COVID-19 in Mesa County
Local Public Health Alert
The highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 (first identified in India) is spreading rapidly in Mesa County. If you are not fully vaccinated, please take the following precautions immediately:
- Avoid crowds and keep your distance from others.
- Wear a mask in public indoor settings, especially where social distancing is not possible.
- If you have symptoms of any kind, stay home and seriously consider getting tested.
Your Actions Matter
Our plan keeps the community’s overall health as a top priority and provides ways businesses can open safely but it requires individual responsibility from each resident.
We all have to work together to keep case counts manageable and ensure our hospital systems are not overwhelmed.
Protect Yourself & Those You Love
Identifying illness early, and isolating yourself if you are sick is an important part of slowing the spread. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or were in a situation in which you may have been exposed, get tested for COVID-19 and follow recommendations for isolation and quarantine. Information about free testing in Mesa County can be found here.
- When You've Been Fully Vaccinated
- If You Are Sick
- COVID-19 Variants
- Stress and Coping
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
New Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19
Information about the characteristics of these variants is rapidly emerging. Scientists are working to learn more about how easily they spread, whether they could cause more severe illness, and whether currently authorized vaccines will protect people against them.
What we know
The virus that causes COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus, a large family of viruses. Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surfaces. Scientists monitor changes in the virus, including changes to the spikes on the surface of the virus. These studies, including genetic analyses of the virus, are helping scientists understand how changes to the virus might affect how it spreads and what happens to people who are infected with it.
Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are circulating globally:
- The United Kingdom (UK) identified a variant called B.1.1.7 with a large number of mutations in the fall of 2020. This variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. In January 2021, experts in the UK reported that this variant may be associated with an increased risk of death compared to other variant viruses, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding. It has since been detected in many countries around the world. This variant was first detected in the US at the end of December 2020.
- In South Africa, another variant called B.1.351 emerged independently of B.1.1.7. Originally detected in early October 2020, B.1.351 shares some mutations with B.1.1.7. Cases caused by this variant have been reported in the US at the end of January 2021.
- In Brazil, a variant called P.1 emerged that was first identified in travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at an airport in Japan, in early January. This variant contains a set of additional mutations that may affect its ability to be recognized by antibodies. This variant was first detected in the US at the end of January 2021.
These variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on health care resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.
So far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway.
Rigorous and increased compliance with public health mitigation strategies, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, is essential to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and protect public health.
What we do not know
Scientists are working to learn more about these variants, and more studies are needed to understand:
- How widely these new variants have spread
- How the disease caused by these new variants differs from the disease caused by other variants that are currently circulating
- How these variants may affect existing therapies, vaccines, and tests
What it means
Public health officials are studying these variants quickly to learn more to control their spread. They want to understand whether the variants:
- Spread more easily from person-to-person
- Cause milder or more severe disease in people
- Are detected by currently available viral tests
- Respond to medicines currently being used to treat people for COVID-19
- Change the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines
Information from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Resources Available by Category
We know many Colorado families are experiencing hardships and in need of information and support. Here are some links that can help families in need.
- 211 Colorado
- 211 Colorado is a statewide community resource connecting individuals and families to critical resources including food, shelter, rental assistance, childcare, and more. Call 2-1-1 or Text your zip code to 898-211 (message and data rates apply). You can also access their web based search function for more help.
- Colorado Public Health COVID-19
- Stay-at-Home Orders Explained
- FindHelp.org is the most comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date aggregation of free and reduced-cost programs helping Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- How to Make (and Use) a Disinfectant Against Coronavirus
- NYT article that describes the best ways to use disinfectants on household surfaces, and how to make and preserve their potency.
- COVID-19: The most important conversation you’ll have
- The Colorado Healthcare Ethics Resource Group has put together guides and tip sheets to help people consider specific medical treatments, values and decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage each of you to use the tools provided on the website to have these conversations with your family.
- A Guide to Home-proofing for Flu, Coronavirus and Other Illnesses
- This guide explains why your home is an important front in the battle against germs and viruses, and covers best practices for cleaning everyday objects, keeping the home safe, and what to do before, after and during your family and guests visit.
- Hunger Free Colorado
- Bilingual Food Resources Hotline, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m: 855-855-4246 or in Metro Denver: 720- 382-2920. If you are hearing impaired call Relay Colorado at 7-1-1 or 1-800-659-2656 Go online to hungerfreecolorado.org
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
- To learn more and see if you are eligible go to colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap. You can apply for benefits online at Colorado PEAK: coloradopeak.secure.force.com. You can apply for benefits at your local county human services office, colorado.gov/pacific/cdhs/contact-your-county.
- WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)
- To learn more and see if you are eligible go to: https://www.coloradowic.gov/. You can start your application online at https://www.healthinformatics.dphe.state.co.us/WICSignUp.
- Someone from WIC will contact you to see if you qualify and schedule an appointment. You can apply for benefits at a WIC office near you, in Mesa County this office is located within Mesa County Public Health.
- CDE Emergency Feeding Guidance
- As school districts across Colorado announce school closures to help minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Colorado Department of Education is working to mitigate food insecurity among youth and has provided CDE Emergency Feeding Guidance.
- Meal Service by School District & Mapping
- Unemployment Insurance Benefits
- Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits at colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/file-claim.
- Local Workforce Centers
- Workforce Centers provide a variety of free services to assist employers and job seekers, including job listings, career counseling and training and recruitment of workers. Find your local workforce center at, https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/wfc
- Looking for work?
- Connecting Colorado is part of a state and county-run system that delivers immediate, tangible results for your future.
Behavioral Health Services
- Colorado Crisis Services
- Colorado Crisis Services provides free, confidential, professional and immediate support for any mental health, substance use or emotional concern, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional. Learn more at coloradocrisisservices.org.
- National Suicide Prevention Life Line
- The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and distress resources for individuals and families. Call 1-800-273-8255 or learn more at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
- Colorado Wellness Recovery
- Colorado Wellness Recovery is a mental wellness and addiction recovery guide. It is a free resource for Coloradans considering recovery. Learn more at cowellnessrecovery.org
Rural Communities and Agricultural Producers
- Rural Development Assistance
- USDA Rural Development (RD) USDA Rural Development has $1 billion in lending authority now available through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program, which provides much-needed financing to business owners that might not be able to qualify for a loan on their own. For more information, check out this RD fact sheet.
- COVID-19 and USDA Service Centers
- Information related to the new coronavirus and current status of USDA Service Centers, online options for conducting business, and updates to USDA programs and services in response to COVID-19. https://www.farmers.gov/coronavirus
- USDA Grants & Opportunities
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) works to improve domestic and international opportunities for U.S. growers and producers. Review AMS grant programs here.
- COVID-19 Relief for Local Governments
- The Colorado Division’s Colorado Resiliency Office (CRO) is the statewide lead on long-term recovery. CRO serves as a clearinghouse to help communities navigate resources to support long-term recovery. The Office is available to work with partners to hold regional workshops for strategic action planning to support development of resiliency and recovery roadmaps.
Services for Families
- Emergency Child Care FAQ
- Recognizing the need for child care for essential workers, Governor Polis called together a group of early childhood providers, advocacy groups, school districts and foundations to partner with Gary Community Investments and the Colorado Department of Human Services to establish a system of emergency child care. Review the emergency child care FAQ for more information.
- Colorado Department of Human Services
- There are many different programs and services available to assist children, youth and families in Colorado. Learn more about child care, child support services and others at https://www.colorado.gov/cdhs/children-families.
- Family Resource Centers
- Family Resource Centers provide a safe, accessible place for your family to connect with comprehensive, coordinated services that help you strengthen your family. You can find your local Family Resource Center at cofamilycenters.org/centers/member-family-resource-centers
- Resources for Parents and Students
- The Colorado Department of Education has compiled online resources for families concerning education during the COVID-19 outbreak. These resources include information about parenting, learning at home, and guidance from the CDC, among many other topics.
- Services for Older Coloradans
- The Colorado Department of Human Services has many resources for older Coloradans. Learn more at colorado.gov/cdhs/older-adults.
- Area Agencies on Aging
- Local agencies including Aging and Disability Resource Centers and Area Agencies on Aging, provide services for older Coloradans. Call 1-844-COL-ADRC (1-844-265-2372) or contact your local Area Agency on Aging.
- Protection from Scams and Price Gouging during COVID-19
- The Colorado Attorney General’s office has issued a consumer alert warning Colorado residents about scams related to coronavirus. Learn more at coag.gov/coronavirus.
Business Financial Help
- COVID-19 Resource Center: Taxation & Your Business
- The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is affecting both individuals who get sick as well as organizations and industries worldwide. During this uncertain time, RubinBrown is ready to help you with practical advice on informing and supporting your employees as well as keeping your business running.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Resources & Guidelines for Business
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is marshaling all its resources to help companies stay afloat and keep paychecks flowing to American workers and families; mobilize the business community to combat the pandemic; and help companies prepare for a safe, successful, and sustainable reopening of the economy.
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: What Small Businesses Need to Know
- Everything you need to know about the Paycheck Protection Loan and the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs.
- U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance
- Apply for an emergency small business loan here.
- The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s small business toolkit
- This website includes an overview of COVID-19-related legislation including the recent federal stimulus package, SBA lending information and instructions and resource lists.
- U.S. Paycheck Protection Program
- The U.S. Paycheck Protection Program is an emergency and forgivable loan to cover monthly payroll and mortgage interest for up to 2.5 months. Loans will be forgiven if the employer either continues to employ its workers or rehires them when they reopen for business. Contact your current lender or banker to find out if they are part of the program. Fill out an application here.
- Resources for Employers and Business Owners
- COVID-19 is impacting businesses of all sizes and in all industries. We’ve gathered some helpful resources to ensure you can connect with aid that will help you navigate COVID-19. View the different sections to connect with relevant resources and programming.
Additional resources can be found here.