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Physical distancing critical as COVID-19 spreads across Weld County

Posted on 03/26/2020
Physical distancing

Weld County — As Weld County continues to see widespread increase in COVID-19 positive cases, the Health Department is once again stressing the importance of preventative measures to slow and reduce the spread of the virus. The department, which strives to maintain patient privacy, especially for our smaller communities, has decided to share a map showing where positive cases are generally located throughout the county.

“Originally, we were hoping people would take the preventative measures seriously and understand that across the state COVID-19 is here, and we all need to do our part to fight the virus,” said Dr. Mark Wallace, MD MPH, Executive Director for the Health Department. “Perhaps if people can visually see where Weld County’s cases are the reality of our situation will become more apparent. However, we want to stress that if a community is not represented on the map, it doesn’t mean there are no cases of COVID-19 there. It means, we aren’t aware of any positive test results, but people can carry the virus and not be symptomatic. We should assume the virus is everywhere in Weld County and, frankly, Colorado.”

Weld County COVID-19 case map

Currently, there are 104 positive cases and 4 deaths. All 4 deaths were adults in their 70s, and they had underlying health issues. People at higher risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19 are those over 60 years old and those with chronic health conditions. However, Weld County has positive cases in every age group, from adolescents to seniors.

“This really comes down to personal responsibility and everyone stepping up in their role to do what they can to prevent the spread of this virus,” said Wallace. “If, as a community, people limit their travel and their exposure to others, we will see our case numbers start to decline.” Wallace continues to stress physical distancing—also called social distancing—as the best way to slow the spread of this highly contagious virus. “Physical distancing does not mean you can’t be social—we suggest people stay connected via mobile phones, social media, and video chat platforms,” Wallace said.

Physical distancing means people stay at least 6 feet away from each other, and all “events” of 10 people or more are cancelled. An “event” is a gathering for social or recreational activities, or a location that engages in or allows for such activities. A workplace, grocery store, hardware store, and hospitals and medical clinics are exempt. Today, Gov. Jared Polis also enacted a “stay-at-home” order, effective until at least April 11, which further limits the amount of physical contact people may have.

Below are physical distancing suggestions:

  • Use a grocery delivery or pick-up service. All major stores now have this service.
  • Use meal delivery services. Order your food to-go from local restaurants. Please tip generously to support our local delivery staff.
  • Limit all nonessential travel.
  • Work from home, if this is a viable option for your employer. Some businesses are successfully adapting to telework.
  • It’s encouraged to go outdoors for fresh air and exercise. The point is not to remain indoors, but to avoid being within 6 feet of other people.

“We’re in this together and we see people and businesses innovating daily to help prevent spread. We challenge everyone to pitch in to help us beat COVID-19,” Wallace said.