Update on COVID-19 outbreak in Colorado
By Amber McIver-Traywick
The global pandemic and outbreak in the United States of COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus has changed the way we do life. Keeping our readers informed is important to us. The situation changes daily and it’s important to stay informed. The following is a summary of the most recent events associated with the outbreak.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at the time of printing, there are three individuals from Berthoud who are confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus, two males in their 40s and a female in her 60s. There are 45 cases total in Larimer County and 912 cases across the state. Most positive cases in Colorado are individuals between the ages of 30-59.
On March 22, Governor Polis issued an executive order directing all of Colorado’s non-critical employers to reduce their in-person workforce by 50%. The executive order directs all employers to implement tele-work options to the greatest extent possible. If tele-work is not practical or possible, employers are encouraged to stagger work schedules to reduce the proximity of employees during work hours and to keep employees on payroll. This Executive Order does not apply to any employer that can certify that employees are no closer than 6 feet from one another during any part of their work hours. The order took effect Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and is set to last through 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 10, 2020.
Several critical workplaces are exempt from the order including health care operations, critical retail, like groceries and gas stations, critical infrastructure including utilities, fuel supply, public water, telecommunications, critical manufacturing, agriculture, mail, shipping, child care, auto supply, news media, financial institutions, construction, defense, public safety, warehouses and distribution, and restaurants for takeout orders only.
Governor Polis issued an executive order March 18 that suspended in-person instruction at all public and private schools effective March 23. Following that order, Thompson School District extended its district-wide closure through April 17. All school district building are closed and inaccessible. All district-sponsored athletics and events are canceled. The district released a statement from Superintendent Dr. Marc Schaffer where it was stated that the district is currently working on short- and long-range plans to help students continue their education. The district is also working on a website that will take a few weeks to deploy which will provide educations, enrichment and extension activities for students in all grade levels.
Larimer County in agreement with state public health officials issued proactive protective measures to minimize the impact of COVID-19 March 19. Governor Polis issued an executive order restricting public gatherings to no more than 10 people. This includes community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based events, sporting events with spectators, concerts, conventions, fundraisers, parades, fairs, festivals, or any similar event that brings 10 or more people together. This order is intended to prevent an increase in the number of people with serious infections, resulting in an overwhelmed health care system. This order took effect March 19 and remains in effect for 30 days, unless otherwise extended.
Social gatherings of any size are discouraged in Larimer County as citizens are being asked to maintain social distancing of 6 feet. However, groups of 10 or less are still permitted. At the time of printing a shelter in place or stay at home order has not been issued for Berthoud or Larimer County. Officials in five Denver area counties announced stay at home orders Wednesday, March 24, that will restrict the movement of more than 2 million people in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
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