Garfield County Won't Move Into Next Reopening Phase Due to COVID-19 Spike

Jun 30, 2020

Garfield County will not be moving forward into the next COVID-19 re-opening phase. One of the criteria to move into the next phase is a steady or declining virus rate but, in a press release today, officials say the county’s transmission rate is 35 cases in the past 2 weeks.

The state has adopted a red for high, yellow for medium and green for low system to measure disease spread. The county’s transmission rate is currently in the ‘red’ category. Garfield County Public Health says that to move into the next phase, everyone in the county needs to Wear a mask. Wash hands frequently, honor 6-foot social distancing, get symptoms tested within 1-2 days, and stay home if they're ill.

PRESS RELEASE FROM GARFIELD COUNTY:
6.30.20

Virus prevalence keeps Garfield County from moving into next phase

Warning precedes 4th of July holiday weekend

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Governor’s Office announced today guidance for the Protect Our Neighbors phase. With the current increase in COVID-19 cases in Garfield County, the county does not meet the qualifications to move into this next phase of opening. As such, Garfield County will still remain in the Safer at Home phase of reopening, with its one approved variance still in place.

Under the new state guidance, any county that wishes to move into the Protect Our Neighbors phase must demonstrate that they meet specific qualifications designated by the state. The state will post this information today or tomorrow.

“Garfield County must prove that our community is ready to move forward, and to do this now requires individual action countywide,” said Yvonne Long Public Health Director.

“Looking ahead to the July 4 holiday weekend we are concerned. We know people will be socializing, and it is up to them to do it responsibly, so as not to further spread the disease. Looking at the data, we can see that our last increase in cases in part stem from the Memorial Day weekend, based on symptom onset dates. We need to take precautions this weekend, so we don’t see another surge in cases.”

One of the criteria to move into the next phase is a steady or declining virus prevalence in the county. The state has adapted a red/high, yellow/medium, green/low system to measure prevalence of disease spread. The county’s transmission rate is currently in the ‘red’ category with 35 COVID cases in the past 14 days. To be in the green/low category requires 15 cases or less in a 14-day period.

“Today’s statewide announcement gives us a goal, to move to the less restrictive Protect Our Neighbor phase. If everyone is ready and willing to take the personal measures required, we can move in the right direction of COVID containment,” said Long. While Garfield County remains under Safer at Home orders, the Protect Our Neighbors phase or stricter measures will be in place in counties statewide until the pandemic spread is contained.

The county is launching a community campaign to encourage citizens and businesses to pledge to help. It focuses on “More Masks, More Distance, equals More Business in Garfield County.”

Garfield County Public Health indicates in order to move forward to Protect Our Neighbors, it is incumbent on each business, each visitor, each adult, each teen and child in Garfield County to pledge to:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Walk, ride or play 6 feet away.
  • Work successfully.
  • Will get symptoms tested within 1-2 days.
  • Want to stay home if you are ill.