Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE) has been notified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that Larimer County’s variance will remain in place. Cases of COVID-19 have stabilized over the past two weeks, and the goal is to reduce the rate of cases. Monitoring the case count and other indicators will continue for the next few weeks to determine if the positive case rate remains stable.
It is always LCDHE’s intent to keep businesses open. A spike in cases could mean that the variance is revoked or ratcheted back. LCDHE contact tracers are seeing an increase in community spread, meaning that many positive cases are unsure how they became infected with COVID-19. This is concerning and reminds Larimer County that now is the time to be diligent.
On July 17, Larimer County received a letter from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that cases had risen enough to put the local variance at risk and require a mitigation plan.
Larimer County was required to create a mitigation plan to show how the county would decrease and stabilize case counts. This plan was submitted on time on July 20. The plan required strong community education and outreach, enforcement and compliance plans for face coverings, social distancing, and following the required guidelines for businesses.
“I appreciate our unified efforts to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in Larimer County,” says Tom Gonzales, Public Health Director for Larimer County. “We have regrouped and stabilized our case rate. But we must all continue to take this seriously and be diligent with handwashing, face coverings and social distancing. We must continue to slow our cases to keep NOCO open at our current capacity.”
Test result delays continue to be a challenge for the necessary contact tracing required to keep case numbers low in the community. Larimer County is exploring other local lab options to help with testing turnaround and allow for quick contact tracing. Contact tracing is the process of identifying, assessing, and monitoring people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and to prevent onward transmission.
Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the public health response adjusts as more is learned about this virus. While there is plenty of news and media information available, LCDHE is encouraging Larimer County residents to view the latest credible information on COVID-19 at www.larimer.org/coronavirus or www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts at @LarimerHealth.