San Miguel County Approved for CDPHE 5-Star Program! Apply as of 3/22!

San Miguel County Approved for CDPHE 5-Star Program! Apply as of 3/22!

San Miguel County approved for CDPHE 5-star program. Opportunity for increased capacity with demonstration of added protective measures. Beginning Monday, March 22, businesses can apply for the program and will be prioritized by industry by restaurants and bars, personal services and gyms and fitness centers. To apply, visit the county’s COVID website and click on the “Business” tab.

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San Miguel County has been approved by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to move forward with the 5-Star State Certification program. This program will allow eligible businesses with increased pandemic protections and precautions beyond what is required by Public Health to reopen more quickly. Depending on where San Miguel County falls in the state’s COVID-19 dial, certified businesses will be eligible to operate with less restrictive capacity limits.

Miker Bordogna, courtesy KOTO.

“When we learned that the state was going to create the 5-Star Certification Program, we were in Level Red, which closed bars and restaurants to in-person dining,” said San Miguel County Manager Mike Bordogna. “We understood that this was perhaps the greatest economic impact regarding pandemic restrictions for any industry outside of events and concerts.”

Upon the introduction of the program, San Miguel County formed an administrative committee made up of industry, municipal, county and public health representatives to prepare the county’s application which could not be submitted until the county moved to Level Orange. The county’s application was approved this past Monday, March 15.

San Miguel County is one of a few counties in the state of Colorado offering the program completely free-of-charge to interested businesses. Instead, the county will utilize grant funding matched by the towns of Telluride and Mountain Village and San Miguel County to fund the program.

The county has hired part-time staff and partnered with H2 Manufacturing Solutions to implement the program in the coming weeks. H2 has been working with various counties statewide over the last several months and has proven success in developing and administering a COVID Safety System and Certification program for businesses, schools and county facilities during the pandemic.

The six part-time assessors have been hired to work with the county and H2 Solutions for various training, evaluations and business audits.

Businesses interested in applying will be certified after verifying their implementation of several additional mitigation strategies including:

• Screening for symptoms, recording customer names and contact info to support contact tracing
• Business-specific written implementation & compliance plans
• Business-specific plans for outbreak detection, reporting and response
• Sufficient quality ventilation
• Exposure notification service promotion & outreach to employees and customers
Publicly displayed instructions for a customer to lodge compliance complaints to the CDPHE
• Extra effort to create special hours or accommodations for at-risk populations
• Zero prior citations of noncompliance with Public Health orders

“This isn’t just letting somebody go through a quick checklist; this could keep all of our community safer not just from COVID, but all respiratory illnesses,” said Bordogna.

While the county’s 5-Star Certification Program will be in place at least through July, grant funding and respective matches have committed to funding through December as a precautionary measure. Businesses functioning with 5-Star eligibility will have clearly posted signage delineating their status.

Public Health has confirmed three new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received from March 17 through 18. Of these cases, two are confirmed as residents and all actively contagious cases are currently in isolation

As of release time today, there have been 843 total COVID cases among residents to date with 6 active cases.

To learn more about the county’s current COVID-19 metrics, please visit the County COVID-19 dashboard.

Five Commitments of Containment:

Wear a mask
Maintain six feet of physical distance
Minimize group size
Wash hands frequently
Stay home when sick and get tested

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