Chaffee County Public Health

Chaffee County on Wednesday released a Standing Chaffee County Public Health Order related to COVID-19 to stress closures and restrictions to avoid overcrowding and accidental social gathering to reduce spread of contact.

Chaffee County has ordered all lodging businesses including hotels, motels, timeshares and short-term rentals to be closed effective immediately but county officials are clarifying that locals do not need to vacate if they live in housing that is considered a short-term rental.

Any emergency lodging order needs to be authorized by the Public Health director.

“The Standing Public Health Order does not evict local workers living in housing that would otherwise fall under the short-term lodging category,” Andrea Carlstrom, Chaffee County Public Health director confirmed. “ If anyone has a lodging situation in question or may be considered an emergency they should call Chaffee County Public Health at 719-539-4510 to let our department know their circumstances.”

Visitors to Chaffee County are directed to return home immediately and persons considering visiting Chaffee County should remain home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Chaffee County, following the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) public order on March 16, has ordered many businesses to close until the local order can be reviewed on April 7 with the Board of County Commissioners, and only certain businesses, such as banks, hardware stores, grocery stores, liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, pharmacies and gas stations are to remain open but are strongly encouraged to follow CDPHE Guidance to limit group size.

Retail food establishments are allowed to remain open only if they are providing take-out or delivery services. Only 5 people can wait at a time for take-out per CDPHE’s order.

Many dining establishments are still offering to-go food options and deliveries. Comprehensive restaurant lists that are providing take out / curb side pickup have been compiled by Partnership for Community Action (PFCA) and can be found on Facebook under , “Take Out Salida,” and also by Heart of the Rockies radio

All public and private events and gatherings are limited to 10 people or less. The Chaffee County community is strongly directed to limit activity outside of the household, engage in social distancing and to only participate in social gatherings through online forums and formats.

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations

There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. Transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented.

Transmission of coronavirus in general occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings

How Does the Virus Spread?

This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

Can the virus be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?

Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.

Learn what is known about the spread of COVID-19

“While Chaffee County currently has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, we feel it is in our county’s best interest to proactively take precautions now. Social distancing is a proven strategy to slow or prevent transmission of communicable diseases. We appreciate our community’s investment in health and wellness,” states Andrea Carlstrom, Chaffee County Public Health Director. Contact Chaffee County Public Health for general questions, at 719-539-4510.

“We have had many in our community interested in testing statistics. As of 4:45pm on March 18th, 54 people have been tested in Chaffee County, 15 negative results have been confirmed, and there are 39 tests pending. At this time, we have 0 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Chaffee County.”

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