Most Recent Update
April Letter to 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 www.co.grand.co.us/COVID19.
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
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 (www.co.grand.co.us/vaccine) 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 www.co.grand.co.us/RoadTo10K.
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.
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:
COVID-19 Vaccine Poll
While there are many scams that people should be aware of, GCPH did send out a COVID Vaccine Survey earlier this week that was not a scam. The survey is a single survey question asking you to provide your vaccine status. This survey will help GCPH determine the county’s vaccine need and provide the appropriate data to assist in planning a larger vaccine clinic. Please help in our effort to vaccinate all individuals who want a vaccine by participating in GCPH’s COVID Vaccine Survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NMWC2YC. This being said, it is still important to be aware of scammers. Be sure to always verify the source and never provide confidential information.
Medical and Non-Medical Volunteers Needed at Vaccination Sites through April
Grand County Public Health is in need of both medical and non-medical volunteers to help at COVID vaccination sites through April. Vaccination sites in all areas of the county need help with: entering client data into an online portal and completing onsite registration forms; directing patients and assisting with crowd flow; monitoring patients for adverse events for 15 minutes post-vaccination.
With the help of additional volunteers, Public Health will have the ability to plan weekly outreach clinics in Hot Sulphur Springs, Grand Lake, Granby and Winter Park/Fraser. Volunteers with medical experience will be contacted by Public Health Deputy Director Ellen Parri. Volunteers without medical experience will be contacted by Jen Fanning from Grand County Rural Health Network. To learn more about the specific needs, and to sign up for a time slot, visit: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040845a8a62ca3f94-april
State Dial 3.0
As more Coloradans are eligible to get vaccinated and choose to do so, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has released the latest update to Colorado’s COVID-19 dial framework: Dial 3.0. The updated dial public health order went into effect Wednesday, March 24. State officials expect that Dial 3.0 will remain in effect until mid-April, at which point the state plans to retire the dial and implement a new public health order that gives greater control over capacity restrictions to local public health agencies. Dial 3.0 metrics are further simplified and capacity limits are less restrictive. The main changes in Dial 3.0 are listed below or you can read the summary of changes.
Changes that Impact Grand County NOW (3/26/2021)
- Grand County will remain in Level Yellow restrictions for now.
- 5 Star (Grand Star) restaurants and gyms in Levels Blue and Yellow may operate at 100% capacity with 6 feet of distance between parties as a way to provide businesses with increased flexibility, while still limiting indoor mass gatherings.
- There is no longer a state limit on personal gathering sizes. The state will follow the CDC’s guidance on personal gatherings and the CDC’s guidance for fully vaccinated people. People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after receiving the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or ≥2 weeks after receiving the single-dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen.
Highlights of the CDC’s Personal Gathering Guidance
- Avoid crowds, large gatherings, and poorly ventilated indoor spaces
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you, and increase that distance for high-intensity activities.
- Host gatherings outdoors, if possible. Minimize the time you spend in a restaurant or bar.
- Arrange tables and chairs to allow for social distancing.
- Minimize handshaking, elbow bumps, and hugs. Instead wave and verbally greet guests.
Fully vaccinated people can:
- Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease without wearing masks or physical distancing
- Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic
For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
- Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
- Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19
- Wear masks and maintain physical distance when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
- Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Follow guidance issued by individual employers
- Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations
Since Grand County Public Health (GCPH) and its partners began administering COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020, over 5,300 shots have been given in Grand County. We have and are continuing to work our way through Phases 1A, 1B.1, 1B.2, and 1B.3 of Colorado’s vaccine distribution plan.
Grand County’s Individual Vaccine Registration Form has been, and continues to be, a useful tool that local providers use when making vaccine appointments. Since its creation on 1/6/21, over 6,300 people have registered on the form with over 3,800 of them being in the 60+ year old population. We know that many of the eligible individuals on our list have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine either from a local provider or a provider outside the county; however, tracking those individuals on the master registration form has proven difficult due to the sheer number of registrants. GCPH and its partners want to ensure that no one falls through the cracks that has been eligible (1A, 1B., 1B.2, 1B.3) and has NOT received at least one dose.
To better assist us in narrowing down those individuals 60 years of age or older still needing and wanting COVID-19 vaccine, we have created a new form for them to complete. If you are one of these individuals, please complete this form: https://forms.gle/BuRr9yCwT3T5X2gQ9.
If you are in any other phase, including Phase 1B.4, we ask that you please continue to complete the Individual Vaccine Registration Form at: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeLr4zShZCOTI4HQPYVylgsz1gklSi6jjtP9ZU94mJCKzXLVA/viewform.
Grand County Public Health and its partners will continue to work through the vaccine distribution phases as quickly as our vaccine supplies allow. If you are in Phase 1B.4, please note that it may take a couple weeks for us to work through this phase and get everyone vaccinated. GCPH and our partners ask for your patience as we work through our lists of all eligible persons and businesses.
A Year in Review
March 14, 2021 marked the one year anniversary of Grand County’s Emergency Declaration for COVID-19. March 14, 2020 was also the date that the Grand County COVID-19 Response Team gathered at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the first time. Since that day one year ago, Grand County has experienced many highs and lows related to COVID-19. With the increased distribution of vaccines occuring right now, we have the opportunity to move towards normalcy.
To recap on the past year, Grand County and its partners:
Organized a Grand County COVID-19 Response Team that included over 60 personnel from many entities across the county working collaboratively to address COVID-19 in the county.
Investigated over 1,300 positive cases among residents, and 119 positive non-resident cases.
Worked collectively with town and county leaders, as well as business and chamber representatives, to implement eight sector-specific playbooks.
Reviewed and approved nearly 175 local events.
Performed over 6,000 free antigen tests at our weekly antigen testing sites.
Administered over 5,300 COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Worked diligently everyday, including weekends, to promote and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and visitors.
Spring Break Safety Tips
What we know about COVID-19 at this point is that the prominent source of spread is from one infected person to someone with little to no immunity to it. In the last year, the virus has shown to be spread best when people are close to each other for prolonged periods of time, especially if masks are not worn by both parties. We saw fewer cases in the summer months but still had spread and outbreaks occurring. We have not reached a point yet where there are enough people with natural or vaccine immunity to achieve reliable herd immunity. The virus will stop spreading when there are no more hosts susceptible to the virus or its variants.
In light of the significant health risks associated with travel, and to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout our community, GCPH strongly recommends that people refrain from traveling and refrain from engaging in activities that may put them at increased risk for contracting COVID-19. Such activities include parties and smaller, indoor gatherings with members of more than one household. However, if you do decide to travel, please do so safely.
Here’s what we recommend for safe travel:
- Do your research. Research what the case rates look like for where you’re going. If they are high, possibly reconsider your destination. When choosing where to go, look for places off the beaten path, away from crowds. You should also research your accommodations.
- Drive, don’t fly (if possible). Airplanes themselves may be clean, but you still have to deal with the airport. There's still a big risk of exposure when you're flying. With road trips, on the other hand, you can plan your stops carefully to lessen your exposures.
- Stay in your bubble. As tempting as it is to meet with friends or family you haven’t seen in a year, we’re not out of the danger zone yet.
- Don’t assume vaccination means you can go anywhere. If you’ve already been vaccinated, your risk of having a severe case of COVID-19 is a lot lower. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get it -- and there’s no conclusive research yet about whether you might be able to spread the virus to others. New CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated people still recommend avoiding medium or large gatherings and delaying travel.
Ultimately, deciding whether or not to travel should have to do with your risk factors for COVID-19 as well as the risk levels of everyone in your quarantine bubble and your travel bubble. If you live with an elderly, unvaccinated person, for instance, you might not feel comfortable going anywhere. Or you might drive somewhere fairly remote where you won’t interact with anyone, but you should avoid places likely to attract crowds. The decisions that we make as individuals can have an effect on the people around us. So while it may be good for your mental health to get out of the house, it is also important that we are not causing harm to others.
Vaccine Update and a Comparison Table
Today, Governor Polis announced that Colorado will be moving into Phase 1B.4 of vaccine distribution starting March 19th, which includes Coloradans 50 and older and several frontline workers. It is also anticipated that the state will follow federal guidelines to open up vaccine eligibility to everyone on May 1st. Local vaccine providers will do their best to administer vaccines as quickly as possible to all eligible individuals. However, it should be noted that we are still working very hard to get previously authorized populations vaccinated, including individuals over the age of 60 and local grocery employees. Currently, our vaccine supply is not meeting our demand. Therefore, we ask for everyone’s patience in this process until our supply catches up.
|Name||Type||Target Population||Effectiveness||# of Doses||Doses/Vial||Side-Effect Profile|
|Pfizer||mRNA||16 years and older||Based on clinical trials,|
95% effective at preventing serious illness
|2 shots, 21 days apart||6||In the arm where you got the shot: Pain, Redness, and Swelling|
Throughout the rest of your body: Tiredness, Headache, Muscle Ache, Chills, Low-Grade Fever, Nausea
|Moderna||mRNA||18 years and older||Based on clinical trials,|
94.1% effective at preventing serious illness
|2 shots, 28 days apart||10-11|
|Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)||Viral Vector||18 years and older||Based on clinical trials,|
66.3% effective at preventing serious illness
GCPH moves Grand County into Level Yellow
I am thrilled to be providing this update today. Grand County has been in a steady decline of COVID-19 cases since February 18th. Not only have we gone below the Red Level for the first time since October 2020, but we have also gone below Orange and have now been at Yellow levels for cases and positivity for 7 days! This is the result of all of you doing your part to keep our county safe and our businesses open.
We are moving to Yellow dial level restrictions! We are required to have 7 days of consistent metrics in this dial level before making any adjustments and by 5 pm today we will have met that requirement. In order to give our community businesses time to prepare for accommodating additional capacities safely and communities time to prepare messaging, the Amendment Order will go into effect by 12:01 AM Monday, March 8th.
We have done a lot of work to get where we are with the COVID-19 spread. We have to move into Yellow with the understanding that Spring Break tourism is coming. We need to be smart so that we don’t experience a surge in resident cases in the aftermath that can have further impacts on our schools and businesses An increase in cases in Grand County also impacts our ability to focus on administering the vaccine to you.
Indoor and outdoor events, regardless of size and venue, are still required to submit plans for approval. In addition, we are now well placed to initiate operations of the GrandStar program. If your facility wishes to become a GrandStar approved restaurant or gym, you must complete the plan and application here: www.playwinterpark.com/grandstar Once your application is reviewed you will be contacted for an inspection. Applications will be reviewed by the Chamber of Commerce staff, who have limited capacity, and will be reviewed and approved on a first-come-first-served basis.
I am proud of the work our community has done to get us to this point. Keep it up!
Abbie Baker-MPH, CHES
Public Health Director/Epidemiologist
Beginning on Friday, March 5th, individuals in Phase 1B.3 will be eligible for COVID vaccines in the State of Colorado. Clinics in Grand County will begin vaccinating 1B.3 individuals, in addition to the continuing vaccination of individuals in 1A, 1B.1, and 1B.2, as vaccine supplies allow. However, the State has split what was previously known as phase 1B.3 into two separate phases, placing restaurant workers in the new phase 1B.4. Vaccine supply continues to be limited, but, based on predictions by Governor Polis and CDPHE, GCPH is hopeful that vaccine shipments will drastically increase toward the beginning of April. We understand that many people are eager to get their vaccine as soon as possible, and we, too, want that to happen. We are confident that everyone in the community who wants a vaccine will be able to get one; we just ask for your patience while we work quickly and diligently to reach that goal.
1.B.3 : Beginning March 5
Phase 1.B.3 will include:
- People age 60 and older.
- Frontline essential workers in grocery and agriculture:
- People 16-59 with 2 or more documented high-risk conditions.
New phase 1.B.4 : Beginning later in March
We are creating a new phase-- phase 1.B.4-- for other groups that were previously in the prior group, which is set to start later in March.
- People age 50 and older.
- Higher education
- Frontline essential workers in food/restaurant services, manufacturing, US postal service, public transit and specialized transportation, public health, and human service workers
- Faith leaders
- Frontline essential direct care providers for Coloradans experiencing homelessness
- Frontline essential journalists
- Continuity of local government:
- Continuation of operations for state government:
- Adults who received a placebo during a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial
- People 16-49 with one documented high-risk condition
Phase 2 : Timing Dependent on Supply
Phase 2 replaces what used to be Phase 3. This phase includes the general public or any Coloradan who is not included in earlier phases because they have a lower risk of exposure or are less likely to have severe outcomes from COVID-19. This phase may be further segmented by age if needed.
Antigen Testing Update
Grand County Public Health’s free antigen testing program is still operational and testing at sites in Fraser, Granby, Grand Lake, Hot Sulphur Springs and Kremmling one to two times at each location per week. While attendance numbers have dropped slightly in the last week, GCPH intends to continue the program through at least the end of March and maybe longer if demand persists. The schedule for antigen testing can be found at Grand County COVID-19 Testing Information. As a reminder, the antigen testing sites are open to everyone, are free-of-charge, and no appointments are necessary. Please note that testing at the Kremmling location on March 25 and March 27 is hereby cancelled unless an alternative site is determined. Please continue to check the link above for updates.
As alluded to a couple of weeks ago, Grand County is getting very close to initiating our GrandStar Program (the local variation of Colorado’s 5-star Certified Business Variance Program). Through a rigorous certification and inspection process, the GrandStar Program will allow certain businesses in Grand County to operate at greater capacities than the currently designated COVID Dial allows. The GrandStar program will initially be open to restaurants and recreation centers countywide, but the intent is to include additional business sectors (like indoor events) in the future. Restaurants and recreation facilities throughout the county are encouraged to check out the GrandStar website at www.playwinterpark.com/grandstar to learn more about the program and complete the application if interested.
New Demographic Data
In an effort to provide more demographic data on COVID Positive cases from Grand County residents, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) has added a new page to its COVID Dashboard. The “COVID Positives by Classification” page can be accessed by clicking the “View Additional Statistics” link under the pie chart in the lower-left corner of the COVID Dashboard. The data includes all Grand County resident COVID positives since March 2020 summarized by Age, City of Residence, Gender, Ethnicity, Race, and Type of COVID test performed (PCR, antigen, etc…) and will be updated once a week on Saturdays.
County & State Vaccine Dashboards
At the beginning of February, Grand County updated its COVID Dashboard to include vaccine data. The current data includes vaccine doses administered by all local providers, including Safeway in Fraser and City Market in Granby. Reports are updated each Tuesday and include both 1st and 2nd doses.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has also created a vaccine data dashboard that includes county-level vaccine administration data in beta. The goal of the expanded data dashboard is part of the state's commitment to prioritize data transparency throughout the COVID-19 response, to inform an equitable vaccine distribution process, and ensure accountability. The State’s new beta version of the county-level vaccine administration includes: Number of doses administered, Number of doses administered per 100,000 population, Doses distributed (sent to providers in the county), Doses distributed per 100,000 people, and the Difference between percent of doses distributed and percent of the state population.
Please note that the CDPHE Vaccine Dashboard reports data by an individual’s primary county of residence regardless of where their shot was given. Conversely, Grand County’s data is reported as the number of doses given in this county regardless of the patient’s home address. Thus, if trying to compare the dashboards, please take these differences into account.
Lastly, until the COVID vaccine is widely available and a level of community immunity is achieved, it is imperative that everyone keeps following public health protocols and protective measures to mitigate this virus--wear a mask, physically distance, avoid gatherings, stay home when you’re sick, and wash your hands.
County Dial Status
While we have improved on our dial status, we are not out of the woods yet. We are approaching the Spring Break season and foresee that larger numbers of tourists will be coming into the county. Therefore, we need to stay vigilant in our efforts to curb the spread.
The great work by the community to help stop the spread has allowed us to lift the red dial level restrictions. GCPH will continue to monitor our case rates and positivity. We will also continue to assess our ability to lessen restrictions. We need to have at least a 7 day trend in either direction prior to adjusting our capacities. We will take into account disease activity throughout the county, numbers of individuals on quarantine, anticipated dIsease events, and the potential strain bouncing back and forth between levels can put on businesses and event planning.
On Thursday, February 25, Grand County Public Health signed an Extension Order of the June 26, 2020, Standing Public Health Order. The extension expands the Standing PHO’s authority through April 30, 2021. The June 26th Standing Public Health Order authorizes Best Overarching and Activity-Specific Protective Measures detailed in the Grand County COVID Suppression Plan and Playbooks. The Order also continues the requirement that all businesses, events, and activities in Grand County complete the Compliance Verification Form.
Colorado Exposure Notifications
For a while now, Colorado has been promoting its Colorado Exposures Notification App for iPhone and Android users. The app allows users to be notified when another user they have been near within the past 14-days tests positive for COVID-19. The Exposure Notifications only work if both people have the app installed and Bluetooth is turned on, and the individual who tested positive chooses to initiate the push notification service to potentially exposed users.
Because the push notification will not identify who, when, or where you were potentially exposed, GCPH advises that if you have been diligent about COVID protective measures and you get a notification about potential exposure, that you should monitor for symptoms, continue all best protective measures, and get tested at one of our free antigen testing sites. If you have not been diligent about masking, washing hands, distancing, limiting gatherings, and staying home when sick, you should follow standard quarantine protocols in addition to getting tested.
Grand County Public Health Terminates Temporary PHO related to Winter Park/Fraser restaurants & events
GRAND COUNTY, CO – On February 21, 2021, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) issued an Amendment Authorization Order to the June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order that officially terminated the February 12, 2021 Temporary Amendment Order. That order had placed temporary heightened restrictions on specific businesses and activities from February 13 through February 26, 2021. The termination order goes into effect tomorrow morning, February 22, 2021 at 8am.
After being named the county with the second highest transmission rate in the State of Colorado, by the second week in February, Grand County Public Health had a difficult decision to make. It was time to move into Level Red restrictions based on Governor Polis’ new Dial 2.0 framework. The options were to either move the entire county into Level Red restrictions or just the portion of the county with the highest disease activity. After noting a significant disease trend throughout the Fraser and Winter Park area, including a major outbreak at Winter Park Resort, GCPH elected to institute targeted restrictions related to specific businesses and activities determined to be high transmission sources.
As alluded to in the February 13th press release, investigations of COVID outbreak cases linked back to 2 specific businesses that were asked to pivot to curbside. These businesses asked for transparency with public health. The investigation has been fully completed and vetted and revealed that 11 patron and 1 employee cases were linked to those 2 businesses in Fraser and Winter Park.
Fortunately, thanks to a steady decline in new COVID cases over the last week, Grand County dropped to Level Orange metrics on February 18, 2021. This persistent decrease has given Public Health Director Abbie Baker the assurance that our numbers are moving in the right direction and that the temporary Red restrictions were no longer needed.
Ms. Baker commented, “It was the Governor’s intent with the new Dial, and its 7-day metrics as opposed to the previous 14-day metrics, to allow counties to move more swiftly in and out of higher level restrictions based on current disease trends. That is exactly what we did.”
With the termination of the Temporary PHO, all businesses, events, and activities in Grand County are now in Level Orange capacities.
If our numbers continue to decline, Grand County may soon have the opportunity to institute the GrandStar program. GrandStar is a state-approved variation of Colorado’s “5 Star” Certified Business Variance Program that allows businesses to expand operations by implementing safety measures beyond what is already required by public health orders and guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Once active, the GrandStar Program will allow businesses that achieve and maintain the 5-star certification to operate with capacities at one level lower than the County’s current level of restrictions. For example, certified GrandStar restaurants will be able to operate at Level Yellow capacities when other restaurants in the county are limited to Level Orange capacities. The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce is currently spearheading the GrandStar efforts and is limiting applications to restaurants and gyms in the Fraser Valley area, but the hope is that other chambers and towns will soon join in to expand the program across the county. To learn more about GrandStar, visit https://www.playwinterpark.com/grandstar.
So far, clinics in Grand County have administered around 3,425 doses as of early this week. These totals include 1st and 2nd doses.
Grand County is currently vaccinating phases 1A, 1B.1 and 1B.2. Unfortunately, due to the inconsistent vaccine deliveries and limited vaccine supply, it is taking longer to vaccinate all eligible individuals than we would like. Furthermore, because we are now over a month into the vaccine distribution process, our local providers are also having to balance the need for both 1st and 2nd doses in each vaccine shipment. Accordingly, we ask for your patience in getting an appointment, and we will reach out to you when we have a vaccine for you.
Regarding second doses, the CDC states that 2nd doses of COVID-19 Vaccine may be administered 28 to 42 days post 1st vaccination. We will work to make sure you receive your 2nd dose within that time frame. Nevertheless, if you received your 1st vaccine in Grand County, the provider you received your 1st vaccine at will contact you when they have a 2nd dose available for you. You do not need to call them to be scheduled, they will call you.
The Grand County Individual Vaccine Registration Form remains the best way to get your name on the list to be vaccinated locally. The local providers have access to this list and check it regularly to see who is registering under their clinic. Especially for Middle Park Health and Grand County Public Health, you do not need to be a patient of theirs to register for a vaccine from them.
If you are looking for alternate ways to get the vaccine and are not opposed to traveling, please note that COVID vaccines do not need to be given in your county of residence. If you are willing and able, and you meet the phase qualifications, you may go to the front range to get a vaccine. Various pharmacies, such as Walgreens, CVS, Safeway, and King Soopers, are offering vaccine appointments. In fact, our local City Market may have vaccine appointments available. Please keep in mind that you should, if at all possible, get your 2nd dose at the same location you got your 1st dose. This is imperative if you get the Pfizer vaccine as Grand County does not offer the Pfizer vaccine.
It is also important to note that vaccine shipments have been delayed due to extreme weather in the last week across the nation. This has impacted many organizations' ability to plan and distribute vaccines this week and possibly next week. Appointments will be made as soon as more vaccine is received.
To aid in answering common questions, Grand County Public Health has created a Vaccine FAQ. Middle Park Health has also created their own MPH Vaccine FAQ. Please check out these documents to quickly find the answers to some of our most common questions. If you have a question you believe should be included in the FAQ, please email email@example.com.
The COVID pandemic has been going for nearly a year now, and it is safe to say that we are all sick of it (no pun intended). That being said, the COVID-19 virus does not appear to be done with us just yet. Now is not the time to let our guard down and forget all the protective measures we have been implementing for so long that help us stay open.
Please remember to follow these basic protections wherever you go: masking, washing hands, social distancing, continuing to stay in small groups, limiting personal interaction between groups, not going out in public when we are sick.
Additionally, it is still best to meet virtually whenever possible. Small indoor, in-person events (including meetings) are allowed under Event Guidelines and with prior approval through Grand County’s Compliance Verification Form. However, if a virtual option is feasible, it should still be utilized as a means of promoting public health and safety as well as inclusivity of individuals who cannot, or wish not to, attend in person.
A number of our at-risk community clients have been contacted by people saying that they are Grand County Public Health or the Grand County Rural Health Network, and that they needed the client’s Social Security Number and Debit Card information to get them a scheduled appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination. DO NOT GIVE OUT THIS INFORMATION and report the call to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office at 970-725- 3343.
Letter to Residents from GCPH Director
I feel the need to clarify the actions taken by the Grand County Public Health Department (GCPH).
Our county has had sustained increased case counts since mid-January. Until the end of January, the cases were spread across the county. However, in the last few weeks, there has been a substantial trend of cases coming from Fraser and Winter Park residents.
With the sustained high transmission rates for Grand County, we were in a situation where we needed to move into Level Red restrictions for at least part of the county by Saturday, February 13. Fortunately, thanks to our lower hospitalization rates and our population being less than 20,000 residents, we had the opportunity to be selective with how we moved to Level Red restrictions.
With 70% of the cases in the last 14 days coming from Winter Park and Fraser, my initial proposal to the State (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, CDPHE) was to focus Level Red restrictions in those towns with the highest transmission. Upon further analysis of case investigations, there were three specific locations in Fraser and Winter Park indicated as common sources of viral spread.
I proposed to the state that we use this data to focus our increased restrictions on only those locations where transmission is occurring, and they agreed to let us use this approach. Two of the three businesses are small, locally owned businesses. In an effort to maintain working relationships with those businesses, we opted not to call them out by name. They are not a threat to community health at this point in time. Those businesses have met the additional restrictions willingly and have not been asked to close. Local support resources have been applied to help these businesses survive the reduction in business. Thank you to the Town of Fraser, the Town of Winter Park, Winter Park/Fraser Police Department, Winter Park Resort, Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Darcy Selenke for contributing to these conversations and working with the public health department and local businesses.
While unconventional, this approach seemed a better alternative than implementing Level Red restrictions across the entire county and/or enforcing Level Red restrictions on all restaurants in Fraser and Winter Park. If this approach does not result in lower transmission rates for Grand County, there will be expansion of higher restrictions. Yet, if our case rates decline more rapidly than expected, there is also an opportunity to lift restrictions more quickly.
Public Health has been working with Winter Park Resort since before they opened in December to try to mitigate disease spread. Until recently, their efforts had the desired effect. They provide alternate isolation locations for positive cases, testing for employees, and have a robust contact tracing program. They are willing to terminate employees that are not cooperating with isolation or quarantine orders and have followed through. They have also implemented stricter policies in their employee housing with the same consequence of termination for non-compliance. Despite the Resort Management’s best efforts to contain the spread among employees, GCPH, in consultation with the State and Winter Park Resort, decided to declare an outbreak at the Resort not only to inform the community of the situation but also to provide increased support from the State on testing options, analysis of protocols, and containment efforts.
It is important to remember that our residents’ and visitors' response to the containment protocols affects us all. Personal behaviors have a greater impact on our ability to open than business operations. I know our community can continue to pull together to get us through to recovery. I know we can do better - follow masking and distancing guidance, limit your exposures, get tested and stay home when you are sick, and when you are able to, get the vaccine.
I want to see us go from 2nd highest transmission in the State to one of the lowest as soon as possible. That depends on how we pull together and respond now. We can do this!
Your new Grand County Public Health Director,
Abbie Baker-MPH, CHES
New Temporary Amendment Order Issued for Targeted Areas in Grand County
GRAND COUNTY, CO – On February 12, 2021, 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 Level Red restrictions for target areas in Grand County that have seen high disease activity and recent outbreaks. These heightened restrictions are to be in effect from Saturday, February 13, 2021, at 12:01 am until Friday, February 26, 2021, at 11:59 pm. 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, February 13, 2021 at 12:01 am until Friday, February 26, 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: Update language to reflect restrictions on Indoor Events and Gatherings, not to include Worship. Update Indoor Event Specific Protective Measures to reflect that all indoor events, both public and private gatherings within the Town limits of Winter Park and the Town of Fraser shall cease unless operating under strict protective measures and approval through Grand County Public Health.
- Playbook: Restaurant Playbook; Activity: Update language to reflect restrictions on dining in. Update Restaurant Specific Protective Measures to reflect Level Red restrictions for The Winter Park Resort based restaurants and specific businesses identified as places where outbreak transmission had occurred in the Towns of Winter Park & Fraser. These businesses will move to take out, curbside, delivery, to go, or outdoor dining. Up to 5 members of the public are allowed inside at a time to pick up food or place an order, given specific precautions are taken by the facility to maintain a 6-foot distance. Outdoor dining is limited to one (1) household per group. Bars shall remain closed.
- Playbook: Quick Reference Chart; Activity: Update capacities and restrictions. To update capacities and restrictions for indoor events and gatherings and restaurant activities to reflect the above Activity Specific Protective Measures.
GCPH has determined that recent high disease activity and outbreaks can be attributed to community spread among individuals who are considered primary residents. Illness among visitors is not reflected in Grand County’s case counts. The goal of implementing these additional measures is to reduce Grand County’s rising case rates by targeting the areas where disease spread and recent outbreaks have been identified. We are focusing on where the greatest amounts of transmission are taking place in an effort to avoid further impacts on the county as a whole. During week two, transmission rate trends will be reassessed. If there is a notable downward trend and Level Orange rates have been achieved, Level Red restrictions will be lifted.
“I know that our community can do better and I want to challenge everyone to do whatever is necessary to move us to Level Blue because right now we are moving in the wrong direction. Only then can we be on the right path toward recovery.”, stated Abbie Baker, Grand County Public Health Director.
Winter Park Resort and other restaurants in the area have been proactive in implementing these measures in order to address the recent case trends and this Temporary Amendment Order serves to support their ongoing response. The businesses that will enact the pivot to curbside or outdoor service will not be specifically identified as the transmission occurred among local patrons. These businesses are working collaboratively with GCPH, taking extra measures to mitigate the transmission of disease and are committed to bringing down the case rates in the county. Businesses not targeted in this Amendment Order will continue their operations in accordance with all Level Orange restrictions, keeping public health and safety in mind. It will take the commitment of every sector of our community in order to get our case rates down.
Joint Statement from Grand County Public Health and Winter Park Resort
GRAND COUNTY, CO – On the week of February 8, 2021, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) will be reporting to the state an outbreak at Winter Park Resort (WPR) among resort employees. This declaration allows more state resources to be pulled in to aid with suppressing COVID activity in the WPR employee group. WPR, GCPH and CDPHE will continue to monitor the outbreak until two incubation periods (28 days) have passed with no new outbreak-related COVID-19 positive cases. Through case investigations, it has been determined that these cases have not been traced back to transmission through interaction with visitors but, rather, from social gatherings outside of the workplace and congregate housing.
WPR has worked closely and been transparent with state and local public health authorities since the onset of the pandemic and in recent weeks to navigate these dynamic circumstances. WPR has an onsite testing site that they have managed since December and has consistently utilized GCPH testing sites as deemed necessary.
Throughout the past few months, WPR has implemented robust contact tracing among employees which has helped GCPH and a CDPHE contact tracing support team has been enlisted as needed during this outbreak. WPR has also enlisted a CDPHE epidemiology/hygiene consult to further investigate changes that could be made that could suppress COVID activity among employees.
CDPHE and WPR are proactively enacting protocols that allow more state resources to be used in aid of suppressing COVID-19 activity in the WPR employee group, including increased testing and this announcement. WPR, GCPH and the Grand County Board of Health (BOH) will utilize all local and state resources in order to address these cases and support the community.
It is important to remember that it is every individual’s personal and professional responsibility to make the right decisions and hold each other to the safest standards possible. Please continue to take preventative measures to protect yourself and others.
Unfortunately, with COVID-19, a person can be contagious 2 days prior to experiencing symptoms and inadvertently spread the virus to others before they know they have it. Because of this, outbreaks can occur fairly easily with this virus. Outbreaks are identified and reported in the following manner:
The definition of an outbreak is 2 or more confirmed positive cases are identified in a facility, non-household group, or organization in a 14-day period and the positives are shown to have contracted COVID through interaction at said facility, group, or organization.
Once an outbreak is suspected or identified, GCPH continues case investigation to determine the legitimacy and extent of the outbreak.
GCPH submits outbreak information to the State by noon on Tuesday each week for prioritized outbreaks (defined as Schools, Correctional Facilities, Critical Infrastructure, Highly Mobile Populations, Long-Term Care/Acute Care Facilities, Highly Mobile Populations, and Tribal Organizations). Other outbreaks that do not fit in the State’s priority outbreak categories may be reported if additional interventions are needed to help mitigate the spread of the virus.
Once submitted, the expectation is that reported outbreaks will be put on the State’s website by Wednesday of each week. However, if there are a large number of outbreaks statewide, this process may be delayed.
After the outbreak is reported and confirmed, the State will then provide support to help address the concern. Support includes, but is not limited to, increased testing capabilities, an analysis of current protocol to identify areas of improvement, and support in implementing adjustments.
GCPH works closely with all entities where outbreaks occur to monitor case rates and provide guidance. If a coordinated press release is desired by the affected facility, GCPH will assist with writing such release. Otherwise, GCPH is not responsible for creating or publishing said information.
Starting on 2/9/2021, GCPH will be holding closed Point-of-Distribution sites (PODs) for 65+, non-English Speaking 65+, Access & Functional Needs populations as well as providing second doses to individuals in the 1A and 1B.1 populations who received their initial vaccine through Grand County Public Health. GCPH is also working with the local schools to vaccinate their staff. Grand County Public Health will reach out to individuals registered on the Grand County Vaccine Registration Form to schedule appointments for PODs as vaccine supplies allow. No drop-ins will be permitted. Individuals who received their first dose at another local clinic (i.e. Middle Park Health, Denver Health, or Safeway) should reach out to that specific clinic for questions and scheduling of second doses. Individuals who attended the River Run Ranch vaccine site should contact Middle Park Health. We encourage everyone to continue registering for vaccines through the Grand County Vaccine page: co.grand.co.us/vaccine. Again, the registration form does not schedule you for an appointment, but it does put your name on the master list of individuals wanting the vaccine.
State Dial Framework 2.0
Today, Governor Polis announced that the state will introduce a new COVID Dial 2.0. This dial allows Colorado to balance the ongoing need to contain the COVID-19 virus with the need for localized guidance during the pandemic. It will go into effect Saturday, February 6 at 9 a.m. Dial 2.0 FAQ: https://drive.google.com/file/d/18dDpH6Yhnb1ic0zxwhVdkElE0HZOEEEA/view.
What does this mean for Grand County? No change in status. Grand County will remain in Level ORANGE restrictions for now.
Dial 1.0 (Old)
Dial 2.0 (New)
Metrics based on a rolling 14-day period
Metrics based on a rolling 7-day period
0-25 cases/100,000 in 2 wks; <= 5% positivity.
County meets Protect our Neighbor criteria and completes certification process
0-15 cases/100,000 in 1 wk; <= 5% positivity.
County meets Protect our Neighbor criteria and completes certification process
0-75 cases/100,000 in 2 wks; <= 5% positivity
16-100 cases/100,000 in 1 wk; <= 5% positivity
76-175 cases/100,000 in 2 wks; <= 10% positivity
101-300 cases/100,000 in 1 wk; <= 7.5% positivity
176-350 cases/100,000 in 2 wks, <=15% positivity
301-500 cases/100,000 in 1 wk;<= 10% positivity
351+ cases/100,000 in 2 wks; >15% positivity
501+ cases/100,000 in 1 wk; >10% positivity
Hospital capacity risks being breached
Statewide hospital capacity risks being breached. Crisis standards of care approaching
Our numbers locally are starting to plateau but they are still well into level Red Level. In general, we believe the rise in numbers lately is a combined result of: residual from the holidays, indoor close-contact personal gatherings, sick individuals not staying home when ill, and other work or school exposures. The good news is that we do not foresee any major upcoming events or holidays that would cause new spikes. Furthermore, thanks to our robust antigen testing program that allows for early detection of potential outbreaks, we feel that our level Orange restrictions are still appropriate despite our level Red numbers.
Since its launch on January 6, 2021, the “Grand County Individual COVID-19 Vaccine Registration” Form has received over 3,400 submitted responses . Of these, over 1,200 are citizens at least 70 years old.
Keep in mind that this registration form was NOT intended to schedule people for an appointment to get the vaccine. The form was intended to put names on the list of interested persons wanting to get the vaccine so that the registration process could proceed as follows:
An individual completes and submits the Individual Registration Form.
The form is then added into a master list of people wanting to get the vaccine. This list is categorized by vaccination phase, age group, and primary care provider (PCP/provider)*.
Each of the local medical clinics has access to the list of individuals that selected their clinic as that individual’s medical provider.
When that specific clinic has a vaccine available, they will contact individuals at the phone numbers provided. Should you have questions about your clinic’s process, please contact them directly.
* Individuals that selected “I do not have a local primary care provider” will be contacted by Grand County Public Health.
In the last couple weeks, we have received several calls and emails questioning whether an individual’s registration form had been properly submitted and received. If you hit the submit button at the end of the form and a confirmation message popped up, your form was submitted and received. Furthermore, we have not deleted anyone’s name from the list.
Grand County is currently vaccinating the 70+ population, but we have only been receiving small shipments of vaccines. Some of our local providers have not received any vaccine shipments to date. We are working diligently to vaccinate as many eligible individuals as we can while also ensuring that there are no wasted doses. We understand that many people are eager to get their vaccine as soon as possible, and we, too, want that to happen. Should you have any specific questions, we ask that you contact your provider’s clinic directly.
BREAKING NEWS FROM THE STATE RELATED TO COVID VACCINE: Governor Polis just announced the expansion of the 1B population to include three subgroups: 1B.1, 1B.2, and 1B.3. According to a press release from CDPHE today, “Beginning February 8, providers will be able to vaccinate anyone 65 and over, including continuing to prioritize those that are 70 and over who have not yet received a vaccine. Colorado’s Early Childhood educations, licenced childcare providers, PreK-12 educators will also be eligible to receive the vaccine on February 8. Educators should reach out to their employers to sign up for the vaccine.Governor Polis also announced that the State estimates that close to March 5, frontline workers and Coloradans ages 16-64 with two or more high-risk conditions will also be eligible to receive the vaccine. It’s also projected that Coloradans ages 60 and up will also be able to start receiving the vaccine around March 5.” Check out the new Phase Distribution Chart at https://www.co.grand.co.us/vaccine.
Vaccinations Given by GCPH
As of 1/29/2021, Grand County Public Health estimates that approximately 1525 vaccines have been given in Grand County between Grand County Public Health, Middle Park Health, Denver Health, and Safeway in Fraser. This value encompasses 1A and 1B populations vaccinated to date and includes both first and second doses given so far.
Reminder on Personal Gathering Limit
Despite the downward trend in new cases we saw during the month of December, the last three weeks have seen a rise in cases again, many of which are attributed to small, private, indoor gatherings. During this time of rising disease incidence in the County, it is important to keep personal gatherings with non-household members to a minimum. The best practice is to only gather with your household members, but, if you must, personal gatherings of up to 10 people from no more than 2 households are allowed under our current restrictions. Short Term Lodging, including STRs, are subject to the personal gathering limit and should not host stays that include more than two households.
Grand County Public Health Amends Public Health Order
GRAND COUNTY, CO – On January 20, 2021, Grand County Public Health (GCPH) is issuing an Amendment Order to the June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order (PHO) Related to COVID-19 Pandemic Best Practice and Activity Specific Protective Measures (June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order). The amendment reflects the following changes:
- Extends the Grand County Public Health Director’s June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order, including this amendment and any previous amendments, until February 28, 2021.
- Terminates the nightly 10:00 p.m. curfew that went into effect on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 5:00 PM as part of the November 19, 2020, Amendment Order to the June 26, 2020 Standing Public Health Order. Note: The Statewide Level Orange “Last Call” for on premise liquor sales at restaurants will remain at 10:00 p.m.
- Updates capacity restrictions for gyms and fitness to be 25%, up to 50 people, indoors and outdoors in groups of 10 or less, per statewide level Orange restrictions updated on January 4, 2021. Gym capacities were previously at 25%, up to 25 people.
- Update restrictions to allow for basketball, cheer/dance, ice hockey, skiing, swimming/diving, and wrestling to occur as league sports if all sport-specific CDPHE-approved CHSAA rules are followed and the participating associations or teams notify Grand County Public Health of their intent to play.
The order also reiterates the following general COVID reminders:
- The importance of following the Overarching Best Practice Protective Measures of wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, working remote when possible, maintaining best hygiene practices, staying at home when sick, getting tested when symptomatic, and taking personal responsibility for preventing COVID-19 outbreaks and disease transmission.
- The purpose and function of Grand County Public Health’s Winter Playbook to establish protective measures for safe COVID operations of businesses during the winter season. Businesses operating during this time of year are encouraged to check out the Winter Playbook if they have questions, concerns, or interests in activity-specific COVID measures and protocols. As updates are needed, they will be highlighted and dated in the playbook.
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.