Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment (PDPHE) is continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and is in close and regular contact with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
PDPHE has been planning for and practicing response for situations like this for over ten years. We have plans, partnerships, and resources in place to support the community and are working in close coordination with our regional public health partners, hospitals, and health care community.
In the event illness become widespread, we will follow best-practices and our plans created with the guidance of CDPHE and CDC. Actions may include things like:
- Canceling large events that might cause us to infect each other
- Closing schools and providing students opportunities to learn online instead
- Requesting that employers support tele-working, flexible shifts, cross-training employees to cover when others are out sick, and cancel large meetings or conferences
Guidance for People with Symptoms
Anyone with symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems should call their healthcare provider for guidance and separate themselves from others. They should NOT go to the emergency room in order to ensure the hospital resources are available for those with the most critical needs.
Residents can call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email them at COHELP@RMPDC.org to get more information and ask questions about COVID-19. Information is available in English and Spanish.
Reducing the Spread of COVID-19
COVID-19 can be especially dangerous for those at higher risk including people:
- 60 years old and older
- With underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
- Who have weakened immune systems
- Who are pregnant
Take Steps to Protect Those at High Risk
- Anyone feeling ill should stay away from those at higher risk.
- Those at higher risk should stay home and away from large groups as much as possible, including large gatherings where there may be close contact with others.
- Try to avoid bringing large groups of people together and/or consider postponing events and gatherings.
- Avoid visiting hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes to the extent possible. Limit time there and keep at least six feet away from patients.
United Way of Pueblo County, CSU-Pueblo Student Health Services to Hold Community Supply Drive Friday for Healthcare Workers
A community drive will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, March 27 to gather personal protective equipment for healthcare workers addressing COVID-19. The drive will be held at the Cultural Heritage Building at the Colorado State Fairgrounds. Entrance will be permitted through the Beulah Avenue entrance, gate 9.
Specimens for COVID-19 will only be tested if they meet one of the criteria in the table below.
|Signs or Symptoms||Risk Factors|
|Fever or signs/symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath)||AND||Any person, including health care workers, who has had close contact with a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset|
|Fever or signs/symptoms of a lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) without alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza)*||AND||A history of travel to areas with ongoing community transmission within 14 days of symptom onset|
|Fever with severe acute lower respiratory illness (e.g., pneumonia, ARDS) requiring hospitalization and without alternative explanatory diagnosis (e.g., influenza)||AND||No source of exposure has been identified|
* Please note this guidance varies slightly from CDC. As we have capacity, Colorado will continue to consider testing for individuals who are not hospitalized in order to identify patients who have traveled to affected areas who have less severe disease. Fever can be subjective or confirmed.
We as individuals and families can prepare and practice now.
Getting ready for widespread disease is largely about preparing for possible shortages. Here are some things you can do:
Continue to Take Everyday Wellness Actions
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Get an annual flu vaccine if you have not had one.
Gather a Few Extra Supplies
- Try to get an extra months’ worth of prescription medications, if possible, in case there are supply chain disruptions.
- Slowly start to stock up on enough non-perishable food to last your household through two weeks of staying at home if there is a wave of transmission in the community.
Plan for Closures & Changes
- Think about how you will continue to work if your child’s school is closed.
- Understand that your plans to participate in large gatherings may be cancelled.
- Think through how you will take care of sick family members while trying not to get infected.
- Make plans for childcare if you become sick, or when your child is sick.
- Talk to your children about what they might expect.
- Cross-train key staff at work so one person’s absence won’t derail your organization’s ability to function.
Practice Good Hygiene
- Start practicing not touching your face now. This can greatly reduce the frequency of potential spread. (You can even try a buddy system, where you and a friend remind each other when someone scratches their eyelid or rubs their nose.)
- Replace handshakes with elbow-bumps.
- Start building healthy habits like pushing elevator buttons with a knuckle instead of a fingertip.
- Avoid sharing e-cigarettes, drinks, etc.
- Increase regular cleaning of frequently-touched items (e.g. doorknobs, faucet handles, etc.)
Employers can start planning and practicing too.
Use the CDC guidance to put continuity strategies in place like:
- Cross-training so that core functions won’t be derailed if key employees are out sick.
- Telework or flexible shift options.
- Alternatives to large meetings or conferences.
- Increased cleaning of frequently-touched items
- Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
- Centers for Disease Control
- World Health Organization
- Call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish
Fact Sheets, Flyers, and Printable Resouces