Larimer County Working on Suppression Plan To Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Larimer County Public Health is working on a local suppression plan to slow the spread of COVID-19. Suppression plans are part of the requirements for counties to be able to continue to move forward with slowly re-opening businesses. It is a requirement that local hospitals approve the suppression plan. Hospitals also need to verify that they have the capacity to serve all people needing their care.
Many local agencies have chosen to extend stay at home orders, but Larimer County Public Health chose to follow the state’s orders and move into the safer at home phase. This decision was based on the continued efforts from the community to reduce the medical surge at hospitals. These efforts include strict social distancing, wearing face coverings, and following stay at home orders. The safer at home phase continues protective measures such as social distancing of 6 feet or more, face coverings, and limiting groups less than 10 people to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The impacts of this safer at home order will not be known for up to 14-days since that is the outermost time for COVID-19 symptoms to fully present from the lifting of the stay at home order.
“It is very important that we slowly step down on these restrictions so we do not cause a surge at the hospitals,” says Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director. “We’re looking forward to working with our businesses to help them continue re-opening in the next few weeks.”
Larimer County is one week into the safer at home phase. This proposed suppression plan provides information on how Larimer County intends to monitor and control the spread of COVID-19 as restrictions continue to be lifted.
Larimer County response actions to ensure suppression of COVID-19 include:
- Larimer County emergency operations center activation
- Testing operations & capacity
- Public information management and education
- Logistical support and supply chain monitoring
- Alternate care site support
- Disease surveillance and infection control (i.e contract tracing)
Early warning indicators are also being identified as triggers in case it proves necessary to reinstate stay-at-home measures.
Larimer County indicators include:
- Daily new COVID-19 presumptive positive cases admitted to hospitals
- Number of COVID patients in the hospitals
- New COVID positive cases county-wide
- Hospital occupancy rates (both total and ICU)
The suppression plan and early warning indicators are being created in partnership with our hospital systems. This plan will help the health department safely move forward as businesses in Larimer County re-opens.
You can help slow the spread of viruses by:
- increasing distance between people to six feet to help reduce the spread
- washing hands frequently with soap and water
- covering coughs and sneezes
- wearing a face-covering in public areas where social distancing is difficult
- staying home when sick
- avoiding close contact with anyone who has cold or flu-like symptoms
Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the public health response adjusts as more is learned about this virus. While there is plenty of news and media information available, LCDHE is encouraging Larimer County residents to view the latest credible information on COVID-19 at www.larimer.org/coronavirus or www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts at @LarimerHealth.