March 23, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

COVID-19 Evening Update

As of 5 p.m., March 23, Grand County reports the following testing and case numbers for local COVID-19 activity:
• Positive cases: 1
• Probable positives: 1
• Deaths: 0

The first positive COVID-19 case for Grand County was reported on March 17, and the one probable positive case is the spouse of the confirmed case. As this pandemic progresses, more positive cases of COVID-19 will be inevitable. It is important to keep the big picture in mind and continue doing your part by social distancing 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.
News of positive cases may be distressing to people. The lack of specific details regarding the patient’s identity, location, and ties to Grand County can be frustrating, but please understand that Grand County Public Health (GCPH) will continue to complete contact tracing for every positive case in the county. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits releasing any patient information to the public. County officials recognize that everyone is concerned with exposure risk. Public Health will follow up as thoroughly as possible with identifying and contacting individuals or groups who may have been exposed, assessing their current symptoms, if any, and encouraging self-quarantine to protect the health of the public.

Operations
The Grand County COVID-19 Response Team is in the process of securing alternative care facilities and other patient service needs. They are coordinating with local healthcare organizations on the testing and pre-vetting of persons suspected of having the COVID-19 virus. GCPH is managing and enforcing current policies and preparing for extreme social distancing measures. The logistics team is managing supply resources including personal protective equipment (PPE). Human Services is working with Mountain Family Center, Rural Health Network, Grand Foundation, Outbreak of Kindness, Mind Springs and other community organizations to provide food, funding, housing, counseling and other essential services to our vulnerable populations. Middle Park Health is accepting donations for the follow equipment: eye protection (safety glasses/goggles), face shields, surgical masks, N-95 masks, disposable gloves and gowns. All donations must be new, unopened packages.

Health and Safety
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 situation on the ground, including taking into account local factors like population density and concentration of Coronavirus cases, to best contain the spread of the virus. We acknowledge that maintaining positive mental health may be a challenge associated with prolonged isolation and self-quarantine. We are working with our local partners to ensure the availability of mental health resources for our citizens. While we understand there is risk involved with the use of the public lands and trails in our county, our team also recognizes that these places are a source of exercise, relaxation and stress relief. GCPH and our partners expect all residents and visitors to practice social distancing during use of these lands to safeguard public safety and health.

Community Meeting
Please join the Grand County COVID-19 Response Team Virtual Forum on Facebook Live, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. MST. Tune in to 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 Lisa Floyd.

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