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Otero County

Department of Public Health and Environment |

2020-07-31 11:42:26

Subject: 7/31/2020 Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Update #1



7/31/2020 Crowley/Otero COVID-19 Update #1

Please take the time to read and understand this entire message.

Internet links: Before I send out each update, I check the links to make sure they are active. However, links do change from time to time, so the links I sent out today may not be the same tomorrow. You may have to search around a bit.

Hello to all, here are a number of COVID-19 updates for you:

Lewis Bolt and Nut Update: This morning OCHD received 98 negative test results on Lewis Bolt and Nut employees, which is good news!

Pioneer Nursing Home Update: As of the time of this writing, unfortunately there have been 5 resident deaths, and these residents tested positive for COVID-19. Our sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased. Members of my staff and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) have been working closely with Pioneer staff to suppress the outbreak. Once again, the Colorado National Guard is at Pioneer today (7/31/2020) assisting with mass testing of residents and facility staff. Thank you Colorado National Guard! Our most current numbers (these will change) are as follows:
ü COVID-19 Positive Residents: 17
ü COVID-19 Positive Staff: 8
ü PLEASE NOTE: This information differs from the information in #7.c. below because the state’s website had not yet been updated as of the time of this writing.

Safer At Home Public Health Order 9th Amendment: Attached please find the recently released 9th Amendment to the Safer At Home Public Health Order. Below is a summary of changes over the previous version:

ü Sec. I.B: updated to include Executive Order 138 requirement on face coverings with similar changes made in all of the following places
o Sec. I.H.4.f – indoor and outdoor events
o Sec. II.I.2.g – all business and government functions
o Sec. II.M.1 – houses of worship
o Sec. K and L – limited healthcare settings and personal services
o Appendix A (Retail) , Sec. B and C
o Appendix B (Field Services), Sec. I.A.4 and C
o Appendix C (Offices), Sec. I.B.4 and C.2
o Appendix D (Personal Services), Sec. I.C
o Appendix H (Manufacturing), Sec. I.B. and C
o Appendix I (Restaurants/Bars), Sec. I.A, I.B.2
o Appendix J (Camps), Sec. I.A
o Appendix K (Outdoor Rec), Sec. I.C
ü Sec. I.E and Sec. II.I.1.g: updated for revised CDC isolation guidance
ü Sec. I.H.4.d: updated outdoor events to include "designated area" with designated activity
ü Sec. I.H.4.e and Appendix I, Sec. I.A.3: differentiated performers that need to stay 25 feet away to be those performing activities that result in forced exhalation
ü Sec. II.C.2: clarified that person caps for restaurants/bars is "per room"
ü Sec. II.C.4: referenced EO D 2020 142 for last call requirements for bars/restaurants
ü Appendix E, Sec. I.A.3: clarified that limited healthcare settings can have up to 50 people per room at 50% capacity
ü Appendix E, Sec. I.B.1.a: allows acupuncturists to not wear gloves but instead practice good hand hygiene
ü Appendix E, Sec. I.B.3: deleted sentence allowing mask removal in limited healthcare settings when not receiving a service
ü Appendix I, Sec. I.A.2: clarified the person cap in restaurants is "per room"

Protect Our Neighbor Certification (PON) Status: Just like many other states and the state of Colorado, our region of southeast Colorado has seen a recent increase in COVID-19 positive cases. Over the past 2 weeks, Otero County has experienced an appreciable increase in cases (when compared to previous COVID-19 case activity). Because of this current increase, we will delay seeking PON certification. This will allow us time to see if cases/rates continue to climb, level off, or drop. Because of the recent increase in cases, Otero County became ineligible under PON case transmission rate metrics.

Variance Status: A representative of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) contacted me on Tuesday of this week to discuss the disposition of our variance in light of the increased case count. Currently, our variance is not being rescinded, but that could change if case counts continue to climb. We could lose our variance, so let’s do our part to help ensure that we don’t!

Do Our Part: Now is the time to be united in reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Please don’t let all of the misinformation, false reasoning, insensibility, indifference, politics, anger, and frustration that is so very rampant cloud your good judgement. Please wear your face covering when appropriate, socially distance yourselves, avoid large groups, delay travel if possible, stay home if you are sick, and wash your hands a lot. Take this seriously, because it is. This is a collective responsibility of us all to protect each other and keep our local businesses open. If we continue to climb in cases, not only will we not get PON certification, but we may lose our variance. Let’s not do this. I recently heard this interesting anecdote: An employee of a local business told some customers that were not wearing masks to please wear masks, because she was out of work during the shutdown and she wants to keep working. The customers then put on masks that were provided to them. Let’s keep our local businesses open, it’s up to us.

Thank You: A HUGE thank you to my staff, our partners, our healthcare workers, CDPHE, and those of you that are doing your part to stop the spread of COVID-19!

Summaries: For Colorado (including Crowley/Otero Counties), this summary only includes data through July 29 and does not reflect cases since then. Additionally, the number of deaths due to COVID-19 includes data through Saturday, July 25, and does not reflect cases since then.
a. IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING DATA: The data below is taken directly from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) website on the listed dates. This data may not match local data (i.e., the information above) that I have previously released to you because of the time it takes CDPHE to compile, analyze, clean, and report statewide data on its website.
b. Crowley County
ü Total cases: 72
o Deceased: 1
o Facility Outbreaks (Data available on the following website as of 7/31/2020 at 9:12 am:
· Crowley County Correctional Facility
o Prisoners: 66
o Staff: 4
c. Otero County
ü Total Cases: 49
o Deceased: 4 (3 of these are residents of Pioneer Nursing Home)
o Facility Outbreaks (Data available on the following website as of 7/31/2020 at 9:12 am:
§ Pioneer Healthcare Center
· Residents: 3
§ Lewis Bolt and Nut
· Staff: 3
ü TOTAL Crowley/Otero Cases: 121
ü CDPHE case count website:
o Scroll down until you see the Colorado map, and then select “Case Counts” from the dropdown box on the upper right side of the map.
d. State of Colorado
ü 46,204 cases
ü 239 patients currently hospitalized for confirmed COVID-19 (view hospital data:
ü 63 counties (view incidence and epidemic curve data:
ü 523,174 people tested
ü 1,822 deaths among cases (view surveillance data:
ü 1,691 deaths due to COVID-19
ü 477 outbreaks (view outbreak data:
e. United States (as of the time of this writing on Friday, 7/31/2020)
ü Cases: 4,405,932
ü Deaths: 150,283
ü Website:…/2019-n…/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

What can you do RIGHT NOW?
ü Read, understand, and comply with public health orders! Public health orders can be found here:…/public-health-executive-orde…
ü Stay home if you are sick and, if needed, call your medical provider.
ü Wear an appropriate mask if you must go out for an essential activity.
ü If you are in a high risk group, take extra precautions.
ü Cover your cough and/or sneeze.
ü Keep your fingers and hands away from your face.
ü Wash your hands a lot.
ü Stay informed by trusted and reliable sources. Be careful about believing what you read on social media sites. Trusted sources/websites:
o Centers for Disease Control:
o Colorado State Health Department:
ü Do these things so you will be prepared, and not scared.
ü And remember, “This too shall pass.”

It is up to us.

Richard Ritter, Executive Director
Otero County Health Department
13 West 3rd Street, Room 111
La Junta, Colorado 81050
719-383-3045 (Office)
719-383-3060 (Fax)

Department of Public Health and Environment |


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