Rather than waiting for additional positive test results, Larimer County public health officials have issued proactive protective measures to minimize the impact of COVID-19. Larimer County Public Health Director Tom Gonzales has issued a public health order requiring the cancellation or postponement of events with more than 250 attendees and the closure of senior community centers in Larimer County. This order is intended to prevent an increase in the number of people with serious infections, resulting in an overwhelmed healthcare system.
He is also urging the following:
• The cancellation or postponement of events with 50 or more attendees for the general population.
• People at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (aged 60 or over, those with underlying health conditions, and pregnant people) not attend events, public areas, and business locations where 10 or more people will be gathered.
• Elective surgeries and non-critical medical appointments should be postponed until further notice to conserve medical resources.
• Avoid all nonessential travel. Travel in and out of the community is highly discouraged.
However, the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment is not recommending closures of child care facilities or prohibiting the operations of them. The County has outlined specific guidelines to child care facilities, available at www.larimer.org/health.
“We are looking at what actions have been successful in other communities and we are implementing those measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Larimer County, ” said Gonzales. “Social distancing is the most effective way to slow the spread. This means avoiding events, gatherings, and public places and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible. ”
Larimer County officials also want to stress that it is their intent to keep all essential services open, including gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, medical centers, and parks. However, increased restrictions may be required.
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith stated, “Our community plays the most important role in this response. Officials are asking the community for voluntary compliance on the social distancing recommendations as well as with public health mandates to avoid a strain on public safety resources. We understand that these measures can be challenging. However, self-regulation is critical to reducing the likelihood of more restrictive measures being needed in the future. ”
Larimer County has issued guidance regarding social distancing, cleaning, and disinfection for:
• retail and business facilities,
• houses of worship,
• public transportation, taxis and rideshares,
• restaurants and grocery stores,
• gyms and recreation centers,
• private businesses.
Lori Hodges, the Larimer Director of Emergency Management added, “With every community member doing their part and following direction from our public health experts, we will be better able to meet our community’s essential needs as this event unfolds. ”
More information regarding COVID-19 in Larimer County can be found at larimer.org/health. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts @LarimerHealth.