Guidance for communities concerning COVID-19
No cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in Colorado
GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Garfield County Public Health has been closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “COVID-19”) since December 2019. The virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and continues to expand.
In order to keep everyone safe, we all must do our part to slow the spread of any illness by preparing now.
What you can do:
- Go to https://www.ready.gov/ to find plans on preparing for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The site has plans for both individuals and businesses.
- Hand washing, hand washing, hand washing. We cannot stress enough the importance and effectiveness of frequent hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer to keep people healthy.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Try to imagine the whole world covered in a fine layer of filth. We don’t want that to end up in our mouths, so wash your hands before you eat, touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Routine cleaning and disinfecting are important - wiping down frequently touched surfaces is a good idea. This is also true for our cell phones. A regular household disinfecting type of wipe or spray works.
- Stay home if you are sick, cover coughs and sneezes and properly dispose of tissues.
Recommended precautions for employers:
- Promote employees to go to https://www.ready.gov/.
- Ensure that your place of employment has an emergency plan. What are your key services, and could you continue these services if many of your employees were out ill or taking care of others? There are toolkits available at https://www.ready.gov/.
- Encourage people to stay home when they are sick.
- Send home staff who become sick at work. Rest is important for their recovery, as well as preventing transmission in the work environment.
- Encourage people to wash their hands frequently.
- Disinfect surfaces on a regular basis and promote the availability of disposable wipes for keyboards, and other surfaces that are frequently used.
- Consider flexible work options for employees that can work from home.
Recommendations for those who get sick:
- Stay home if you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
- Wear a face mask (surgical mask if you have one) or cover your cough and sneeze.
- Wash your hands frequently and don’t share personal items (drinking glass or utensils) with others.
- Call your healthcare provider. Do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or the emergency department unannounced.
- Your doctor’s office will assess your illness on the phone and may offer information or other guidance for you and household members.
- Testing for COVID-19 is not a routine test. Your healthcare provider will work with local and state public health officials to determine who should be tested for COVID-19. All testing is currently limited to those with the highest risk of exposure.
- Since many of the illnesses are mild, we expect most COVID-19 patients will be isolated in their own home to rest and recover. If possible, sleep in a bedroom and use a bathroom that is not used by other household members. There is no antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Getting rest and drinking plenty of fluids will likely be helpful for recovery. Only the most critically ill will be hospitalized.
Contacts and additional information:
Garfield County Public Health, Glenwood Springs: 970-945-6614, ext. 2037
Garfield County Public Health, Rifle: 970-625-5200, ext. 8107
Garfield County Website: www.garfield-county.com
State COVID-19 hotline: CO-Help is a toll-free hotline that has been set up to provide information about COVID-19 and answer your questions. If you have questions about COVID-19 you are asked to call 1-877-462-2911.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Web Page: Colorado.gov/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
CDPHE Facebook (facebook.com/CDPHE) and Twitter (@CDPHE)