Trends in the local spread of COVID-19 could affect Eagle County’s ability to maintain its public health order variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). If disease spread does not decrease to acceptable levels, the county may be required to reset to the state’s more restrictive public health order.
The state health department has notified the county that local disease rates are outside the levels allowed by the variance. CDPHE is requiring the county to create a mitigation plan that reflects the actions it will take over the next two weeks to significantly change the trends.
In response, Eagle County updated its public health order on July 17, which included limiting private gatherings to 10 people or less with six feet of distance required between non-household members; and limiting public gatherings to 100 people or less indoors and 175 outdoors with six feet of distance required between non-household members and no ability to expand events with multiple groups.
In addition, the county has submitted a plan to the state outlining immediate actions to help decrease case incidence rates to below 100 cases per 100,000 population within the next 2 to 4 weeks and longer-term actions that will help maintain the economy, keep the workforce employed, open schools and lead to a winter with ski resorts opened.
These actions range from increased education and communication, to assistance for those that may require isolation and quarantine, to greater collaboration regionally and statewide to improve testing capacity.
Officials continue to stress the importance of individual actions, as well. “We need the community to take this seriously,” said Eagle County Communications Director Kris Widlak. “We all must limit our social contacts and practice safe distancing. If you get sick, will you remember every person with whom you’ve had close contact over the past 10 to 14 days? Will you be able to warn and protect your family, your friends, your coworkers? If we all can’t answer these questions, then we are doing it wrong.”
Conversations between Eagle County and CDPHE will be ongoing over the next few weeks as officials monitor disease trends.
Regular updates on the county’s response to COVID-19 are being shared at www.ECEmergency.org. The county’s forum for community discussions is at www.facebook.com/OneValleyVoice. Those with additional questions can email email@example.com or call 970-328-9750.