Las Animas - Safer at Home 2; Huerfano - Safer at Home 1

Las Animas is currently in Safer at Home 2: Concern and Huerfano County is currently in Safer at Home 1: Cautious

Las Animas County Moves from Blue-Cautions to Yellow-Concern on the COVID-19 State’s Dial Framework

November 18, 2020, Las Animas, CO In response to sharp increases in COVID-19 case rates, the state will move Las Animas County to Level yellow: Safer at Home – Concern in the state's dial framework effective at 5:00 P.M, Wednesday, November 18.

Las Animas County continues to follow the community mitigation plan and is working diligently with partners to reverse the concerning trends.

As of November 16, Las Animas County’s metrics are as follows:

  • Two-week cumulative incidence rate: 580/100,000 people
  • Percent positivity: 9%
  • 2-week COVID-19 case count (new cases): 84
  • Hospitalizations: Increasing

These incident rates move Las Animas County into the COVID-19 Dial Level Yellow, effective Wednesday, November 18, at 5:00 P.M.

Additional restrictions that will go into place include, but are not limited to:

  • Restaurants may operate at 50% of posted occupancy indoors, not to exceed 50 people, excluding staff.
  • Houses of worship may operate at 50% of posted occupancy indoors, not to exceed 50 people, per room.
  • Indoor events may operate at 50% of posted occupancy not to exceed 50 people, whichever is less, per room.
  • Outdoor events may operate at 50% of posted occupancy not to exceed 175 people, whichever is less.

CDPHE says they will monitor Las Animas County for one week and meet with the Health Department to reevaluate. If things do not improve, Las Animas County will move into COVID-19 Dial Level Orange – High Risk, which will result in tighter restrictions.

Las Animas County is encouraging all residents and businesses to help fight the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Staying home when possible
  • Wearing a mask when within six feet of others and in public
  • Following social distancing guidelines
  • Washing hands regularly

Additional information on specific sector guidance under COVID-19 Dial Level Yellow can be found in Public Health Order (PHO) 20-36; click here.

As a reminder, every Safer at Home level in the dial limits personal gatherings, not otherwise covered by Public Health Order 20-36 Safer at Home Dial, to 10 or fewer people from no more than two households. During the month of November, CDPHE is asking individuals to interact only with people from their own household.

CDPHE informed Las Animas County leaders the current incidence rates are aligned with Public Health Order 20-36 COVID-19 Dial Level Red and decided to implement gradual restrictions at this time to COVID-19 Dial Level Yellow.

CDPHE stated it reserves the right to move the county to a more restrictive level at any point should circumstances warrant more aggressive sector restrictions. CDPHE explained, “Should the county restore metrics for a less restrictive level at any time during the more restrictive phase, the county would need to maintain the following metrics for two weeks

  • New cases: How much the virus is circulating in a county.
  • Percent positivity: Whether there is sufficient COVID-19 testing to capture the level of virus transmission.
  • Impact on hospitalizations: Whether hospitalizations are increasing, stable, or declining.

The process to move on the dial is described here.

“Unfortunately, the data demonstrates that our current level of restriction is not enough to stop the rise in cases and hospitalizations, and CDPHE has moved Las Animas County to a more restrictive level,” explained public health director Kim Gonzales. She added, “This is concerning for our community, businesses and schools. I am hopeful that with the cooperation of our residents, leadership of our community and commitment by our businesses, we can reverse the trend of COVID-19 infections quickly and return to a more open community and economy.”

“We are asking our community to join us in this effort by continuing to wear masks, maintaining social distance from other, avoiding large gatherings, and following other preventive measures in their daily lives,” explained Gonzales. “It’s easy to let our guard down when we are at home or in the community. However, it all of the small things that we do consistently in our daily lives that make a difference. These simple strategies and diligence will reduce the spread of the virus, help us to reopen and maintain or local businesses, and allow our students to return to school.”

“We greatly appreciate everyone in the community and our many partners who have been doing all they can to contribute to slowing the spread of COVID-19. We continue to urge residents to follow the guidelines and prevention measures, taking small acts, which add up to create a broad collective impact,” explained Gonzales.

Individuals are urged to take the following precautions:

  • Keep gatherings small
  • Limit in-person gatherings
  • Limit unnecessary trips
  • Wear a mask
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
  • If you are sick, even with very mild symptoms, stay home. This is one of the most powerful tools we have to fight the spread of disease.
  • Anyone who may have been exposed to the virus, but does not have symptoms, should get tested 7 days after suspected exposure.
  • If you are exposed, quarantine for a full 14 days, regardless of test results.
  • People who have symptoms should get tested right away.

Huerfano County: Safer at Home 1: Cautious

This is less restrictive than Safer at Home Level 2, for counties with low virus transmission but that have not yet achieved Protect Our Neighbors. To achieve Safer at Home Level 1: Cautious, both Las Animas and Huerfano Counties had to meet the following criteria:

  • 5% or less positivity rate
  • 0-75 cases per 100,000 people
  • No more than two new COVID-19 hospital admissions per day

To see Las Animas and Huerfano Counties COVID-19 data, visit our Data Dashboard.