Press Conference at 12:30pm Friday, November 20, 2020 broadcasted on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/PuebloHealth
November 20, 2020, Like many other counties in Colorado, new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths related to COVID-19 are continuing to climb in Pueblo County. To help protect more residents, businesses, and health care workers, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment moved Pueblo County to Safer at Home Level Red: Severe Risk under Public Health Order 20-36 Amendment One.
COVID-19 related numbers in Pueblo County
Two-Week Cumulative Incidence Rate 1,640.59 /100,000 people
Percent positivity 15.82%
Two-week COVID-19 new case count 2,758
“In November alone, we lost 28 of our Pueblo County neighbors, friends, and loved ones to this virus. Our hospitalizations are rising significantly, along with the very concerning rapid increase in new cases. We can turn these numbers around but it will take everyone doing their part to prevent the spread of this virus,” explained Randy Evetts, Public Health Director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
“We are at a critical juncture where our collective actions will determine how quickly our schools, our businesses, and our regular day-to-day activities can return to a more normal state. We must reduce the transmission of this virus to assure that hospital and emergency care is available for our family and friends when they need it. “ said Evetts.
Beginning Sunday at 5:00 PM, the following requirements will apply to every person in Pueblo
County in addition to the Safer at Home Level Red: Severe Risk requirements:
A list of changes in each level of the Dial may be viewed here.
Top Line Changes in Level Red:
Key changes to Level Red: Severe Risk from Level Orange.
- Personal Gatherings are prohibited. Pueblo Health strongly encourages Puebloans to limit Thanksgiving gatherings to their own household.
- High-risk populations are urged to stay at home only to go out for essential goods and services.
- Restaurants are limited to outside or open-air dining and carry-out, take-out, curbside take-out, and delivery. No indoor dining is allowed.
- Critical and non-critical retail are limited to 50% in store capacity.
- Offices should move to 10% in-person staffing immediately, remote working is strongly encouraged.
- Bars remain closed.
- Places of worship are limited to 25% capacity indoors or 50 person cap. Outdoors parties must maintain 6ft of social distancing.
- Other changes: indoor seated and unseated events are closed. Outdoor events are limited to 25% or 75 people.
Level Red was updated by CDPHE to allow for more businesses to be open with limited capacity. Retail establishments, both critical and non-critical, are subject to the 50% occupancy limit, and strongly encouraged to take extraordinary measures such as take out and delivery options to reduce in-person service to the minimum necessary. Remote working is strongly encouraged for offices.
Individuals at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 remain advised to stay in their residence at all levels of the Dial. Additionally, the definition of individuals at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 is revised to align with the revised CDC definition, which added pregnant individuals as well as individuals who smoke to the list.
“The move to Level Red: Severe Risk is necessary to save lives in Pueblo. Currently 1% to 2% of Pueblo is infected with the virus pushing our hospitals and health care heroes to the breaking point. There is light at the end of the tunnel but Puebloans must continue to do their part to save lives.” said Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar.
“As a physician and a citizen of Pueblo, I see first-hand the damage COVID-19 is doing to our patients. This infection is spreading through our community like a wildfire; steadily taking the lives of those we love most and challenging hospital resources. I realize we are all tired of masks and social distancing - but these remain our best defense against the virus; especially around the holidays. Let’s come together as a community, turn back the dial and do what is necessary to fight this pandemic,” stated Sandeep S. Vijan MD FACS CPE, Chief Medical Officer, Parkview Medical Center.
“Due to the high number of COVID-19 cases our local hospitals are near capacity. The amount of COVID-19 cases in our community is very alarming. Right now, it is important for everyone in Pueblo County to do their part to help stop the spread of the virus so we can alleviate the stress to our healthcare system and our local businesses can open back up,” said the Board of County Commissioners in Pueblo.
The City of Pueblo will make $1 million available in economic aid to businesses impacted by the pandemic and those businesses which may have to close temporarily. Applications will be available on www.pueblo.us soon.
To help alleviate financial hardships the pandemic is putting on our economy, Pueblo County Commissioners approved a third round of emergency economic recovery grants. Another $500,000 will be issued in this round of grants. Local businesses or nonprofits who would like to apply may do so by clicking on the link on the County’s homepage at www.county.pueblo.org. The application will be available starting on Monday, November 23. With the additional round of economic recovery grants, this brings the total to $1.5-million given to local businesses and nonprofits from Pueblo County. Economic recovery grants are funded through CARES money.