CDPHE: General Questions and Answers
Why does Weld County have a high death count?
Honestly, we don’t know right now. But here’s what we do know. We know that the deaths were in high-risk individuals, many of whom had underlying health issues. There are a lot of variables that come into play with these cases. We won’t fully know why our death count is potentially higher than other counties until our epidemiologists can analyze other reasons that may be contributing to Weld County deaths. These reasons could include age, socio-economic status, and the number of high-risk individuals that live in Weld County. There is also a lag in the state’s reporting of deaths. So, while Weld County’s death count may look high, another county might have deaths that haven’t yet been updated in the state’s data reporting system. What we can tell you is teams continue to investigate cases, doctors and nurses continue to treat cases and we ALL need people to continue to limit their travel, stay at home as much as they can and practice physical distancing.
Why is COVID-19 worse than the flu?
COVID-19 is a new form of SARS. It has only been a few months since we have known about COVID-19 and research takes time to really understand how this virus spreads and to develop a vaccine for it.
The virus seems to be a lot more contagious than the seasonal flu. People can spread COVID-19 before they are symptomatic. Therefore, social distancing is important – you can spread it long before you know you have it.
Comparing COVID-19 with SARS: People with SARS usually didn’t become contagious until several days after symptoms appeared. This meant that actions taken during this period to isolate or quarantine sick patients interrupted the spread. With COVID-19, it seems that it can be transmitted quite a bit before symptoms occur.
What is the difference between self-isolation and quarantine?
Quarantine and isolation are two words often used when describing methods taken to slow the spread of COVID-19. While you may think the words are similar, they have very different meanings and actions associated with them.
Many of the actions we’re asking you to take — practice physical distancing, only leave your home for essential activities, avoid groups of more than 10 — all revolve around the idea of quarantining. Quarantine is a measure that, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), separates and restricts movement of those who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation is a way to separate those who’ve tested positive with COVID-19 from those who haven’t. Isolation can be voluntary, but the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment is the legal authority to issue isolation orders to people who are sick.
As viruses need human beings to survive and replicate, both quarantining and isolation are effective techniques in lessening the impact of COVID-19.