COVID-19 Spikes Force Orange Level on CDPHE Dial

Montrose County’s COVID-19 case counts are continuing to rise at a rapid pace and have forced a move to orange or high risk on the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 dial. This change comes after a move from blue to yellow on Nov. 13. At this time, public health continues to begin additional education campaigns, working with assisted living facilities to ensure safety of staff and residents, and other mitigation efforts to reduce overall case counts.

“We need to remain diligent, dedicated, and determined. We need to continue to do the things we know slows the spread of COVID—maintaining distance, wearing a mask, staying home when sick, even if your symptoms are very mild, and washing hands” said Montrose County Public Health Medical Advisor Dr. Joseph Adragna, MD, MHA, MGH. “Sticking to the basics in this fight and not giving up is how we save our lives, our jobs, and our local economy. More cases will lead our community to tighter restrictions per the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 dial. If we do not make these changes now, then we face being moved to red in just two weeks.”

As a reminder, 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. The new level designation has stricter requirements and will be in effect until cases, percent of tests positive, and hospital demand reduces. Full guidance by level is available here.

“I trust our community to do the right thing,” said Commissioner Keith Caddy. “COVID-19 has impacted us all in one way or another, and I want to encourage the public to consider our community members, schools, and local businesses when making decisions that may impact others.”

Montrose County Public Health is continuing to closely monitor hospital capacity with local partner Montrose Memorial Hospital. Both the county and hospital remain ready to respond to COVID surges.

This change to the orange dial level will take effect Monday, Nov. 23 at 5:00 pm. As a reminder, the county is issuing weekday reporting of the COVID dashboard. Please visit montrosecountyjic.com for more information.