 person capacity (6ft distancing between parties)|
|Events - Outdoor Unseated||25%, 75 person capacity (with calculator)|
|Events - Outdoor Seated||25%, 75 person capacity (6ft distancing between parties)|
|Outdoor Guided Services||25% capacity or 10 people|
The move to Level Orange for 18 days will allow the county leadership to finalize a mitigation strategy to be implemented across the county for the purposes of reducing COVID-19 disease, preventing further surges in cases, and maintaining business operations at consistent levels for the next 6 months.
On the heels of this decision, Grand County Public Health was notified of 21 new cases in the previous 36 hours and the number of people currently on quarantine or isolation reached 534. In addition, local healthcare facilities were notified that multiple front range hospitals could not currently accept transfers of ill patients from Grand County. These situations make this difficult decision all the more timely.
Safer at Home - Level Orange will go into effect immediately. However, it was decided that if your business is reliant on hunting operations then you may have until November 22 to comply. GCPH will follow up with an amended Public Health Order in the next few days to solidify changes in restrictions and capacities. The Mitigation Plan will be finalized on Tuesday, November 17.
Together we are Grand, and together we will get this COVID-19 disease under control through local community action!
Growing Number of COVID-19 Cases
GRAND COUNTY, CO – On September 30 and October 1, 2020, Grand County Public Health (GCPH), along with Middle Park Health (MPH) and West Grand School District, announced a series of new confirmed cases. At the time, there were nine (9) confirmed positive cases at Cliffview Assisted Living Center and two (2) confirmed cases at West Grand High School.
Today, Grand County Public Health confirmed an increase of 12 new cases. Ten (10) cases are related to Cliffview and the other two (2) are still under investigation. GCPH and the COVID IMT have been working closely with MPH and Cliffview Assisted Living since March of 2020. MPH and Cliffview filed a COVID-19 Suppression Plan with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) in April of 2020. After review, it was determined that the plan met all the requirements of long-term care facilities. Collaboration has resulted in the institution of all appropriate Center for Disease Control (CDC), Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and CDPHE preventative measures. During other possible exposures as well as the current situation, GCPH, MPH and Cliffview have successfully worked together to contact trace and contain the virus spread as best as possible.
With the increasing case numbers, it is important to emphasize everyone’s responsibilities related to this pandemic. COVID-19 suppression is a collective community responsibility. Everyone must play their part and is especially vital in the midst of rising case rates. The job of GCPH is to collaborate and provide guidance for all businesses and industries in Grand County.
- It is the responsibility of individual businesses to adopt and hold themselves accountable to the guidance & regulations. Enforcement from GCPH is an option, but compliance is the expectation.
With Summer coming to an end, it is time to start thinking about our upcoming winter season. Winter recreation is a huge economic driver in Grand County and the last thing we want to do is close down again. It is imperative that all members of our community take the necessary precautions to prevent further surges in COVID-19 cases.
- Wear face coverings in public areas
- Limit gatherings to small groups, do not congregate
- Anyone showing signs or symptoms of being sick must stay home
- Employers should conduct symptom screenings of all employees daily
- Limit, where possible, all high and medium risk interactions
- Practice good personal hygiene (wash hands frequently, cover coughs, do not touch your face)
- Protect our vulnerable populations like the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions
- Maintain 6-foot distancing from others
- Increase ventilation as much as possible in all facilities
- Frequently sanitize high touch surfaces using cleaning and sanitizing products that meet EPA standards and CDC requirements.
GCPH has also compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions that may be helpful if you have questions related to a variety of topics: General FAQs, School FAQs, Business FAQs, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) COVID-19 FAQs, and COVID-19 Definitions. Check out these documents here.