Moffat County playing its part in flattening the curve, keeping COVID-19 numbers nearly non-existent locally
Editor’s note: This story first published in the Friday, April 17 paper. Later that morning, Moffat County Public Health announced its fourth positive case. This story was published prior to that information becoming available.
It’s been nearly three full weeks since the fourth case of COVID-19 was confirmed inside Moffat County. Since then, Moffat County has zero active cases and three recovered cases. The fourth positive was identified in Moffat County, but through contact tracing was later found to belong to Routt County.
Currently, Moffat County has administered 199 coronavirus tests, including 48 on Thursday as Moffat County Public Health begins to conduct surveillance testing of those in high-risk categories.
As testing ramps up not only locally, but nationwide, Moffat County has more than played its part in keeping the virus in check, abiding by public health orders. That said, there can still be some improvements, according to Moffat County Public Health Nurse Olivia Scheele, including reducing the amount of family members taking a trip to the store.
“I think Moffat County is doing fairly well with the stay at home order,” Scheele said. “There are still families going to the stores together in groups. We would prefer only one member of the family go to the store for essential items.
“Taking a large family [out] only increases the risk of the virus being brought home with them and potentially shared throughout that household,” Scheele added. “If you are an an risk individual, we ask that you have a family member do your shopping and errands for you to reduce your risk.”
As it currently stands, Moffat County has zero cases. In comparison, Routt – it’s neighbor to the east – has 43 cases and has tested nearly 700 people one day after conducting a community test day.
According to Scheele, Moffat County is doing a really good job of staying home and staying safe for the most part, but aside from limiting the number of family members in stores, Scheele is also advising those that are wearing masks to make sure they’re wearing the masks properly.
“For Moffat County to remain free of community spread, the community should stay in compliance with the stay at home public health order and only go out for absolute essentials,” Scheele said. “Wearing a face covering will help more than not wearing one at all. Members of the community wearing a face covering are doing their part to help decrease the spread of the virus, should you be an asymptomatic carrier. But, I have noticed people wearing face coverings that are only covering their mouth.
“We spread viruses and other pathogens through both out nose and mouth and face covering are only effective when worn correctly. We all share a level of self responsibility in caring for one another and our community to keep everyone safe and healthy,” Scheele added.
While residents are doing their part to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, local law enforcement has had to step in to close down some non-essential businesses that continue to operate despite restrictions.
Essential businesses included in the Stay at Home order are the following:
- -Health Care Operations
- -Critical infrastructures (utilities, road and railways, oil and gas, water and wastewater, telecommunications and data, hotels)
- -Food and Manufacturing businesses
- -Critical retail (grocery stores, farm and produce stands, gas stations and convenience stores, take-out or delivery restaurants and bars, dispensaries, firearms stores, hardware, farm supply and building materials
- -Critical services (trash, compost, recycling, etc.)
- -News Media
- -Financial and Professional institutions
- -Economically Disadvantaged population providers
- -Municipal and General Services
- -Businesses that need to maintain basic operations (some exceptions for businesses that need to maintain the value of their inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions)
“As far as businesses in our community, local public health and law enforcement are still actively making contact with businesses who are still operating but not deemed essential,” Scheele said. “No one wants to be the person to shut down a business, but we are simply following state public health orders that we believe are needed for the best interest of our communities health.”
Aside from a couple of businesses that were deemed non-essential and needed to be shut down on public health orders, Moffat County and its residents are listening to public health officials, helping keep the community safe from the novel coronavirus to this point.
“I want to thank everyone in our communities who has taken the extra stride to support one another during this time,” Scheele said. “From supporting local restaurants and small businesses, to looking out for our high-risk populations and essential employees who aren’t able to work from home and show up everyday to work the front lines. We have wonderful leaders in our community, and we are all in this together.”
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