By Amber McIver-Traywick
**** Larimer County as of June 16, has had 646 confirmed COVID-19 cases, an increase of 20, and 217 suspected cases, an increase of 36 from last week. 27 deaths are now attributed to the virus, one less than last week. These numbers mean that one in 542 residents of Larimer County have now tested positive or are suspected of having the COVID-19 virus.
****At a news conference Monday Gov. Jared Polis announced a new phase of the safer-at-home guidelines. The guidelines are a draft that will likely be finalized by the end of the week. These include: bars opening with up to 25% capacity or 50 person limit, with more people allowed with outdoor seating; personal services such as facials and shaves allowed to resume; residential camps allowed with lower capacity; indoor events can begin with lower capacity including indoor markets, theaters and trade shows; outdoor events can begin to reopen at lower capacity including fairs and concerts.
Polis also announced that areas with low incidence of the virus, strong public health and health care systems may soon move toward another set of draft guidelines called “Protect Our Neighbors.” This phase would allow 50% capacity of venues up to 500 people and potentially more such as county fairs.
“As we look toward the fall, things are going to get more challenging,” Polis said, continuing by commenting on his concerns for an uptick of the virus coinciding with flu season which historically fills hospital beds.
Polis confirmed “mass-gatherings” will be prohibited until there is a treatment or cure.
****The Colorado House of Representative passed six COVID-19 related relief bills last week. These included small business recovery loans, relief funds for housing cash assistance, relief funds for mental health and substance abuse treatment, protections against price gouging and protections for worker’s rights in the workplace connected to public health emergencies. Also included was the Coronavirus Relief Funds for Utilities which provides direct financial assistance to families. The bill allocates almost $5 million to Energy Outreach Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Fund which is intended to help low-income Coloradans at risk of having their service shut off. To find out if you are eligible for assistance visit colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/leap or call 1-866-432-8435.
****As restrictions on gatherings are loosened, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has released a guide to help people understand the potential risks of travel and other activities.
According to the CDPHE, individuals should first consider whether they or the people they live with have any extra risk of serious illness from COVID-19, including those over the age of 65, people with chronic lung disease or heart conditions, those who are immunocompromised, have diabetes, severe obesity, or who have liver or kidney disease. People with extra risks should still try to limit in-person interactions with others as much as they can, and carefully consider the risks and benefits of activities in which they choose to participate.
The CDPHE states that there are several important considerations when deciding what activities to take part in, including whether the activity is indoors or outdoors, the group size, and the amount of time spent doing the activity. It is also still recommended that individuals wash hands frequently, wear a face covering and maintain physical distance.
For more information visit covid19.colorado.gov/risks-benefits.
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