Moffat County commissioners: A letter to our community
The Board of County Commissioners is reaching out to you as we find ourselves in the middle of COVID-19. We want to find the best path forward and come out on the other side as best we can, in terms of both health and economy. This will take the continued investment of the whole community and require a balance of the freedom and individualism Moffat County residents take pride in and a collective effort to keep the economy open and our residents healthy.
First, we would like to thank you. This has been difficult time emotionally, physically, economically and spiritually. Our public health team, healthcare professionals and emergency personnel continue to put their lives on the line day after day. Essential workers in the grocery stores and throughout town make sure we all have what we need available. Our teachers have returned to work uncertain circumstances, dedicated to educating our students. Volunteers ensure our senior citizens and vulnerable have what they need to survive and business owners continue to take pride in what makes our hometown special.
We are one of only four counties in Colorado remaining in “Protect Our Neighbor” status. lt is worth reminding ourselves that the battle we are fighting is not with each other but in trying to preserve the heath of our residents while continuing to re-open our economy and get students back in to school full time at the middle and high school levels. Our responsibilities, opportunities, and situations might be different on how we have responded to this pandemic, but the overall goal is to achieve a balance of health, economic and social recovery. We have submitted a mitigation plan to the state in an effort to preserve our Protect Our Neighbor status so that we might remain open. If cases are not reduced to 7 cases per 14 day time period by November 9th we will be moved by the state back to a more restrictive level.
To our business owners, we know this experience has been difficult. It is our desire to help recovery along as quickly and safely as possible. The Governor’s Executive public health orders require face coverings to be used throughout the state. We have to acknowledge the limitations of our small critical care hospital and the ICU beds we have. Put simply, if we have a spike of COVID-I9 patients in addition to “normal” emergency calls, there is a real possibility our hospital will not meet the critical needs of an increased population. We are asking for the support from the business community and the public needed to ensure we have the equipment, testing and capacity to address our Moffat County residents and visitors who may need immediate care.
For our residents of Moffat County, we have a request. We believe in personal responsibility and the freedoms we have in America. That being said, it is our responsibility as the Board of Health to provide education to the community on what we know. Our recent case investigations and hospitalizations indicate gatherings are spreading this virus. Limiting gathering sizes to two households only is our request to continue re-opening this community quickly.
We also know that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is the highest in indoor spaces via aerosols. Following the decrease in in-person gatherings is a place we can all do better. We are strongly urging our community members and businesses to do the following:
- -Ventilate the space you are in
- -Reduce the duration you are in an indoor space with members outside of your household
- -Wear a surgical mask preferably, or any face covering when in public places or with members outside of your household. There is mounting evidence a surgical mask is the best protection
As the winter months are approaching, these will all be keys to our success as a community. Every day that our businesses are closed or capacity is reduced takes a toll on the whole community. By doing your part we can get through this together.
Commissioners Don Cook, Ray Beck, and Donald Broom
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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an error regarding which local agency has been assigned to the fire