With COVID-19 statistics moving in an unfavorable direction throughout the country, state, and Colorado’s localities, Fremont County moved into Level Yellow: Safer at Home Concern on Nov. 10.
Looking at the rise in COVID-19 case rates, test positivity and hospitalizations, the Fremont County Department of Public Health and Environment (FCDPHE) along with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) placed Fremont County in Level Yellow: Safer at Home Concern and amended and extended the current Emergency Public Health Order to Nov. 19.
“None of us are happy about moving down the dial,” said Debbie Bell, Fremont County Commissioner Chair. “But the conversation started with CDPHE wanting us to drop all the way down to orange. At the very least, our new yellow status will allow our restaurants and other businesses to maintain the current 50 percent capacity. Orange would have dropped to 25 percent capacity, and we know how devastating that would be to our economy. We hope county-wide numbers come under control in the next 10 days, or the state likely will move us to orange, even over our strenuous objections. We are asking every citizen to do your best to keep us all safe.”
As with other counties, the public health officials monitor the number of cases and positivity rates, along with the hospitalization trends to determine whether the spread of the COVID-19 virus is rising, falling, or holding steady. These numbers and trends help the public health department determine whether a new public health order or a shift in the state’s color dial framework is warranted.
As of Monday, Nov. 9, Fremont County’s COVID-19 two-week community case count is 158, and the positivity rate is 4.5 percent.
The threshold for Safer Level 1: Cautious is 75 cases per 100,000 population. Fremont County surpassed this threshold on Oct. 14, and after a two-week mitigation period, was not able to get back below that threshold. On Oct. 30, FCDPHE Director Kayla Marler issued an emergency public health order to slow Fremont County’s rising number of cases.
After meeting with CDPHE officials and the Fremont County Board of Health, Fremont County is now at the Level Yellow: Safer at Home Concern.
In a release from the county’s public health department, Fremont County officials were described as “aware and attuned to the burden these restrictions place on our businesses and community. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s continued efforts and cooperation to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”
Fremont County Department of Public Health and Environment encourages businesses or anyone else who has questions to contact the department at 719-276-7450 Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.to get more guidance and resources.
The main differences between Level Blue: Safer at Home and Level Yellow: Safer at Home are the following:
- Maximum attendees at indoor unseated worship services are reduced from 175 to 50 people or 50 percent of capacity, whichever is fewer.
- Maximum attendees at indoor seated worship services are reduced from 175 to 100 people or 50 percent of capacity, whichever is fewer.
- Maximum attendees at gyms are reduced from 75 to 50 people or 25 percent of capacity, whichever is fewer.
- Maximum attendees at restaurants reduced from 175 to 50 people or 50 percent capacity, whichever is fewer.
The extension of the Emergency Public Health order amendments is as follows:
- Recreational sports will be limited to players and spectators who reside in Fremont County and/or neighboring counties that are in Level Yellow: Safer at Home Concern, Level Blue: Safer at Home Cautious, or Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors.
- Organized recreational and league sports are limited to 2 spectators per player with no more than 50 percent of capacity, up to 50 spectators in indoor facilities, and 75 in outdoor facilities. All teams and facilities participating in recreational and league sports must submit complete rosters, schedules, location of games/practices, and contact information (to include names, phone numbers, and email addresses) of all team members or parents of youth who participate prior to the teams playing in any league events, including practice. Failure of parents, facilities, coaches, and/or team organizers to cooperate with contact tracing may result in the league or season being suspended or canceled.
For more information about current levels and case counts in Fremont and other Colorado counties, visit the state’s COVID-19 dial dashboard.