May 18 Public Health Letter to Residents

May 19, 2021 | Covid-19

May 18, 2021

Dear Grand County Residents,

As your Public Health Director, I would like to thank you. We have worked hard as a community over the last 14 months of this pandemic to maintain our sense of normalcy; to understand what is being asked of us as individuals, business owners, employees, and organizations; to protect our children, our livelihoods, and our sanity. Add to 2020 the most devastating wildfire in the history of our county… This has not been an easy year for any of us.

It is a good day, though, when I can look at our disease trends in the County and see that we are now at the lowest transmission rates we have had since last April. We have better treatments against the virus for those who need it, and a safe, effective vaccine to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

As excited as I am to watch our numbers decline week after week, it’s important to remember that – while we may be done with COVID, and the changes to our daily lives that have come with it – COVID is not done with us. I encourage us all to remain cautious as the weather warms up, students finish their school year, graduations and other celebrations take place, and visitors return to the County.

I am happy to say that, in most places, masks are no longer required if you have been vaccinated. Individuals are encouraged to maintain a 6-foot distance from non-household contacts, to wash hands frequently, wear a face covering when distance cannot be maintained, and get your vaccine if you are eligible. These are still best practices, even if they are not required.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in conjunction with Governor Polis, have announced more relaxed restrictions in our effort to control the spread of COVID-19 while acknowledging a reduction in severity and transmission.

A summary of changes are:

Indoors
• Masks are strongly recommended but no longer required indoors for vaccinated individuals
• Masks are recommended for children ages 2 to 11 in indoor public spaces
• Maintaining 6-foot distancing is required in indoors in spaces that seat 500 or more people

Schools
• Per the Colorado Department of Education, masks will continue to be required for students ages 3 and older on school property

Restaurants
• 6-foot distances between tables at restaurants is strongly recommended, but no longer required

Outdoors
• Masks are strongly recommended but no longer required
• 6-foot distancing is recommended, but no longer required
• Outdoor events are no longer required to have approval
o Grand County Public Health is asking that event plans continue to be filed to assist with contact tracing efforts should an outbreak occur from the event, but approval from GCPH to host an outdoor event is no longer required

Exemptions from 6-foot Distancing Requirements
• Places of worship and associated ceremonies
• Retail services and restaurants with sit-down dining without unseated areas where 100 or more people could gather (dance floors or common gathering areas)

Below, I’ve included answers to specific questions we’ve been asked the last couple days.

Lastly, on the vaccine front: The Pfizer vaccine has been approved for anyone 12 years old or older. City Market and Safeway pharmacies have this vaccine and are accepting appointments now. You can schedule your child’s appointment at https://www.co.grand.co.us/vaccine

Grand County Public Health is hosting our second Mass Vaccine Clinic at Middle Park High School in Granby Saturday, May 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for anyone 18 years old or older. We will have Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine for this clinic. Please register for your appointment here or register at the site when you arrive.

Stay diligent, stay safe, stay open!

Sincerely,
Abbie Baker-MPH, CHES
Public Health Director/Epidemiologist
Grand County Public Health
150 Moffat Ave/PO Box 264
Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451

FAQs
Can I remove the “Masks Required to Enter” notices from the door of my business?
Yes. GCPH is no longer requiring masks for vaccinated individuals to enter indoor spaces. It is, however, at the discretion of the business owner; businesses can make individual decisions to ask employees and/or patrons to wear masks.

Do I have to ask for proof of vaccination in order for someone to enter my business without a mask?
No, you do not need to ask for proof. Private businesses may request proof of vaccination at their discretion.

I’m on an event planning committee; do we have to file a plan still for our outdoor summer event?
While approval is no longer required to host your event, we are asking that event organizers continue to file plans with GCPH in case an outbreak does occur to aid with contact tracing and notification.

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