New Public Health Orders Implemented to Contain Alarming Rise in COVID-19 Cases in Adams County

tchdFailure to lower cases could shut county down.

Despite further restrictions, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Adams County at an alarming rate, while the number of available hospital beds for intensive care patients becomes more limited. In an effort to slow community-wide spread of the virus, Tri-County Health Department is issuing a public health order that goes into effect at 10 p.m., Nov. 7, 2020, and will be in effect for 30 days. The order will include a curfew for everyone except essential workers to be off all public streets from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

“This new order is really a 5-alarm call to action, like an evacuation in the face of a wildfire. The curfew essentially means that unless you are an essential worker or have an urgent reason to be out, everyone should be in their homes from 10 pm to 5 am. The restrictions might seem uncomfortable, but we believe that they are one of our last best hopes to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community without the necessity of Adams County moving to the Stay at Home orders that we had in the spring,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “That really depends on all of us adhering to public health advice and orders and not interacting with small or large groups of people outside of our households. The truth can be tiresome and inconvenient, but it really is in the hands of all of us to work together to stop the spread.”

As of November 5, 2020, there are 17,107 known positive cases in Adams County with a two-week incidence rate of 797/100,000 population, and a test positivity rate of 12.7%.  Modeling data from the School of Public Health indicates that 1.2% of persons in Adams County are infected with COVID-19 currently, presenting a substantial risk of transmission to others. In addition, hospitalization rates are steadily increasing, with a hospital admission rate of 2.4/100,000 per week as of November 5, four times higher than in early September and the highest rate for Adams County since early April.

“We are at an extremely critical point in this pandemic, with much at stake, if we don’t stop the spread of this virus,” said Emma Pinter, Adams County Commissioner and Board Chair. “The wellbeing of our community – our businesses, our schools, our economic vitality – lies in the hands of every single person in Adams County. We each need to follow the new guidelines closely to prevent being moved to the State’s Stay at Home Red Level, which is the next step if our numbers do not drop.”

The public health order has the following restrictions:

  1. Spectators are prohibited at all sporting events including Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) sanctioned sporting events.
  2. A nighttime curfew is imposed in all public places within Adams County, including streets and public rights-of-way, from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following day.
    1. During the hours of curfew, any business that is not a Critical Business, as defined in Public Health Order 20-36, must be closed to the public. Employees and individuals providing goods or services to the business are not considered members of the public for purposes of this Order. Restaurants must be closed to in-person dining but may offer curbside and delivery services.
    2. During the hours of curfew, all persons are prohibited from using, standing, sitting, traveling or being present on any public street or in any public place, with the following exceptions:
      1. Providing or accessing Necessary Activities as defined in Public Health order 20-36, except that this does not include engaging in outdoor activity;
      2. Providing or accessing a Critical Government Function as defined in Public Health Order 20-36;
      3. Providing or accessing a Critical Business as defined in Public Health Order 20-36;
      4. Engaging in Necessary Travel as defined in Public Health Order 20-36
  3. Restaurants must limit party size to six people or less from no more than two households. Restaurants are encouraged to place a time limit on diners in order to maximize table turnover during hours of operation. 
  4. All alcohol beverage sales, service, and consumption must cease at 10 p.m.
  5. As required by Public Health Order 20-36, all Critical Businesses, non-Critical Businesses and Critical Government Functions must adopt work from home or telework policies for any operations that can be done remotely.