To understand what COVID-19 communications strategies are most used and valued by Chaffee County residents, Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) is launching a survey this week.
Over the last 18 months, CCPH has utilized many different communication strategies to ensure our community is given the information necessary to stay safe and healthy. In the beginning of the pandemic, these communication strategies were employed daily, but as society has adjusted to the pandemic, CCPH has scaled back the frequency of its communications to what has felt necessary, sustainable, and desired by the community.
CCPH’s role in the next phase of this pandemic will focus on testing, vaccination, education, outreach, communication, and equity. Local mandates by CCPH will only be used in the direst of situations and only if the state does not intervene. Chaffee County’s local public health order will be reviewed, amended, and extended on a regular basis and will establish guardrails only to support the mitigation of the virus and to keep the healthcare system from surging. In regard to communication, it is important that CCPH is providing the community with sufficient, accurate, and accessible information. However, CCPH also relies on each citizen and organization to find and seek out the communication they feel is necessary to make decisions about their health and safety.
There is a lot of misinformation out there, and CCPH says that it wants to make sure that everyone has accurate and timely information to make the right decisions for oneself, family, and community. CCPH encourages everyone to take a moment to give CCPH feedback on its communication strategies so it can best communicate over the fall/winter of 2021/2022.
Summary of Communications to Date:
- Regular press releases to print, radio, and digital media
- Town Halls including local subject matter experts
- Chaffee County COVID-19 Facebook page with Frequently Asked Questions and Answers and Did You Know campaigns
- Daily/Weekly Situational Awareness reports that get posted to the county website and COVID-19 Facebook page
- Chaffee County Data Dashboard
- Chaffee County Public Health’s COVID-19 website
- Advertisements, Yard Signs, Interviews, Chaffee’s Got HEART campaign, and PSAs
Meanwhile, everyone is still strongly encouraged to follow the current Code of Conduct which is likely to change as more is learned about COVID-19 and its variants, vaccines, and prevention and mitigation strategies.
Chaffee County’s Code of Conduct
- Get vaccinated
- Stay home if sick
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Wash your hands
- Respect the COVID-19 safety protocols for any individual business or organization
- Physically distance, if unvaccinated
- Wear a mask indoors or in crowded outdoors spaces, if community risk of transmission is substantial or worse
CCPH and other local healthcare providers are building capacity in anticipation of the booster vaccine for eligible populations, approval for younger ages, and a surge in cases as the fall and winter seasons are upon us. CCPH will continue to utilize the RSVPify scheduler as in past mass vaccination efforts, and it will alert the community when it is ready to do so for booster shots or additional populations. The public is asked to be patient and avoid calling CCPH unnecessarily due to a high call volume and increased demand.
Click here to take the survey. It will also be located on the Chaffee County website and on the local COVID-19 Facebook page.
Paper copies of the survey can be provided upon request and will be available with all CCPH program staff. A Spanish survey can be provided upon request.
We need more information from Public Health, the press, etc. on the real impact of COVID in our community. The upward trend in cases is disturbing and the fact that there have been two deaths reported within the past week after no deaths for months should serve as a canary in the coal mine. I believe one of these deaths was a well-known businessman who refused the vaccine. I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of his employees are also unvaccinated and possibly unmasked during business hours. That type of situation puts everyone – vaccinated and unvaccinated – at risk. When deaths like this occur, the pubic should be made aware whether the unfortunate individual was vaccinated or unvaccinated (naturally, without disclosing personal details). I would encourage ArkValley Voice to run an article about these recent tragedies and what an ominous sign it is for our community.
I hope this helps. I am afraid that most of the communication only reaches those who already care. I think that targeting business managers and owners with this information in person might help but I have my doubts given recent experiences. A person who I care about is reasonable for the most part, and is a very sweet person and a hugger, has been extremely irresponsible in this matter and as a business owner of a very busy, crowded store is still not masked during and after illness and still untested causing me to feel the need to isolate. This person did fortunately stay home for the most part during illness but still did not wear a mask in public and I am afraid that the gravity of her actions is not felt and she is more concerned that she look nice. Perhaps pointing out the impact on others when deciding to decide that ‘I don’t have that’ would be helpful and maybe re-establishing the employee temperature sheets and posters which this employer took down a long time ago.