State Announces “Protect Our Neighbors”; County Does Not Qualify!

State Announces “Protect Our Neighbors”; County Does Not Qualify!

As state announces “Protect Our Neighbors,” San Miguel County launches updated dashboard and moves to semi-weekly caseload updates. For up-to-date coronavirus information, go here.

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

Governor Jared Polis recently released information regarding the “Protect Our Neighbors” phase of corona in Colorado that applications will open for this week.

“Protect Our Neighbors” will give local communities more freedom to provide economic opportunity while ensuring they have the necessary public health capacity. In this new phase, communities that meet certain criteria will have less stringent restrictions than under previous public health orders that focus on distancing measures and other safety precautions.

Different communities will be at different phases, based on local conditions and capabilities.

To be considered for “Protect Our Neighbors,” communities must have:

• Low virus prevalence.

• Strong public health capacity to contain outbreaks and surges locally.

• The ability to test, track and trace.

Due to the high transmission rates of COVID-19 in San Miguel County, the County does not currently meet all of the criteria to qualify for this stage, but continued efforts toward slowing the spread and reducing cases will put the community in a better position to enter “Protect Our Neighbors.”

“’Protect Our Neighbors’ provides a positive goal to work toward,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “I am hopeful we can achieve the next phase through community cooperation and compliance. We are dependent upon each other and have the mutual responsibility to practice the five commitments of containment which include wearing a mask, staying home when sick, and getting tested if you have symptoms.” 

In anticipation of the “Protect Our Neighbors” application, Franklin and County Commissioner Hilary Cooper have been collaborating with colleagues from the Southwest Region of the State to streamline approaches, resources, and framework. This effort will strengthen the regional containment and mitigation strategies for COVID-19.  In addition, San Miguel County launched an updated dashboard that includes color-coded indicators for the four main metrics: treatment, transmission, test, and trace. This recent addition to the website ensures that San Miguel County aligns with the State’s metrics and provides real-time, easily digestible data for people to access.

“We feel it’s important to give people real-time tangible data to understand where we stand as a community,” said Franklin. “If two or more of the indicators are greatly impacted, public health restrictions may be updated.” 

With the recent dashboard addition, and the community’s familiarity with visiting the site for COVID-19 caseload information, San Miguel County will publish updates two times per week rather than send out releases regarding new cases. These updates will be published on Tuesdays and Fridays and will include any new cases, active cases, as well as public health metrics status. 

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