Climbing COVID-19 Cases Move County to “Yellow” on CDPHE Dial

Overall daily increases in COVID-19 case counts have resulted in Montrose County moving a level on the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 dial. Montrose County was moved from the cautious or blue level to the concern or yellow level. The dial is an indicator of the overall prevalence of community spread of COVID in a particular county. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the governor’s office required this action based on the state’s dial framework, which considers the number of cases in a two-week period, percent positivity, and hospitalizations, all of which are trending upward.

“Overall, the number of positive cases is on the rise. The increase is due in part to both the cases linked to outbreak sites, but more importantly overall community and family transmission,” said Assistant Public Health Director Allison Howe. “Montrose County Public Health wants to stress the importance of having a plan for isolating and quarantining if someone in your family or residence becomes ill or tests positive.”

The new level designation has stricter requirements and will be in effect until cases, percent of tests positive, and hospital demand reduces. Under the concern (yellow­­) level capacity limits remain at 50% for most sectors; group sizes are reduced to a maximum of 100 individuals indoors with social distancing. Gyms are reduced to 25 percent capacity or 50 patrons. Full guidance by level is available here.

“The most important things we can all do are to continue washing hands frequently, wearing a mask, and keeping social distance,” said Montrose County Public Health Medical Adviser Dr. Joseph Adragna, MD, MHA, MGH. “It is also important to stay home when you are sick and call your doctor’s office. Please help keep our community healthy and protect our vulnerable populations by staying home from work, social gatherings, and errands if you are feeling unwell. Doing so will preserve our healthcare system and our local businesses. This virus impacts all age groups and even though a 30-year-old is less likely to end up hospitalized, they may transmit the virus to a higher risk person that ends up in the ICU. No matter your age, you have a role in this fight.”

Montrose County Public Health continues to work with Montrose Memorial Hospital to monitor hospital capacity, and while it has not been stressed, there has been a recent increase in COVID hospitalizations. Both the county and hospital remain ready to respond to COVID surges.

This change to the yellow dial level will take effect Friday, Nov. 13 at 8:00am. Additionally, beginning Thursday, Nov. 12, the county will resume weekday reporting of the COVID dashboard. Please visit montrosecountyjic.com for more information.