May 21, 2020, Pueblo, CO – Changes in how COVID-19 death data is now reported in the state doesn’t diminish the serious consequences the novel coronavirus has had on the local community, according to the medical officer for the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. 

“The COVID-19 infection has led to serious illness, hospitalization, and death in Pueblo County,” said Dr. Christopher Urbina.  

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recently changed how it is reporting COVID-19 deaths. CDPHE was reporting deaths among all people who had COVID-19 at the time of death to include deaths caused by COVID-19 and deaths among people who had COVID-19 at the time of death but the cause or causes may not have been attributed to COVID-19 on the death certificate.  

Recently, CDPHE changed the way it is reporting deaths by providing two numbers: deaths among COVID-19 cases and deaths due to COVID-19.  

Deaths among people with COVID-19 represent the number of deaths reported among people who have COVID-19, but COVID-19 may not have been the cause of death listed on the death certificate. Deaths among people who died from COVID-19 represent the total number of people whose death was attributed to COVID-19 as indicated on a death certificate. 

“It really is a fine line,” Urbina said of the two sets of data. “From a public health perspective, we are trying to understand the impact of COVID-19.” 

Urbina said measures taken by the public during the past two months are reflective in local data.  

“Social distancing, hygiene, testing, isolation, quarantine, and surveillance have all been instrumental in reducing the number of hospitalizations and in flattening the curve,” he said. “It’s important to know that COVID-19 is causing significant suffering and death in Pueblo County.” 

 

Everybody has a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in Pueblo by: 

  • Follow the Governor’s Safer at Home order 

  • Wear a non-medical cloth face covering while out in public for necessary activities 

  • Minimize social activities and being physically close to other people 

  • Isolate yourself if you feel symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, temperature of 100.4 or higher, chills, headache, sore throat and new loss of smell or taste, call your medical provider before visiting them. 

  • Do not go to the emergency room unless medically necessary. Contact your health care provider  

  • Wash your hands with soap regularly. 

  • Cough or sneeze into elbow or tissue. 

  • Stay home when you are sick. 

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. 

  • Avoid close contact with sick people. 

  • Clean surfaces frequently touched. 

 

Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment encourages residents to seek out credible, reliable sources of information on COVID-19:  

 

All public and media inquiries in Pueblo are answered through the local hotline at Pueblo County’s Joint Information Center. Pueblo COVID-19 Hotline is providing resources and answering questions 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday at (719) 583-4444. 

At times the Pueblo COVID-19 Hotline may experience a high volume of calls, please be patient and remain on the line and the next available call taker will be with you. 

###