Board of Health, Health Task Force Group asks for community to do its part in slowing latest spread of COVID-19 in community
In an emergency Board of Health meeting Thursday inside City Council chambers, Moffat County Commissioners Ray Beck, Don Cook and Donald Broom, as well as Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Cochran asked for the Moffat County community to come together and be united in trying to slow the spread of the virus.
With 23 cases currently active, according to Public Health Director Kari Ladrow, Public Health isn’t worried so much about the total case count, but rather the amount of active cases, which could force the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to step in and drop Moffat County down into a variation of Safer at Home. Currently, Moffat County is in Protect Our Neighbors phase, which requires the county to not have more than seven new cases in a 14-day window.
“I hope to convey to the public and to business owners that this is our opportunity to have an all-hands-on-deck approach, come together as community members, neighbors and concerned citizens in order to make the difference and the changes that we need to to ensure we stay in Protect our Neighbor and keep each other safe,” Ladrow said. “I think, at this point, it’s irrelevant to talk about conspiracy theories or politics…that doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is that people’s lives are on hold due to this virus and people are continuing to get sick.”
Ladrow added that in the last week, four new COVID-19 patients have been admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital.
With the quick rise in cases in Moffat County within the last seven days, the Board of Health received a letter from the CDPHE requesting a mitigation plan on how the county is going to help slow the spread of the virus and get the county back on track, allowing Moffat County to remain in the Protect Our Neighbor phase.
According to Commissioner Don Cook, the Board of Public Health has until Nov. 4 to submit a mitigation plan to the state.
Cochran stated that if the county doesn’t want to see the state step in and make decisions for the county, residents, business owners and others will have to step up to the plate and do their part to help stop the spread.
“What we are basically asking is for business owners to step up to the plate, unite and try to make it clear that when you have somebody come into your business that you require they wear a face covering and maintain the six-foot distancing,” Cochran said. “We feel like it’s much better to have our business owners and leaders united, and that if it comes from you that you’re asking your customers to do this, that they might be compliant.
“If we can do that, we hope we can stay compliant and push forward,” Cochran added. “Without that assistance from business owners and residents, we can’t make that happen…We can’t do this alone; it takes the community and we’re here asking for your help and support.”
Moffat County commissioners recently watched Mesa County be removed from Protect Our Neighbor phase back down into Safer at Home Level 1 after a sharp increase in cases.
Now, with the cases on the rise in Moffat County, the Board of Public Health has 21 days to get back into compliance or Moffat County could see its removal from Protect Our Neighbor into a variation of Safer at Home, which would decrease restaurant capacities to potentially 25%, and gatherings of 175 people or less.
“We just had a call with an attorney representing the CDPHE yesterday, and that attorney is asking us what we’re going to do to get this thing back under control here,” Cook said. “We have to show them what we’re going to do to change the trend of COVID in this community.
“We’re asking business owners and those shopping to wear their masks,” Cook added. “It’s a small price to pay to keep this community open. We’re asking the community to mitigate yourselves and help us out.”
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Moffat County is requesting a move to the less-restrictive Level Green: Protect Our Neighbors in the COVID-19 dial from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.