Grace Franklin, Public Health Director: Independence Day & Beyond!

We hold these truths to be self-evident. Independence Day 2020 will be one-of-a-kind, fireworks largely confined to our squash, as many are compelled to remain isolated – and/or angsty when stepping out. The following is a note from San Miguel County’s Public Health Director, Grace Franklin, about the Fourth of July (and beyond into the summer) in the Telluride region.

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

As we enter the holiday weekend, I wanted to take this opportunity to further explain our public health approach with summer in full swing. First, I know you will join me in saying how thankful I am that all of our new COVID-19 cases are recovering well. Immediate contact tracing and increased access to test literally hundreds of people has allowed us to help contain the potential pockets of spread and continue to refine our process for responding to this unique virus.

As we assess our public health approach, we regularly examine these four main metrics:

Transmission: Caseload with an eye on potential surge.
Test: Access and the ability to conduct PCR testing.
Trace: Ability to quickly and effectively contact trace.
Treat: Meet the healthcare needs of our community, including ICU access from regional hospitals.

This week, we launched an updated dashboard on the County website that includes color coded indicators for these four metrics. If there is significant movement in at least two of the four metrics, adjustments may be made to our phased re-opening. To date, with the support of the Telluride Regional Medical Center, Uncompahgre Medical Center and our regional partners, San Miguel County has been able to appropriately respond to the demands of the pandemic.

I am aware that some of you are concerned with the amount of visitor traffic Telluride is experiencing. Our business, restaurant and lodging communities have implemented our strategic guidelines, and I am confident in their ability to operate safely. With your continued vigilance to best practices, our phased-approach will work.

One of the key components of our protection is wearing a simple, cloth face-mask in public. This easy practice is proven to help reduce viral spread. Remember, this must be worn over your mouth AND your nose to help keep respiratory droplets from spreading.

Even with your face-mask, continue to maintain physical distancing, limit group sizes, and stay at home if you are sick.  Should you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, fever, diarrhea, or nausea, call your healthcare provider for an evaluation and testing.

When we look across our state and country, we can appreciate our good fortune with the state of our public health and our collective efforts towards recovery.

My efforts are focused on continuing our recovery in the best interest of our good health.

Best wishes for a safe and happy 4th of July,


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