Grand County loosens COVID restrictions; masks still required
With the statewide dial no longer mandated, Grand County has created its own plans to monitor and suppress COVID-19.
Grand has adopted many elements of the Level Blue restrictions on the state dial, Grand County Public Health Director Abbie Baker explained in a letter to residents Thursday. This means all events, industry and operations may operate at full capacity as long as 6 feet of distance can be maintained between parties.
Masks are still required in indoor public spaces and are strongly recommended in outdoor areas where distancing is not possible. Masks remain required in schools, jails and assisted living centers until the state lifts that requirement, and federal lands are still subject to a federal mask requirement.
Indoor and outdoor events, regardless of size and venue, must still submit plans for Grand County Public Health’s approval. Indoor events with more than 500 attendees will require state approval as well.
Grand will be using adjusted metrics to monitor disease activity moving forward by emphasizing hospitalizations. Hospitalizations of greater than 10 residents or 10% of cases in a 14-day period, whichever is more, would indicate the need for increased restrictions.
Three residents are currently hospitalized due to the virus, with one hospitalization occurring in the last two weeks. That’s equal to 1.6% of total cases in the past 14 days.
The county will monitor case counts on a seven-day rolling period. A parallel rise in cases and hospitalizations would indicate a need for increased restrictions, Baker said. GCPH will also continue to monitor outbreaks.
Local health officials are now additionally looking at herd immunity status with a goal of 80% of the eligible population being fully vaccinated. However, 65-70% is acceptable by CDC standards.
An estimated 43% of eligible county residents were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, according to Grand County’s COVID dashboard.
Even with this update, some COVID restrictions remain the same.
Six foot distancing is still required in public spaces, along with masks. Case investigations and contact tracing will continue with quarantine and isolation protocols still required, especially for those that have been in contact with one of the more infectious COVID variants.
The order went into effect Friday and is consistent with other resort communities, according to Baker. Grand has seen 33 new cases in the last week.
“While we are seeing an expected increase of COVID-19 cases in Grand County after the spring break holiday, we are not seeing a parallel increase in hospitalizations or death,” Baker said. “These adjustments in our response to COVID-19 should reflect those changes in disease severity and allow for our community to stay cautious but open.”
Grand County Public Health is hosting a mass vaccination clinic this weekend at Middle Park High School and will be distributing Moderna vaccines. A number of slots remain available, so residents are encouraged to register for Saturday at http://www.comassvax.org/reg/0915162097 and Sunday at http://www.comassvax.org/reg/7069550921.
Find additional vaccine appointments at http://www.co.grand.co.us/vaccine.
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Grand Concerts is hosting its first live event in 17 months featuring the Boston Brass on Friday at the Headwaters Pavilion in Winter Park.