Most Recent Update
Grand County Public Health (GCPH) and the Grand County COVID-19 Vaccine Team are working under the direction of Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to prioritize COVID-19 Vaccine to our community, to meet the goals of preventing death and decreasing infection rates among our community members. The Governor has provided a very structured format of vaccine administration. On December 22, GCPH received 100 doses. 90 doses have been administered within a 7 day period. On December 29, GCPH received an additional 200 doses to continue distributing vaccinations. Grand County is in the final stages of Phase 1A and begins looking toward the early stages of administering populations in Phase 1B.
The Grand County COVID-19 Vaccine Team will be focusing current and future efforts on the prioritized phase definitions, which can be found at www.co.grand.co.us/vaccine. GCPH will not be able to move below the “dotted line” of the phase 1B population until given specific direction from Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. Providing vaccine to non-authorized populations at this time will result in the penalty of being denied further vaccine delivery to vaccinate the Grand County community. The “dotted line” splits Phase 1B in half as indicated below.
The first part of 1B (above the “dotted line”) includes:
- Health care workers with less direct contact with COVID-19 patients (e.g. home health, mental health providers, pharmacy, dental, social workers, etc.) and EMS.
- Firefighters, law enforcement, COVID-19 response personnel, correctional workers, and funeral services.
- People age 70 and older.
The second part of 1B (below the “dotted line”) includes:
- Frontline essential workers in education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, U.S. postal service, public transit and specialized transportation staff, grocery, and direct care providers for Coloradans experiencing homelessness.
- Essential officials from executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government.
- Essential frontline journalists.
Our efforts are to vaccinate all populations in the timeline outlined and in as expedited manner as possible. Please know that when we receive direction to vaccinate a specific population, GCPH will reach out to set up those vaccinations. There is not a timeline to give you as to when this will happen.
As the COVID-19 Vaccine rules change on a moment’s notice, here are a few things to remember:
- GCPH is adjusting plans, in real-time, as State priorities change or are adjusted.
- COVID-19 Vaccine logistics are a massive undertaking with limited staff resources and availability
- All Vaccine Providers signed an agreement to meet all criteria, or potentially have future vaccine shipments stopped.
Here are a few things GCPH has to consider in the scheduling and administration of the COVID-19 Vaccine:
- Vials of the vaccine contain 10 doses. Once a vial is punctured the 10 doses must be given within a 6 hour period, or doses will be wasted.
- Persons who are ill with a fever should not be vaccinated.
- Any person with a history of anaphylaxis to a vaccine will be referred to the primary care provider to consult before the vaccine is administered.
- Persons with multiple food &/or drug allergies may be referred to their primary care provider. (Please let us know ahead of time. GCPH will assess and triage these persons.)
In order to ensure that GCPH has committed individuals for each Phase of the distribution process, we have developed a Vaccine Registration Form for individuals who are not already being provided access to the vaccine through their employers. The Vaccine Registration Form will be available next Thursday, January 7 at www.co.grand.co.us/vaccine .
COVID Vaccine is Here
The Moderna vaccine arrived in Grand County this afternoon. However, there is a very limited supply and priority for vaccinations has been predetermined by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP/CDC) and Governor Polis’ Office. Over the next 2-4 weeks, we are targeting Phase 1A populations, healthcare workers who are exposed regularly to COVID-19 positive patients, EMS, Cliffview Assisted Living Facility residents and staff, as well as Grand County Senior Housing residents. Once Phase 1A populations are vaccinated, we will begin to move into Phase 1B, 1C, 2, and 3. This is real-time response and subject to change based on scientific data and safety studies. We do not have specific dates for when Phase 1B, or any other phase, will be available. We have provided a general timeframe, but all operations are dependent on the availability and delivery of the vaccine. We will update the public when more information becomes available.
In general, if you have questions regarding whether or not you should take the vaccine, please call your Primary Care Provider. A physician or practitioner can counsel you on the benefits and risks associated with receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Furthermore, if you have a history of severe allergic reactions to any other vaccines, please speak with your Primary Care Provider before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Public Health cannot make a recommendation as to whether or not you should take the vaccine.
While the speed of vaccine development is unprecedented, all steps to ensure the safety of the vaccine development have been taken, like all other vaccines. The vaccine will not give you the SARS Co-V2 illness, and it is shown to be 94-95% effective at preventing SARS Co-V2 infection following the 2nd dose.
Holiday Celebration Reminders
Christmas is only a few days away, so we ask that you please remember these holiday celebration reminders from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment…
Top 3 Things to Remember
- Only interact in-person with people from your household (defined as those who normally live and sleep under the same roof).
- Refrain from traveling. Celebrate virtually with the people who don’t live with you.
- Avoid crowded stores. Shop for gifts online and have them delivered or pick them up curbside. Find local Colorado businesses to support via the #ShopLocalColorado campaign. Wear a mask and keep your distance whenever you do leave your home.
Holiday Celebration Ideas
- Cooking, eating, decorating, and exchanging gifts with members of your immediate household.
- Sledding or other outdoor activities in your local community with members of your immediate household.
- Hosting a virtual caroling party over video chat.
- Writing holiday cards to friends and family.
- Video chatting or talking on the phone with friends and family who don’t live with you.
- Exchanging photos of your holiday decorations, dishes, and outfits with friends and family via text message or email.
- Simultaneously watching your favorite holiday movie with family and friends in other households over video chat.
- Live-streaming a ceremony held by your faith group.
- Watching the ball drop on TV on New Year’s Eve.
- Cooking and baking treats for your neighbors, friends, and family, then delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve face-to-face contact.
- Mailing or delivering gifts to your neighbors, friends, and family in a way that doesn’t involve face-to-face contact (just like Santa). You can video chat with them later as they open their presents and watch their faces light up in real time.
“Getting a negative COVID-19 test means I can go ahead with my normal holiday plans.”
A negative test does not necessarily mean that you are free of COVID-19. Your sample may have been collected too early in your infection for COVID-19 to be detectable. Additionally, tests, especially rapid tests, are not perfect -- they may miss the virus in some infected people. It’s also possible that you could contract COVID-19 in between getting tested and arriving at your destination, and then spread the virus to friends or family members, who could then get very sick or die.
“I had COVID-19 earlier in the year, so I can go ahead with my normal holiday plans.”
Reinfection with COVID-19 is rare, but it has been shown to happen. Even if you already had COVID-19, there is no way to guarantee you won’t get it again and spread it to your friends and family at a holiday gathering.
“I’m young, so getting COVID-19 is no big deal.”
Even young, healthy people can get very sick or die of COVID-19. Young, healthy people can also spread the virus to their higher-risk friends and relatives. It’s important to think not only of yourself, but of every person you’ll be in contact with this holiday season when assessing the risk of COVID-19.
Public Health Advisory
GRAND COUNTY, CO – Since November 19, 2020 personal gathering limits in short-term rental properties and lodging in Grand County have been in place, including capacity restrictions for short-term lodging that enacted a household limit on private gatherings and stays. On December 4, 2020, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) issued an Amendment Order that included a capacity restriction for short-term lodging limiting private gatherings and stays to one (1) household. This restriction to one (1) household per short-term rental property and other short-term lodging accommodations remains in place through at least January 4, 2021. For the protection of the human and economic health of Grand County, and to avoid further pandemic related restrictions on businesses and lodging in the county, it is extremely important that these guidelines continue to be followed.
Because GCPH has identified a high probability of disease transmission through prolonged indoor public or private gatherings with multiple households, a continuance of these restrictions are meant to promote the continuing decline in our case rate as well as work to ensure Grand County stays within the parameters needed for the forthcoming 5-star program. Therefore, mixing families in lodging accommodations threatens not only individual health, but the economic health of Grand County during the holidays and high tourist season.
It is recognized, however, that there are lodging reservations booked prior to November 19, 2020 that may involve more than one family. In this instance:
- It is recommended and encouraged that additional, separate accommodations be secured to separate living quarters for each family.
- As this may not always be possible, for any lodging reservations booked prior to November 19, 2020 that include more than one family in the same rental unit
- Masks be worn while inside the lodging accommodations as much as possible consistent with guidelines and requirements in place for use of masks in public places;
- Occupants should make every effort to ensure social distancing and physical separation between families, including not mixing families when sleeping in bedrooms, not sharing bathrooms, washing hands, not touching faces and cleaning surfaces regularly.
With the exception of indoor events, gatherings and short-term lodging, Grand County will remain in Level Orange capacities and restrictions. We encourage community members and visitors to not negate the progress made with irresponsible actions.
New Temporary Amendment Order In Effect From December 19 Through January 4
GRAND COUNTY, CO – On December 16, 2020, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) issued a new Temporary Amendment Order to the June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order. The new temporary amendment reflects a continuance of restrictions on short-term lodging and indoor events or gatherings, while also releasing the restrictions on restaurants. Since the end of November, Grand County has seen a significant reduction of 35% in our case rate. However, this case count still reflects Level Red numbers, meaning that there is still work to be done.
The goal of this new temporary amendment is to allow restaurants to reopen their indoor dining operations while maintaining the progress Grand County has made in the last two weeks regarding our decreasing case rate. Grand County will remain in level Orange capacities and restrictions with the exception of indoor events and gatherings and short-term lodging which both have more restrictive Protective Measures. The Temporary Amendment Order includes the following:
- Temporarily amending Grand County Public Health Director’s June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order, and any previous amendments, from Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 12:01 am until Monday, January 4, 2021 at 11:59 pm.
- Activities to Be Amended and Updates to Playbook(note: these updates will be reflected in the relevant activity specific playbook and include the date of update):
- Playbook: Events Playbook; Activity: Continue temporary restriction on Indoor Events and Gatherings, not including Worship. Continue Indoor Event Specific Protective Measures to reflect that all indoor events, including private gatherings, shall cease unless operating under strict protective measures and approval through Grand County Public Health.
- Playbook: Lodging Playbook; Activity: Continue temporary restrictions on personal gathering limits in Short-Term Rental Properties and Lodging.Continue capacity restrictions for short-term lodging to include a one (1) household limit on private gatherings and stays.
- Playbook: Restaurant Playbook; Activity: Update language to reflect release of “temporary red restrictions” for restaurants on December 19th and reinstatement of level orange capacities and restrictions, unless amended in the future by Grand County Public Health.Update Restaurant-Specific Protective Measures by releasing the temporary “Red” restrictions on December 19th and reinstating level “Orange” capacities and restrictions (25% capacity up to 50 people per room, parties limited to 10 people, 6’ distancing between tables) unless amended in the future by Grand County Public Health. As is the case with all levels except Level Green: Protect our Neighbors , bars shall remain closed.
GCPH has identified a high probability of disease transmission through prolonged indoor gatherings with multiple households. While a continuance of these restrictions are meant to promote the continuing decline in our case rate and work to ensure Grand County stays within the parameters needed for the forthcoming 5-star program, we do understand that these restrictions are not timely.
Nevertheless, it is important to not negate the progress made thus far. Therefore, we are asking for voluntary compliance from both residents and visitors during this holiday season. While it may be a vacation, we must remain vigilant.
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.