Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Larimer County COVID-19 cases rise, variance could be revoked

July 20, 2020 | Local News

Special to the Surveyor

Larimer County Public Health has been notified in writing by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that the uptick in daily case counts in Larimer County has put the variance at risk. Many of these cases are connected to fourth of July gatherings. 

Larimer County is required to create a mitigation plan to show how the county will decrease and stabilize case counts. This plan must be completed by Monday and requires strong community enforcement and compliance plans for face coverings, social distancing, and following the required guidelines for businesses.  

A revocation of the variance could potentially impact our restaurants and breweries, places of worship, public gathering sizes and graduations. It is always the hope of LCDHE that there is no roll back and that businesses are not closed again in Larimer County, but the revocation of the local variance from the state would not give the county a choice. 

Face coverings, social distancing, handwashing and frequent cleaning all help slow the spread of the virus in the community. Through our contact tracing we are learning that much of the spread is connected to large gatherings.  Recently, residents have become less cautious, and are not following the guidance in Larimer County. Cases have continued to rise to reflect that. 

“Together Larimer County successfully reduced cases back in May and June, and our response has been a model for the state,” says Tom Gonzales, Public Health Director for Larimer County. “I know that we will regroup and reverse this uptick. But in order to do that, we must all take this seriously and be diligent with handwashing, face coverings and social distancing. We must slow our case count to keep our businesses open.  I am confident we will overcome this challenge.”

Larimer County has two weeks to reverse the trend of increasing cases, or the variance could be modified or revoked based on the case count and percent testing positive. Public Health can’t do this alone. It takes community partners, municipalities, business owners and residents to step up the response to COVID-19 and take this seriously. 

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