New, More Strict County Guidelines To Help Contain Coronavirus

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Dr. Sharon Grundy

San Miguel County Department of Public Health and Environment announced Sunday evening it would join other mountain-community counties in following new, more-strict, state-recommend guidelines to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

State health officials now say they “strongly recommend” that anyone who lives in or has visited the communities of Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, or Gunnison counties in the past week minimize their contact with other people, in order to reduce the spread of the virus –whether or not they are experiencing symptoms.

San Miguel County public health officials announced they too are issuing these recommendations to all county residents and visitors.

Public health director Grace Franklin and county medical officer Dr. Sharon Grundy said even though we have not had our first documented coronavirus case we are certain the virus has been here, is here, and we need to learn from data we have to help contain its spread.

“There’s not much difference between the nature of our sister ski resort communities who are experiencing a disproportionate spike in cases compared to other counties in the state,” Franklin said. “This is a reasonable measure in a rapidly changing environment.”

Health officials believe community transmission is likely increasing across the state; therefore, these measures are particularly urgent for residents and visitors of mountain communities that are more vulnerable to high rates of transmission.

“Our actions now seem exaggerated to some, but let me assure you all, any actions we want to take later will be severely inadequate,” Dr. Grundy said.

Specifically, residents and visitors to these communities should:

• Dramatically limit visiting public places.

• Work from home to the extent possible. If you can’t work from home, practice social distancing, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance between you, co-workers and customers.

• Only go to public places when necessary (such as grocery store and pharmacy)

• Continue healthy, non-group activities such as walking, hiking, jogging, cycling and other activities that maintain the recommended distance from other people.

• Don’t gather in group settings

• Avoid mass gatherings.

• Practice social distancing (at least 6 feet) from others

• If you must travel, use a private vehicle instead of transportation that puts you in contact with others.

• Continue to operate critical business functions and operations with social distancing and additional safety measures in place.

• If you are experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath you must be isolated for at least 7-10 days after the onset of symptoms.

Everyone should continue to take the following actions to protect themselves and their families:

• Practice social distancing, maintaining at least 6 feet between people.

• Do not shake hands.

• Do not attend public gatherings (more than 50 people)

• Avoid contact with sick people.

• Stay home if sick.

• Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces and objects such as cell phones.

• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

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