LAS ANIMAS-HUERFANO COUNTIES
DISTRICT HEALTH DEPARTMENT
412 Benedicta Ave., Trinidad, CO 81082
Phone: 719-846-2213 Fax: 719-846-4472
For immediate release:
Contact: Kim Gonzales, Public Health Director 719-846-2213 firstname.lastname@example.org
Standing Las Animas and Huerfano Counties Public Health Order Related to COVID-19
On March, 28, Las Animas Huerfano Counties District Health Department Public Health Director, Kim Gonzales, issued the following public health order to protect the people of Las Animas and Huerfano Counties in response to the recent federal administration and Colorado government's declarations and orders.
"Las Animas Huerfano Counties District Health Department (LAHCDHD) anticipates that, due to the contagiousness of the COVID-19 virus and the fact that numerous travelers from around the world visit our area, Las Animas and Huerfano Counties will see cases of the virus and its transmission within the community. Developing social distancing policies prior to an extensive outbreak has been a proven means of helping to contain COVID-19 outbreaks.
LAHCDHD recommends that without appropriately responding to the illness, including cancelling and postponing public events, restricting social gatherings to 10 people or less we will see several cases within Las Animas and Huerfano Counties, and those cases may result in serious illness or death for certain members of the community, will have the effect of interrupting the functioning of the community, and will overwhelm the capacity of the local health care systems and the ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, a large surge in the number of persons with COVID-19 can compromise the ability of the healthcare system to deliver necessary healthcare to the public.
The limitations on business activities, large gatherings and use of social distancing decreases the risk of COVID-19 transmission to our most vulnerable populations and is especially important for people who are over 60 years old and those with chronic health conditions due to their higher risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. This Order will reduce the likelihood that many individuals will be exposed to COVID-19 at a single event and will therefore slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
Las Animas Huerfano Counties District Health Department Public Health Director has the duty to investigate and control the causes of epidemic or communicable diseases and conditions affecting public health and to establish, maintain, and enforce isolation and quarantine, and in pursuance thereof, and for this purpose only, to exercise physical control over property and over the persons of the people within the jurisdiction of the agency as the agency may find necessary for the protection of the public health.
Pursuant to Section 25-1-506 (2)(a)(1) Colorado Revised Statutes, this Order is effective within the entirety of Las Animas and Huerfano Counties until April 30, 2020. This Order sets forth guidance and requirements aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
The Las Animas Huerfano Counties District Health Department is enforcing the Governors Stay at Home Order 20-24 in Las Animas and Huerfano Counties.
In addition, the Las Animas Huerfano Counties District Health Department is enforcing the following orders listed below:
Public Health Order 20-24 Implementing Stay at Home Order: Effective March 25, 2020, per Governor Jared Polis. This order has taken affect as of Thursday, March 26 2020, and is expected to end April 11, 2020.
Residents of Las Animas and Huerfano Counties can only leave their home to engage in activities or perform tasks critical to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members or to go to or return from critical work. They can leave their home to:
- Obtain food and other household necessities for themselves and their family or household members.
- Deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, food, pet supply, other household consumer products, and products or equipment necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and critical operation of a residence.
- To engage in outdoor activity, such as, walking, hiking, biking, or running. For purposes of outdoor activity, State parks that remain open to the public may be used to engage in walking, hiking, biking, running, and similar outdoor activities but all playgrounds, picnic areas, other similar areas conducive to public gathering, and attended areas shall be closed.
- To perform work for critical industries.
- To care for a family member, a vulnerable person, or pet in another household, or to care for livestock kept at a location other than an individual's home.
- To seek medical care.
Individuals experiencing symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) of COVID-19 must self-isolate until their symptoms cease or until they have a negative test result.
People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their Residence at all times except as necessary to seek medical care.
Individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 must self-isolate until their symptoms cease or until they have a negative test result. Due to limited testing availability and narrow criteria for testing, if an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 and/or has developed symptoms of COVID-19, including early or mild symptoms (such as cough, fever and/or shortness of breath), they should be in isolation (staying away from others) until they have had no fever for at least seventy-two (72) hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers), other symptoms have improved (such as cough or shortness of breath) and at least seven (7) days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Critical Businesses, as defined by the Governors Order 20-24, are exempt, subject to certain limitations and are encouraged to remain open. Critical Businesses must comply with Social Distancing Requirements at all times and implement tele-work or other strategies, such as staggered schedules or re-designing workplaces, to create more distance between workers unless doing so would make it impossible to carry out critical functions. Critical Businesses that serve the public such as grocery stores and other Critical Retail shall comply with Social Distancing Requirements at all times including, but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line.
- Houses of Worship and faith based organizations shall cancel or postpone all gatherings and events in Las Animas and/or Huerfano County until April 30, 2020. Pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in need of end-of-life services will be allowed.
- Social Distancing Requirements. For purposes of this Order, Social Distancing Requirements include all of the following: (1) Maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals; (2) washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer when hand-sinks are not available, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands); (3) regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces; and (4) not shaking hands.
- Las Animas and Huerfano Counties Marijuana Dispensaries are strongly encouraged to follow Colorado Governor Jared Polis Executive Order D 2020 11 (Ordering the Temporary Suspension of Certain Regulatory Statutes Due to the Presence of COVID-19) and Emergency Rule Adoption - Colorado Marijuana Rules Response to COVID-191 CCR 212-3 to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Marijuana dispensaries should have hand sanitizer or hand washing station available outside the entrance for patrons at the time of pick up during hours of operation.
- Las Animas and Huerfano Counties retail establishments (such as grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, food pantries, etc.) are strongly encouraged to follow CDPHE's Guidance (see the Retail Food Establishment COVID-19 Implementation of Public Health Order) and (Amended Notice of Public Health Order 20-22 Closing Bars, Restaurants, Theaters, Gymnasiums, Casinos, Non Essential Personal Services Facilities, and Racetrack and Off Track Para -Mutual Wagering Facilities Statewide) to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Such guidance includes establishing curb-side pickup for customers, encouraging social distancing between customers, establishing limits for customers within the store, dependent on the size of the retail establishment that encourages social distancing, and increased hygienic practices.
- Grocery, retail, convenience, hardware, farm and ranch supply shall follow the CDPHE Guidelines in having hand sanitizer, germicidal wipes, or hand washing stations available where patrons enter and exit. All check out stations will be wiped down after each customer with the proper disinfects recommendation by EPA.
- Residents of Las Animas and Huerfano Counties that have traveled out of State starting March 23rd and going forward will be required to do a 14-day self-quarantine. This if for all residents who have traveled out of state for a period of 24 hours or more. If a resident has traveled out of state over the 24-hour period they are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. If you are a resident and work in a neighboring state, you do not fall under this requirement.
- Visitors of Las Animas and Huerfano Counties are directed to return home and persons considering visiting Las Animas and Huerfano Counties should remain home to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
- All short-term lodging, including but not limited to, hotels, motels, short-term rentals (30 days or less), bed and breakfasts establishments, Airbnb, lodges and retreats shall minimize operations unless authorized in writing by the Public Health Director for emergency or quarantine purposes or to provide lodging for essential personnel or for other emergency travel or lodging purposes, such as travel and lodging purposes not for leisure. All short-term lodging establishments shall follow CDPHE guidelines for minimizing the spread of COVID-19. This prohibition shall not apply to the use of these facilities at the time of this Declaration as a long term residence.
- All public transportation is considered an Event and public transportation services will work with the Public Health Director to implement best practices to minimize the spread of COVID- 19.
- Publicly scheduled meetings for the Counties shall take place virtually allowing the public to participate online or via teleconference.
- Employers, whether involved in an event or conducting daily operations, shall screen employees daily and ensure that employees exhibiting symptoms such as fever, coughing or shortness of breath are not allowed in the workplace.
- All employers in Las Animas and Huerfano Counties are directed to reduce in-person work that takes place outside the private residence, except as permitted under the Governors Executive Order D 2020 013 Ordering Colorado Employers To Reduce In-Person Workforce by Fifty Percent Due to the Presence of COVID 19 in the State.
- A business or entity will not be considered essential solely for the purpose of selling firearms. To be considered essential the business must also provide additional services such as agricultural or pet related services. These non-essential businesses shall close according to the Public Health Order 20-22.
- Enforcement: This order will be enforced by all appropriate legal means. Local authorities are encouraged to determine the best course of action to encourage maximum compliance. Failure to comply with this order could result in penalties including a fine of up to one thousand (1,000) dollars and imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, pursuant to 25-1-114, C.R.S.