Grand County Public Health (GCPH) will be reporting the positive and probable cases of COVID-19 consistent with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Today that number remains at two for Grand County. The state is also reporting the number of people tested and hospitalized. As Grand County still has such low numbers, we will not be reporting the number of people tested and hospitalized until it becomes statistically significant.
Just as our state is acting boldly and urgently, Grand County Public Health is taking strong actions guided by science, data, and the real-life, on-the-ground situation, including taking into account local factors like population density and concentration of Coronavirus cases, to best contain the spread of the virus.
GCPH is advising all county residents to stay at home except to perform certain essential activities (food shopping, picking up medicine and outdoor exercise away from crowds) and to work providing essential business and government services. Please stay at home, enjoy some fresh air, and take care of your mind and body during this challenging time. The more we self-quarantine physically, the better we will be able to fend off the virus in our communities. It is important to keep the big picture in mind and continue doing your part so we can “flatten the curve” in our county. Flattening the curve refers to community isolation measures that keep the daily number of disease cases at a manageable level for medical providers.
Grand County is NOT a safe haven from COVID-19 for tourists and visitors. Grand County only has three small emergency departments and only two major grocery providers for the 15,000 permanent residents living here. We do not have enough resources or supplies to feed, house and care for a large number of visitors, especially immunocompromised or high-risk individuals. GCPH officials strongly advise against nonessential travel into or within the county. As members of the Grand County community and the greater community of Colorado at large, it is the responsibility of all of us to follow public health guidance and advisories to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Lodging and Short-Term Rentals
Hotels, motels and lodges in Grand County are open to people in need of rooms to conduct essential business in the county. With the current stay-at-home advisory, we are also advising that tourists restrict their visitation to Grand County during the COVID-19 outbreak. GCPH strongly advises against new reservations through VRBO, Airbnb, and other online short-term rental platforms. Short-term rentals owners must consider the risk of community spread by continuing business as usual.
Outdoor activities, such as hiking, backpacking, uphill skiing, and snowshoeing are sources of exercise, relaxation, and stress relief. However, these activities also come with an elevated risk for rescue. Outdoor recreationists may get lost, sick, or injured and require assistance. During this time of limited resources, backcountry rescue could put additional strain on our already taxed group of emergency responders and Search and Rescue volunteers. Please take this into consideration before heading into the backcountry. GCPH and our partners expect all residents and visitors to practice social distancing while using these lands to safeguard public safety and health.
Please join the Grand County COVID-19 Response Team Virtual Forum on Facebook Live, today, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. MST. Tune into the Grand County Public Health Facebook Page (@GCPublicHealth) for a live question and answer session with our Incident Commander Brad White, Operations Chiefs Brene Belew-LaDue and Brett Schroetlin, and Drs. Darcy Selenke and Michelle Lupica.