Garfield County sees good news on the COVID front, could move to Safer at Home Level 1 in coming weeks | PostIndependent.com
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Garfield County sees good news on the COVID front, could move to Safer at Home Level 1 in coming weeks

Coronavirus data lining up with a move to blue on the state COVID dial, though that will still take time

This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC's laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus.

Garfield County data from the last two-week period show that the county numbers meet the requirements of the blue portion of the state COVID-19 dial.

But that doesn’t mean that the state will move the county to the improved blue (Safer at Home Level 1: cautious) from yellow (Safer at Home Level 2: concern). The qualifications have to be met for at least two weeks before the process to move levels can even be considered.

Garfield County Public Health Specialist Mason Hohstadt presented data from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 to the county commissioners Monday morning.

The positivity rate was 2.5%, which is below the 5% needed to move to the blue portion of the state dial.

The incidence rate was 66.7, which Hohstadt says equals 40 cases in the county. The previous rate was 88.2. The threshold for the blue portion of the dial is no greater than 75.

The county — along with the rest of the state — meets the standard for hospitalizations, stable or declining hospital admissions for eight days or more.

Being in the position to think about moving to the blue portion is new for the county, though the state dial was released less than a month ago.

“Friday was the first time since the dial was put out that we’re in the place to think about putting in that application,” Hohstadt said.

The county won’t be in the position to apply to move from yellow to blue until Oct. 16, Hohstadt said, and the change would not happen before the end of the month.

Garfield County Public Health director Yvonne Long said the county wouldn’t gain much by moving to the blue portion. Hohstadt said that more people would be allowed to attend events, from 100 to 175 indoors and 175 to 250 outdoors.

The real value is moving closer to the green category, Protect Our Neighbors, when even more people are allowed to attend events and counties can opt out of the statewide mask order with an OK from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. Currently five Colorado counties are in Protect Our Neighbors: Gilpin, Gunnison, Mesa, Moffat and Rio Blanco.

The county’s coronameter was designed before the state dial was released. It uses some of the same statistics but is not directly comparable.

Garfield County public information office Carrie Godes said that the county coronameter is more of a “heat indicator” that shows results over a short time frame.

She said the county coronameter “will be morphing into something a little different to clear up confusion.”

cwertheim@postindependent.com


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