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El Paso County enacting stricter COVID-19 guidelines after election

Coronavirus
MGN

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- El Paso County Commissioner Chairman Mark Waller says the county will move to Safer At Home Level 2 restrictions on Nov. 4 due to rising COVID-19 rates.

Under Safer at Home Level 2 guidelines, offices must move to 50% capacity, indoor events are capped at 100 people, outdoor events are capped at 175 people, retail stores must operate at 50% capacity, restaurants must operate at 50% capacity or 50 people (or 100 with calculator) with six feet between parties.

All schools can be in-person, hybrid, or remote as appropriate under Level 2.

Waller tells KRDO that Gov. Jared Polis' office made the decision to increase the coronavirus restriction level in El Paso County.

The move comes as El Paso County's two-week coronavirus incidence rate has climbed over 270 per 100,000. According to state guidelines, that number should put the county at Level 3 restrictions, however, the state made the decision to only bump the county up from Level 1 to Level 2.

Waller says the restrictions take effect on Nov. 4 so that it doesn't affect Election Day.

Starting in early October, the number of COVID-19 cases in El Paso County began to spike up, with two of the highest daily-count days since the pandemic started happening this month. County officials had said they were meeting with state health officials to discuss mitigation efforts, but Waller expressed displeasure with the lack of time given to come up with a new plan.

Waller also argues the restrictions on businesses likely won't make a difference, because -- according to scientists -- the spike is largely due to house parties where people aren't wearing a mask or social distancing.

"We want to have the opportunity and the ability to try to figure out where this is coming from so then we can take appropriate actions, because this shot in the dark kind of solution that we're using right now just isn't what we need moving forward," Commissioner Waller explained.

However, public health officials insist we need to make do with the restrictions we can implement, and encourage people to follow guidelines at home, too.

"It is the cumulative effect of all of our individual actions that will have the impact that we need," said Medical Director Dr. Robin Johnson.

Colorado Springs / Coronavirus / Local News / News

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for KRDO.com. Learn more about Andrew here.

Comments

19 Comments

    1. Because King Polis says so. I have a friend who works at a hospital near downtown and she said it’s busy, but not just from COVID. The hospital is not overrun with China virus patients.

      1. Go sign the recall Polis petition. Want a free State, time to rid it of the self proclaimed all powerful!

  1. The problem is that hospitals are diagnosing as covid-19 to get that stipend that the feds are giving out for covid-19 cases…..in other words not all these diagnoses are correct and true.

  2. The stupidity of these comments makes me embarrassed to be a resident of Colorado Springs. The USA has become a nation of entitled babies who cannot make the smallest sacrifice for their country. We are also a nation of willful ignorance. God help us…

    1. “The USA has become a nation of entitled babies who cannot make the smallest sacrifice for their country.”

      Tell that to people who are losing their jobs and businesses, and everything they have worked so hard for their entire lives! All because 2.7 people per 1000 tested positive?

      1. Thank you! And of those 2.7 per 1000 who test positive, (assuming those test results are even correct!) the China flu is +99% recoverable! It is NOT the bubonic plague! It’s a mild illness with a dry cough and fever, and many people don’t even have those symptoms! The world-wide reaction to this is unbelievable; it is not driven by facts and truth. But sadly, truth and facts are anathema to most people today.

    2. The truly sad thing about ignorant people is that they don’t know they’re ignorant. Not a clue.

        1. Then use it yourself. I replied to skippyjustice’s sheeple comment. And yes, I do realize you were pretend asking, not stating.

  3. This response shows that the handling of Covid 19 (from a public health standpoint) is politically motivated and not science or derived from evidence-based medicine. NOTHING about this decision follows evidence-based medicine. There have been standard precautions in place for decades along with transmission based precautions for known or suspected airborne/droplet influenza like illnesses. Nothing in how this is being handled follows that.

    First and foremost, if someone is positive or highly likely to be positive, you isolate THEM, not the public. Then, in addtion to the standard common sense practice of minimizing exposure, covering your cough and washing your hands:

    Droplet Precautions
    Use Droplet Precautions for patients known or suspected to be infected with pathogens transmitted by respiratory droplets that are generated by a patient who is coughing, sneezing, or talking.

    See Guidelines for Isolation Precautions for complete details.
    Source control: PUT A MASK ON THE PATIENT
    Ensure appropriate patient placement in a single room if possible. In acute care hospitals, if single rooms are not available, utilize the recommendations for alternative patient placement considerations in the Guideline for Isolation Precautions. In long-term care and other residential settings, make decisions regarding patient placement on a case-by-case basis considering infection risks to other patients in the room and available alternatives. In ambulatory settings, place patients who require Droplet Precautions in an exam room or cubicle as soon as possible and instruct patients to follow Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette recommendations.
    Use personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriately. Don mask upon entry into the patient room or patient space.
    Limit transport and movement of patients outside of the room to medically-necessary purposes. If transport or movement outside of the room is necessary, instruct patient to wear a mask and follow Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette.

    If they are airborne precautions:

    Airborne Precautions
    Use Airborne Precautions for patients known or suspected to be infected with pathogens transmitted by the airborne route (e.g., tuberculosis, measles, chickenpox, disseminated herpes zoster).

    See Guidelines for Isolation Precautions for complete details.
    Source control: put a mask on the patient.
    Ensure appropriate patient placement in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) constructed according to the Guideline for Isolation Precautions. In settings where Airborne Precautions cannot be implemented due to limited engineering resources, masking the patient and placing the patient in a private room with the door closed will reduce the likelihood of airborne transmission until the patient is either transferred to a facility with an AIIR or returned home.
    Restrict susceptible healthcare personnel from entering the room of patients known or suspected to have measles, chickenpox, disseminated zoster, or smallpox if other immune healthcare personnel are available.
    Use personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriately, including a fit-tested NIOSH-approved N95 or higher level respirator for healthcare personnel.
    Limit transport and movement of patients outside of the room to medically-necessary purposes. If transport or movement outside an AIIR is necessary, instruct patients to wear a surgical mask, if possible, and observe Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette. Healthcare personnel transporting patients who are on Airborne Precautions do not need to wear a mask or respirator during transport if the patient is wearing a mask and infectious skin lesions are covered.
    Immunize susceptible persons as soon as possible following unprotected contact with vaccine-preventable infections (e.g., measles, varicella or smallpox).

    This is all on the CDC’s website (I copied and pasted most of this) and it’s not news. THIS virus has shown that it follows the same pattern as other viruses in this family and should be handled accordingly.

    Transmission based precautions link:

    https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/basics/transmission-based-precautions.html#anchor_1564058318

    Guideline for isolation precautions link:

    https://www.cdc.gov/infectioncontrol/guidelines/isolation/index.html

    Here, check out what this PhD in chemistry with VERY relevant experience has to say about the topic:

    https://www.aier.org/article/the-year-of-disguises/

  4. What is the current limit on the governor who would be king. When does the legislature regain some modicum of control? When do the people regain our voice?

  5. “Cap of 100 people indoors with calculator” Showing my ignorance, but do they mean someone actually doing a count? Is that the calculator? Or do they actually think people carrying calculators are somehow immune? Vague and unnecessarily complex verbiage, just say someone needs to keep count, not include a calculator.

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