County Announces 4 New COVID-19 Cases

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County Public Health Officials announced today two more COVID-19 cases with known contact to a co-worker who tested positive last week. Two other cases announced yesterday are also from known contact with the same individual.

A 44-year-old man, who works at Brown Dog Pizza in Telluride, was the first to come down with symptoms last week. He sought medical attention and received a positive COVID-19 PCR test result last Wednesday and is isolating for 14 days. He became the county’s 13th COVID-19 case.

Case #14 is a 21-year-old male, a Brown Dog employee. Case #15 is a 10-year-old female who also had known contact with the 44-year-old man. Case #16 is a 29-year-old male and case #17 is a 25-year-old male, both work at Brown Dog and had known contact with the man.

Public health is taking aggressive contact tracing efforts to advise and protect people the 44-year-old man may have had close contact with prior to quarantining.

Individuals thought to have had close contact with the man within the past 10 days are being ordered to quarantine and advised to contact their medical provider if they experience symptoms such as a cough, fever, or other concerning symptoms.

Brown Dog Pizza’s owners closed the restaurant last week upon receiving news of its first employee to test positive for COVID-19. They are cooperating fully with health officials in contact tracing efforts and safety-enhancing measures.

County Public Health is assuring the public there is no current evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“We know this coronavirus is easily transmitted from person to person, even from a person who is asymptomatic,” Grace Franklin Public Health Director said. “But there are no reports or any evidence to suggest food packaging or food-borne exposure is a route of transmission.”

The virus spreads from person to person in respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. When others then touch their faces, they can inadvertently inhale the virus into their lungs.

“These cases show us COVID-19 is virulent, and even with good, safe practices, there’s room for improvement,” Grace Franklin, Public Health Director said.

One of those areas for improvement is the new order announced by Governor Polis on Friday for essential workers to wear face masks. San Miguel County is reminding all essential workers to comply with that order.

“Even with compliance of physical distancing, we especially need all essential workers to wear face masks,” Dr. Sharon Grundy, County Medical Officer said.

CDC: How to make and how to wear a face-mask.

Health officials say it’s imperative that people continue to comply with Public Health Orders and recommendations including:

• Stay at home.

ª Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet.

• Wear a face mask in public places or any interaction with people outside your household.

• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after returning home or visiting a public place such as the grocery store or post office.

• Disinfect common surfaces regularly.

• Stay at home if you have any symptoms such as a cough or fever.

• Employers should send employees home who have any such symptoms.

Brown Dog Pizza told Public Health it will remain closed for two weeks and plans to re-open May 1st.

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