March 15, 2020
Additional Boulder County Residents Test Positive for COVID-19: Residents Urged to Practice Social Distancing
Boulder County, CO – Four additional Boulder County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. While the disease investigations are still being conducted, it is clear that there has been exposure from national and international travel, and from ski areas in Colorado where there is known to be local transmission occurring. There has been exposure to others while the ill persons had symptoms, confirming that there is most certainly local transmission occurring in Boulder County. A total of seven Boulder County residents have tested positive for the disease to date.
“Two people had exposures in Colorado mountain towns, which have been reported to have local disease transmission,” said Carol Helwig, Boulder County Public Health communicable disease program manager. “We are greatly concerned that transmission is becoming more widespread, and we urge the public to immediately start practicing social distancing.”
With this new information, and the notice from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment asking people who visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin, or Gunnison counties in the past week to minimize contact with others, Boulder County Public Health strongly recommends all residents stay home as much as possible.
“We are entering the most critical phase,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health director. “It is vital that everyone be diligent about social distancing.”
“We are at a local turning point; COVID-19 is in our community” said Helwig. “We need everyone to do their part in order to get ahead of this and to prevent overwhelming our healthcare system.”
COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets spread when a person with the illness coughs or sneezes. People who have prolonged contact within six feet of a person with the disease are most at risk of transmission.
“Never before has it been more important to heed the call to stay away from others outside of your household as much as you can,” said Zayach.
Public Health officials ask residents to practice social distancing, including:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Stay home or in a comparable setting as much as possible: work from home if possible; if you can’t work from home, maintain at least 6 feet of distance between you and your coworkers or customers.
- Only go to public spaces for necessities such as groceries and the pharmacy.
- Continue healthy, non-group activities like walking, hiking, jogging, cycling and other activities that maintain distance from other people.
- Don’t gather in group settings; avoid gatherings larger than 10 people.
- Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet) from others.
- If you need to travel, use a private vehicle instead of taking buses, rideshares, flights, or other transportation that puts you in contact with other people.
- Continue to operate critical business functions, such as delivery of goods and operation of businesses, with social distancing and additional safety measures in place.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Anyone feeling ill with symptoms similar to those associated with COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath) should:
- Stay home, except to get medical care.
- If you have a medical appointment, call ahead and tell them what your symptoms are. Otherwise:
- Restrict activities outside your home.
- Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
- Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
Boulder County Public Health is coordinating with other local public health agencies, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).