Update: 48 Confirmed Pueblo County Cases of Covid-19

April 8, 2020 – Public health officials from the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment announced today three additional COVID-19 cases in Pueblo County. The additional cases are a 88-year-old female, 21-year-old female and 92-year-old male.

Pueblo County now has a total of 48 confirmed positive cases among Pueblo County residents. Seven additional positive cases are from individuals residing in other counties (one from Alamosa, one from Crowley County, one from Huerfano County, one from Douglas County, one from Fremont County, one from Rio Grande, one from Custer County). There have been 451 tests administered in Pueblo County. There have been 382* negative results with 10 tests results still pending, and three tests unable to be read and determined unsatisfactory. To date, three Pueblo County residents have passed away.

*(Negative test results reflect only those reported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and do not include those negatives results from tests administered through private labs).
Pueblo County’s 48 COVID-19 Confirmed Cases

Shared by the Health Department:
Pueblo Food Council Receives Funding for Local Programs
The Pueblo Food Council applied for and received funding from the COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Grant. Last week they sourced and distributed 1,000 bags to school lunch recipients and food pantries in the community. They also provided $2,000 checks to the Pueblo Rescue Mission, Pueblo Community Soup Kitchen, and Los Pobres. The food is almost all locally grown or made in local businesses.

Governor Polis Issue Guidance for Upcoming Religious Holidays
Governor Jared Polis discussed today guidelines for Coloradoans to follow related to upcoming religious holidays of different faiths to include Easter, Passover and Ramadan. The Governor is encouraging faith leaders to offer online or drive-in services in order to serve their congregations or safely accommodate worshippers by ensuring a 6-foot distance between them.

Governor Polis Announces Stay-at-Home Guide for Coloradoans
Governor Jared Polis announced today a new website stayathome.co.colorado.gov that provides resources support and activities for families during the period of the Stay-at-Home order which now goes until April 26.

Responsible Use of Parks
The public can still enjoy local parks and trails under the current Stay-at-Home order. Residents are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, but if you do go out, here are some things to remember:
· Practice good personal hygiene before and while visiting parks· Wear face covering· Playgrounds and pavilions are closed to the public· Do not touch share surfaces such as sports equipment· Maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others at all times, this may mean you have to walk or ride bicycles single file on trails· If you are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance, you should leave the area· NO GROUP activities or recreation with people outside of your home. Outdoor sports courts and skate parks remain open but for individual use only

US Forest Service Temporarily Closes Developed Recreation Sites, Sets Fire Restrictions

Officials with the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region have issued an order to temporarily close developed recreation sites and is implementing fire restrictions in an effort to protect public health and safety. The orders include national forests and grasslands in Colorado.

The Developed Recreation site order means that campgrounds, day-use picnic areas and other constructed facility amenities including potable water stations, fire rings/grills, picnic tables, restroom facilities and trash can and trash collection services are closed at this time. Parking facilities and trailheads are still open and dispersed camping (camping on national forest or grassland where recreation facilities or services are not provided) is allowed. Individuals camping in dispersed areas, hiking or engaging in activities on the river are asked to follow the following safety guidelines:

· Stay close to home to keep other communities safe· Stay 6-feet from others· Avoid crowding in parking lots, trails, scenic overlooks and other areas· Take all CDC precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19· Prepare for limited to no services such as restrooms and collection and prepare to pack out trash and human waste

For more on this order click www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd721649.pdf
The Forest Service has also implemented fire restrictions which prohibit the following:
· Igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood-burning stoves· Smoking except within an enclosed vehicle, trailer or buildingViolations of the order can result in fines and possible jail time.

For more on the order click https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd721651.pdf
Community Supply Collection for Healthcare WorkersThe Pueblo County Emergency Operations Center in collaboration with the Department of Public Health and Environment are collecting personal protective equipment for local healthcare providers. Donations can be made Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment, 101 W. 9th Street. All donations must be in original packaging with no broken seals. No homemade masks will be accepted.

Guidelines to be tested for COVID-19To be tested for COVID-19, individuals, including EMS personnel, must show symptoms of COVID-19. People with the following symptoms may be referred by a medical doctor to be tested in Pueblo for COVID-19: fever (usually 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), shortness of breath (difficulty breathing) and cough. Testing does not occur when a person does not show these symptoms.

Public Health understands how individuals are concerned they may have been exposed or believe they have been exposed to COVID-19; however Public Health request those who are concerned stay home and self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms. If symptoms begin to show, people are instructed to call their primary care doctor. Those showing COVID-19 symptoms: fever (usually 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), shortness of breath (difficulty breathing) and cough and do not have a primary care doctor may currently drive to Colorado Springs for testing, as that testing site does not require a physician’s referral to be tested.

The Colorado Springs FEMA-sponsored COVID-19 testing site is currently providing testing for health care workers and first responders and expanded to provide testing for individuals over 65 years who have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath).Beginning Sunday, April 5, 2020, the site is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The following people showing symptoms are accepted to get tested at this location:

· Health care workers· First responders· Individuals who are over 65 years and are experiencing symptomsSee below for more details on testing:· The site is located at 175 S. Union Blvd. in the back-parking lot.· Individuals only need to bring a picture ID and insurance information if they have it.· Qualified individuals will be tested, regardless of insurance status.· There is no cost for the testing, and no need to have a doctor’s prescription to receive testing.· This is a drive-through site and you will not be getting out of your car.· Please do not bring pets or others in your vehicle that will not be getting tested.

State website offers information on Governor’s mask project

Governor Jared Polis requested last week that all Coloradoans wear a non-surgical cloth mask when they leave home to conduct essential functions to include grocery shopping or going to work. Tips on how to make masks and more about the mask project are available at coloradomaskproject.com
District 70 Changes Grab-n-Go Lunches to Two Days a Week
D70 is consolidating food services site this week to just Monday and Wednesday and students will receive two free lunches and breakfast in each meal bag. Grab-n-Go lunches are available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following sites: Vineland Middle School, 1132 36th Lane; Liberty Point Middle School, 484 S. Maher Dr., Pueblo West; Skyview Middle School, 1947 Camino de Bravo, Pueblo West and Rye High School, 8083 Highway 165 in Rye.

In the Beulah area, meals will be served at 11 a.m. Monday through Thursday at the Beulah School of Natural Science, 8734 School House Lane in Beulah.District 70 Schools to Remain Closed for the YearD70 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Pueblo District 70 Superintendent Ed Smith decided in the best interest of the students and staff, D70 schools will remainclosed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.D70 looks forward to returning to school in August to welcome students, staff and families safely back into the buildings. District officials are making plans for end of year activities, including options for high school graduation, and will have further announcements as those plans are finalized.

Remote Learning began in some D70 schools this week and will be implemented District wide on April 6, 2020. For the latest updated information visit www.district70.org.

Beware of Law Enforcement Impersonators Stopping Drivers Due to Stay-at-Home Order
Local law enforcement officers are NOT conducting stops of individuals in response to the Governor’s Stay-at-Home order. Officers are still conducting stops for moving violations or traffic infractions and with that stop, they may inquire about the Stay-at-Home order. There have been reports in other counties of impersonators stopping people and doing checkpoints. Drivers should be aware and protect themselves from these impersonators. If you get stopped, make sure the vehicle has proper markings of police, sheriff or State Patrol. If you have doubts about who is stopping you, call 911 and ask the dispatcher to ask the law officer to provide proper identification. There is no mandate for individuals to carry an official letter stating they are an essential employee.

Local Mental Health Resources
Health Solutions has added a online resource that addresses community resources, community support, eating well, food assistance and wellness strategies. The site is available at www.health.solutions/localsolutions. Services are also available through Health Solutions at 719-545-2746.
Help Protect Pueblo from COVID-19

Everybody has a responsibility to protect the Pueblo community and our most vulnerable in Pueblo by:

· Follow Governor’s Stay At Home order to stay at home through April 26, 2020.· Minimize social activities and being physically close to other people.· Isolate yourself if you feel symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, temperature of 100.4 or higher call your medical provider before visiting them.· Do not go to the emergency room unless medically necessary.· Wash your hands with soap regularly.· Cough or sneeze into elbow or tissue.· Stay home when you’re sick.· Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.· Avoid close contact with sick people.· Clean surfaces frequently touched.Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment encourages residents and media to seek out credible, reliable sources of information on COVID-19:·    www.puebloemergency.info·    Pueblo’s COVID-19 Hotline 719-583-4444

All public and media inquiries in Pueblo are answered through the local hotline at Pueblo’s Joint Information Center. Pueblo COVID-19 Hotline is answering questions 8AM – 5PM, Monday – Friday 719-583-4444.

About Jenny Paulson 185 Articles
Jenny Paulson is the publisher and editor of Pueblo Independent Magazine and can be contacted for more information about Pueblo Magazine, editorial content, marketing, website design and other services.