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May 18, 2021

Dear Grand County Residents, 

 As your Public Health Director, I would like to thank you. We have worked hard as a community over the last 14 months of this pandemic to maintain our sense of normalcy; to understand what is being asked of us as individuals, business owners, employees, and organizations; to protect our children, our livelihoods, and our sanity. Add to 2020 the most devastating wildfire in the history of our county… This has not been an easy year for any of us. 

It is a good day, though, when I can look at our disease trends in the County and see that we are now at the lowest transmission rates we have had since last April. We have better treatments against the virus for those who need it, and a safe, effective vaccine to protect ourselves and our loved ones. 

As excited as I am to watch our numbers decline week after week, it’s important to remember that – while we may be done with COVID, and the changes to our daily lives that have come with it – COVID is not done with us. I encourage us all to remain cautious as the weather warms up, students finish their school year, graduations and other celebrations take place, and visitors return to the County. 

I am happy to say that, in most places, masks are no longer required if you have been vaccinated. Individuals are encouraged to maintain a 6-foot distance from non-household contacts, to wash hands frequently, wear a face covering when distance cannot be maintained, and get your vaccine if you are eligible. These are still best practices, even if they are not required.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in conjuction with Governor Polis, have announced more relaxed restrictions in our effort to control the spread of COVID-19 while acknowledging a reduction in severity and transmission. A summary of changes are:


  • Masks are strongly recommended but no longer required indoors for vaccinated individuals
  • Masks are recommended for children ages 2 to 11 in indoor public spaces
  • Maintaining 6-foot distancing is required in indoors in spaces that seat 500 or more people


  • Per the Colorado Department of Education, masks will continue to be required for students ages 3 and older on school property


  • 6-foot distances between tables at restaurants is strongly recommended, but no longer required


  • Masks are strongly recommended but no longer required
  • 6-foot distancing is recommended, but no longer required
  • Outdoor events are no longer required to have approval
    • Grand County Public Health is asking that event plans continue to be filed to assist with contact tracing efforts should an outbreak occur from the event, but approval from GCPH to host an outdoor event is no longer required

Exemptions from 6-foot Distancing Requirements

  • Places of worship and associated ceremonies
  • Retail services and restaurants with sit-down dining without unseated areas where 100 or more people could gather (dance floors or common gathering areas)

Below, I’ve included answers to specific questions we’ve been asked the last couple days.

Lastly, on the vaccine front: The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for anyone 12 years old or older. City Market and Safeway pharmacies have this vaccine and are accpeting appointments now. You can schedule your child’s appointment at

Grand County Public Health is hosting our second Mass Vaccine Clinic at Middle Park High School in Granby Saturday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for anyone 18 years old or older. We will have Moderna  and Johnson &Johnson vaccine for this clinic. Please register for your appointment here or register at the site when you arrive. 

Stay diligent, stay safe, stay open!


Abbie Baker-MPH, CHES
Public Health Director/Epidemiologist
Grand County Public Health
150 Moffat Ave/PO Box 264
Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451


Can I remove the “Masks Required to Enter” notices from the door of my business? 

Yes. GCPH is no longer requiring masks for vaccinated individuals to enter indoor spaces. It is, however, at the discretion of the business owner; businesses can make individual decisions to ask employees and/or patrons to wear masks. 

 Do I have to ask for proof of vaccination in order for someone to enter my business without a mask?

        No, you do not need to ask for proof. Private businesses may request proof of vaccination at their discretion.

 I’m on an event planning committee; do we have to file a plan still for our outdoor summer event?

 While approval is no longer required to host your event, we are asking that event organizers continue to file plans with GCPH in case an outbreak does occur to aid with contact tracing and notification.


Grand County Public Health Amends Public Health Order

GRAND COUNTY, CO – On May 5, 2021, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) issued an Amendment Order to the April 15, 2021 Standing Public Health Order (PHO) Related to COVID-19 Pandemic Best Practice and Activity Specific Protective Measures. The purpose of this Amendment Order is to better align with State Guidance.  

The amendment reflects the following changes:

  • Protective measures in the Updated Grand County COVID-19 Suppression Plan and Consolidated Playbooks shift from mandatory requirements to strong recommendations and guidance for all businesses, public or private gatherings, recreation, events, and activities in Grand County. 
  • With the exception of Events/Activities, Businesses, Employers, and Sole Proprietors are no longer required to complete the  Grand County Compliance Verification Form for regular business operations.
  • Capacity limits for all industry sectors, events, and activities shall be updated in the Quick Reference Chartto reflect 100% capacity, with the exception of Indoor & Outdoor Events that will reflect “GCPH Approval Required”.  
  • With the exception of mask requirements outlined below for schools and childcare settings in Grand County, Grand County shall align with Colorado’s current Statewide Mask Mandate and/or Guidance
    • In accordance with Colorado Department of Education guidance, mask-wearing should be standard practice for children three (3) years and older in a school or childcare setting. 
    • Should our 7-day case rate drop below 35 cases per 100,000 people for seven (7) consecutive days,  we will meet the requirements to reduce mask use for indoor public spaces. However, the requirements would not change for correctional facilities, schools, childcare centers, healthcare facilities, and long-term care facilities.  The best actions you can take to help us meet this goal are:
      • Wear a mask in public places
      • Practice social distancing of 6’ or more between non-household/non-cohort members.
      • Limit group sizes and minimize congregation, especially when indoors.
      • Practice Quarantine and Isolation protocol when symptoms are present or you receive a positive test result.
      • Frequently wash/sanitize high-touch surfaces and hands.
      • Regular screening for symptoms.
      • Protect Grand County’s higher-risk populations, such as older adults and people of any age with underlying medical conditions
  • Towns, Businesses, Organizations, Employers, and Event/Activity Coordinators in Grand County may choose to implement mask requirements, restrictions, protective measures, and capacity limits that are MORE restrictive than state and county mandates. No town or county is permitted to be less restrictive than State issued Public Health Orders or Executive Orders.

Aspects of the order that have not changed:


  • Organizers of Events and Activities are still required to complete the Grand County Compliance Verification Form AND receive approval from Grand County Public Health prior to holding said event. Event approvals may take 10 or more business days to finalize.
    • Events that require submission of Compliance Verification Form and GCPH approval: 
      • Indoor or Outdoor Public or Private Gatherings of 50 or more people including meetings, receptions, events, concerts, fairs, rodeos, non-critical auctions, theaters, trade shows, outdoor markets, and other indoor or outdoor venues not covered in other sector guidance or as exceptions described below.
    • Events NOT requiring submission of Compliance Verification Form and GCPH approval: 
      • Worship and Life Rites Ceremonies (Ceremony only. Reception and other activities require approval as stated above.)
      • Seated events that can fully follow the state’s restaurant guidance for the entire event may operate as a restaurant and follow those restrictions/capacities.  This means that parties are seated, there are no shared activities, and any performers are at least 12 feet from patrons if wearing masks (25 feet, if unmasked).



Grand County has seen 34 new COVID-19 cases in the last week, 56 in the past two weeks. There are currently four hospitalizations and two active outbreaks. Because an increase of COVID-19 positive cases are occurring statewide, GCPH continues to encourage individuals to seek testing if experiencing symptoms. However, we do recommend contacting your Primary Care Provider first and foremost. Learn about testing options at

Grand County providers have administered 13,387 doses, this is a combined total of both first and second doses. GCPH estimates that 56.8% of the County has some level of immunity to the disease, including those who were infected with COVID in the last 90 days. Only eligible residents 18 and older have been included in the previous population immunity calculations. Residents ages 16 and older will be added to the eligible population calculation starting in May based on 2019 state demographer data. 

To learn more about vaccine distribution in Grand County, visit There you will find a calendar with vaccine clinics for each provider throughout the County. You do not need to be a patient of any of the clinics or medical providers to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at their facility. Furthermore, you do not need to receive your second dose at the same location as your first dose, but you do need to receive the same brand of vaccine for both doses. All clinics require pre-registration. Links to all clinics/providers can be found by clicking on the calendar or viewing the table below the calendar. Need help scheduling or getting transportation to vaccine clinics? Call the Grand County Rural Health Network at 970-725-3477.

GCPH will resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week. The Vaccine Distribution calendar will be updated once those clinics are finalized. Please visit for updates.

Note to individuals 16-17 years of age: You are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and the only vaccine provider in Grand County currently offering the Pfizer vaccine is Safeway in Fraser.

COVID-19 is Now Considered a Vaccine-Preventable Disease

Because of vaccines, some diseases (like polio and measles) are becoming rare in the United States. Vaccination against a range of bacterial and viral diseases is an integral part of communicable disease control worldwide. Vaccination against a specific disease, like COVID-19, not only reduces the incidence of that disease, it reduces the social and economic burden of the disease on communities. It is worth a shot.

COVID-19 Vaccine Myth vs. Fact

MYTH: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine means I can stop wearing my mask and taking coronavirus precautions.

FACT: Individuals who get the COVID-19 vaccination still need to practice infection prevention precautions. Keep your mask on, and continue staying at least six (6) feet from people outside your household. Vaccines do not stop the coronavirus from entering your body; they only prevent you from developing moderate to severe COVID-19.

MYTH: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine gives you COVID-19.

FACT: The vaccine for COVID-19 cannot and will not give you COVID-19. The two authorized mRNA vaccines instruct your cells to reproduce a protein that is part of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which helps your body recognize and fight the virus if it comes along. However, the COVID-19 vaccine does not contain the SARS-Co-2 virus, so you cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The protein that helps your immune system recognize and fight the virus does not cause infection of any sort. Vaccines will not cause you to test positive on a PCR or antigen test but should result in a positive antibody test two weeks after you have been fully vaccinated. This means your body has developed antibodies to COVID-19 as intended after vaccination.

MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine was developed with or contains controversial substances.

FACT: The first two COVID-19 vaccines to be authorized by the FDA contain mRNA and other, normal vaccine ingredients, such as fats (which protect the mRNA), salts, as well as a small amount of sugar. These COVID-19 vaccines were not developed using fetal tissue, and they do not contain any material, such as implants, microchips or tracking devices.


April Letter to Residents

Fellow Residents, 

First and foremost, we are hosting a Mass Vaccine Clinic at Middle Park High School in Granby on April 17th and 18th from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm for anyone 18 years old or older. We will have Moderna vaccine only  for this clinic as the Johnson and Johnson vaccine distribution has been paused. Please register for your appointment here. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in conjunction with Governor Polis, have announced that Dial 3.0 will no longer be mandatory for counties to utilize for COVID-19 suppression efforts, but rather will become guidance, on April 16th, 2021. Governor Polis has encouraged individual counties to adopt their own relevant plans to continue to monitor and suppress severe illness from COVID-19.

  • Grand County will be adopting many elements of the State Dial 3.0 Level Blue, with adjustments to capacities as follows:
  • All events, industry, and operations may operate at 100% capacity with 6 foot distancing between persons/parties being the primary capacity limiting factor. 
  • Indoor and outdoor events, regardless of size and venue, are still required to submit plans for approval. Indoor events with greater than 500 in attendance will require CDPHE approval in addition to GCPH approval. 
  • Capacity restrictions for all business sectors, events, and activities can be found on Grand County’s Quick Reference Capacity Chart.  

Please be sure to look at the Grand County Suppression Plan and Consolidated Playbooks for more information relevant to your situation or event. You can also find them at

The following metrics will be used to monitor disease activity in the county and will determine whether we increase or loosen restrictions moving forward. These metrics will also be displayed on the Grand County dashboard. 

  • Hospitalizations: We will monitor a rolling two-week period of resident hospitalizations for COVID related complications. Hospitalizations in excess of 10 resident hospitalizations or 10% of cases in a 14 day period (whichever is greater) that would inhibit our County’s ability to continue normal response and transfer operations for other medical needs will indicate the need for increased restrictions. This metric will be added to our dashboard on our website. 
  • COVID-19 Case Counts: We will continue to monitor our active cases over a rolling seven-day period. A parallel rise in cases and hospitalizations would indicate a need for increased restrictions based on COVID “hot spots” in Grand County indicated in case investigation data. 
  • Outbreaks: We will continue to monitor for and report outbreaks according to current outbreak definitions and will utilize outbreak mitigation strategies to suppress COVID infection spread. 
  • Herd Immunity Status: We will continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Grand County. Our ideal goal is 80% of our eligible population will have achieved fully vaccinated status. However, 65%-70% is acceptable by CDC standards. The higher our herd immunity percentage, the less we will experience severe illness in our resident populations. 

What doesn’t change?

  • Masks are still required in indoor public spaces (and strongly recommended in outdoor areas where distancing is not possible and exposure to others will be greater than 15 minutes) by State Mask Orders due to expire on May 4th.  Masks are required in schools, jails, and assisted living centers until the State lifts that requirement. Federal lands and properties are still subject to Federal mask requirements. 
  • 6 foot distancing between persons/parties of other households in public spaces.
  • Positive Case Investigations and Contact Tracing will still be conducted for positive cases. 
  • Quarantine and Isolation protocols are still required for positive individuals and close contacts. Additionally, a 14-day quarantine is required for those that have been in contact with a Variant of Concern. 
  • Use of hand sanitizer or hand washing frequently and avoiding touching your face after touching high-touch surfaces. 
  • Event approvals for all indoor and outdoor events, regardless of size and venue, are still required.  

I have been on multiple calls with state leadership and mountain resort community leadership over the last few weeks. Grand County’s Public Health Order is consistent with other resort communities in the response to the State Dial Devolution.

The Grand County Public Health Order will go into effect by 12:01 AM Friday, April 16th. 

While we are seeing an expected increase of COVID-19 cases in Grand County after the Spring Break holiday, we are not seeing a parallel increase in hospitalizations or death. These adjustments in our response to COVID-19 should reflect those changes in disease severity and allow for our community to stay cautious but open. 

Stay diligent and stay safe!


Abbie Baker-MPH, CHES

Public Health Director/Epidemiologist 

Grand County Public Health

150 Moffat Ave/PO Box 264

Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451


Weekly Update

Vaccine Distribution Update

 GCPH is also working with the state to organize one or more  Mass Vaccine Equity PODs with the hopes to administer 1,000 vaccines per day, preferably using the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, if available.   We will provide more details in the coming weeks. 

All primary care providers are now administering vaccines, with Fraser Medical and Byers Peak added to the list, which also includes Grand County Public Health, Middle Park Health, Denver Health, Safeway, and City Market. All clinics are administering the Moderna vaccine, with the exception of Safeway as they are administering the Pfizer vaccine. Grand County still has not received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, though we are hoping to take delivery within the month.



Phase 2 Vaccines

Starting today, all individuals over the age of 16 are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and all individuals over the age of 18 are eligible to receive the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. GCPH has updated its vaccine website ( to include a list of all vaccine offerings in Grand County.  As a result of this information now being public and open for all to attend, GCPH will be closing its Individual and Business Vaccine Registration Forms to new registrants.  Those who had previously signed up will receive an email this this information.



Road to 10,000

Grand County Public Health has embarked on a journey to help our community reach herd immunity from COVID-19. Herd immunity is our community's best defense against COVID-19. The sooner our individual immune systems are prepared to fight the virus, the less it spreads from person to person, and the virus has fewer chances to mutate. The number of residents in Grand County who need to be vaccinated to reach ideal herd immunity is approximately 10,000 or 80% of eligible residents. Once we can demonstrate herd immunity, the better opportunity to return to normal life without masks, social distancing and fewer COVID-related Public Health Orders. Track our progress at



COVID Community Testing

As a result of decreased antigen testing use in the recent weeks, GCPH has altered their testing schedule effective tomorrow (Saturday, April 3rd). Grand County Public Health (GCPH) provides free rapid Antigen tests (15-minute tests) through a robust, weekly, predictable testing program to address outbreak and surveillance testing needs across Grand County. There are testing sites in Fraser, Granby, and Kremmling. GCPH and CDPHE also want to reiterate the importance of getting tested for COVID-19 if they are experiencing symptoms or believe they may have been exposed. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, wait until at least 5 days have passed since the date you think you were last exposed before getting tested, unless you develop symptoms.  While it is good news that cases are decreasing, we cannot completely let our guard down or stop using preventive measures until everyone who wants a vaccine has received one. 

9:00 am to 10:30 am - Extension Hall  at Kremmling Fairgrounds   
12:00 pm to 2 pm - Granby Community Center

9:00 am to 10:30 am - Fraser Historic Church
12:00 pm to 2 pm - Granby Community Center     

CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its travel guidance for fully vaccinated people. A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine, and CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves. That being said, CDC also recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to take COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing a mask, social distancing, washing hands frequently and avoiding crowds when in public, when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple other households, and when around unvaccinated people who are at high risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19.


Updates to CDC travel guidance for vaccinated people can be found here: