COVID-19 in Mesa County

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.

Daily Summary

Data and information about the COVID-19 response in Mesa County and elsewhere are provided in the daily summary. You can find previous daily summaries here.

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.

Who needs to quarantine?

People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

What counts as close contact?

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more.
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them).
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

Steps to take

Stay home and monitor your health

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

Options to reduce quarantine

Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier for people to quarantine by reducing the time they cannot work. Current recommendations from Mesa County Public Health can be found here.

After stopping quarantine, you should

  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
  • If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.
  • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

MCPH and CDC continue to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus. CDC will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed.

 

See Options to Reduce Quarantine for Contacts of Persons with SARS-CoV-2 Infection Using Symptom Monitoring and Diagnostic Testing for guidance on options to reduce quarantine.

 

How can I protect myself and others at gatherings? 

What you need to know: 

  • The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and of COVID-19 spreading.
  • The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering. Similarly, attendees coming from areas with high levels of transmission pose a greater risk of spreading the illness to others at the event. 
  • Other than going virtual, gatherings with the least risk are smaller, outdoor events in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
  • In any group setting, older adults and vulnerable populations, such as those with chronic health conditions, are more at risk of severe illness and poor outcomes related to COVID-19.

Q: What precautions should I take if I plan to attend an event? 

A: The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be mostly spread by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. The virus may also spread to hands from a contaminated surface and then to the nose, mouth or eyes, causing infection. Therefore, personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick, maintaining 6 feet of distance, and wearing a cloth face covering) are important ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The best precaution is still to avoid group gatherings altogether. 

Q: I’m planning to host a gathering. What can I do to minimize the risk of someone getting COVID-19 while attending?

A: Public and Private Events Guidance from MCPH can help you assess risk.  The CDC provides detailed recommendations for how to lower the likelihood that someone will contract COVID-19 during your event. At a minimum, ask attendees to follow everyday precautions (handwashing, staying home when sick, maintaining 6 feet of distance, and wearing a cloth face covering). Make handwashing stations and hand sanitizer readily available, and plan to clean and disinfect surfaces frequently. Consider providing face coverings to attendees, and limit shared access to items like food, serving utensils, coolers, yard games, and other equipment. Planning the layout of your event to make physical distancing easy, with visual cues like signs, tape on floors, and well-spaced seating, is also helpful to guests. Be especially cautious when older adults and other vulnerable groups, like individuals with chronic health conditions, are thinking of attending. Consider offering virtual options for those most at risk and others who want to participate but are not comfortable with the group setting.

Q: How will I know what size of gathering is allowed? 

A: Regulations vary from place to place and change frequently, so make sure to check the current allowable group size where your event is being held. In Mesa County, this information can be found on the Mesa County Public Health website

Q: What if someone does end up getting sick after attending the event? 

A: Make sure all participants – whether guests, employees, or volunteers – are aware of symptoms to watch for and how to get tested if the need arises. People can contact their healthcare provider or, if they are a Mesa County resident, call 970-683-2300 to schedule an appointment to get sampled for testing. Anyone with symptoms or who has had close contact with an infected individual should self-isolate or quarantine until it’s safe for them to be around others. 

The Dial

What is the Dial?

Colorado’s dial framework has five levels to guide a county’s response to COVID-19. Counties move back and forth between levels, depending on three metrics. Levels are based on the number of new cases, the percent positivity of COVID tests, and hospitalizations. Local considerations are also taken into account. As the dial moves left, toward Protect Our Neighbors, more people can participate in various activities. This framework gives communities a new tool to make life in the pandemic more sustainable.

What level is Mesa County in?

Mesa County has been certified for the Protect Our Neighbors level, but due to significant increases in COVID-19 cases, we have moved on the dial. View the current level here.

The state’s dial outlines businesses and activities that can be open, it sets capacity limits for each, as well as specific metrics (data) corresponding to each level.

Use of Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Studies and evidence on infection control report that these droplets usually travel around 6 feet (about two arms lengths).

What you need to know:

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as at grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations.

  • Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
  • Cloth face coverings can be made from household items.

Prevent Spread by Those Without Symptoms

While people who are sick or know that they have COVID-19 should isolate at home, COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected.   That’s why it’s important for everyone to practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people) and wear cloth face coverings in public settings. Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer to help prevent the respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people.

CDC continues to study the spread and effects of COVID-19 across the United States.  We now know from recent studies that a significant portion of individuals with this coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.  This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.  In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus.  CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

 COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Studies and evidence on infection control report that these droplets usually travel around 6 feet (about two arms lengths).

 What you need to know:

 The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. 

  • Current evidence suggests that COVID-19 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials, however, the transmission of this novel coronavirus occurs much more commonly through person-to-person spread than through objects and surfaces.
  • Currently, there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food or drinking water. However, before preparing or eating food it is always important to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety. 

 Q: How do respiratory droplets make someone sick?

 A: When we cough, sneeze, or talk, our mouths expel moisture droplets into the air around us. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses, or possibly be inhaled into the lungs, of people who are nearby. When the droplets come from someone who is carrying the virus and land on or are inhaled by another person, that person can also become sick. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Wearing a covering over the mouth and nose minimizes the amount of respiratory droplets you are spreading into the air around you.

 Q: Am I likely to get COVID-19 by touching a surface with the virus on it?

 A: Cleaning of visibly dirty and frequently touched surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings. However, transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through objects and surfaces.

Feeling Sick?  Get tested for COVID-19

Mesa County Public Health runs a community sampling location for COVID-19 testing.

Drive-up testing is available without an appointment at the Mesa County Fairgrounds.

Free COVID-19 testing takes place Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. Learn more here.

Do you need a test?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Anyone with symptoms should get tested, stay away from others and follow the instructions on how to isolate. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 you should follow the instructions on how to quarantine for 14 days after exposure to prevent further transmission.

In general, you do not need a test if you do not have symptoms. If you think you have been exposed, limit your contact with other people for 14 days after your exposure. However, if you work in a care facility, work in a setting with an outbreak, or you have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, it may be advisable to get a test even if you don’t have symptoms. You should wait about seven days after the date you think you were exposed before getting tested, unless you develop symptoms.

  • Testing immediately after exposure isn’t helpful because it may be too early in the incubation period and there isn’t enough viral material for the test to detect.
  • While it’s a good idea to wait about seven days to be tested after the date of exposure, some people may not become ill for up to 14 days. For that reason, people who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 should minimize their contact with others for 14 days from the date of their exposure, even if they test negative before the full two weeks have passed.
  • Individuals who are sick and receive negative COVID-19 test results should continue to stay home while they are sick and should consult with their healthcare provider about the need for additional testing and the appropriate time to resume normal activities.

Here’s what to expect after you are tested for COVID-19.

Is it Safe to Travel Within the United States?
Protect yourself and others during travel in the US - COVID-19

 

What you need to know: 

  • This type of travel is different from your everyday activities, away from your local community. It’s important to remember COVID-19 cases and deaths have been reported in all 50 states, and the situation is constantly changing. Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.
  • Do not travel if you are sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Do not travel with someone who is sick

 If you are thinking about traveling away from your local community, ask:

Q: Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going?
You can get infected while traveling.

Q: Is COVID-19 spreading in your community?
Even if you don’t have symptoms, you can spread COVID-19 to others while traveling.

Q: Will you or those you are traveling with be within 6 feet of others during or after your trip?
Being within 6 feet of others increases your chances of getting infected and infecting others.

Q: Are you or those you are traveling with more likely to get very ill from COVID-19?
Older adults and people of any age who have a serious underlying medical condition are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Q: Do you live with someone who is more likely to get very ill from COVID-19?
If you get infected while traveling you can spread COVID-19 to loved ones when you return, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Q: Does the state or local government at your destination require you to stay home for 14 days after traveling?
Some state and local governments may require people who have recently traveled to stay home for 14 days.

Q: If you get sick with COVID-19, will you have to miss work or school?
People with COVID-19 disease need to stay home until they are no longer considered infectious.

International Travel

Widespread transmission of COVID-19 has been reported globally with several areas experiencing widespread ongoing transmission with restrictions on entry to the United States. If you recently returned from international travel:

  • Stay home for 14 days after returning, monitor your health, and practice social distancing
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

 COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Country can be found here.

We want to remind all residents to: 

  • Stay home if you don’t need to go out. Working from home, virtual gatherings, and using curbside or delivery ordering are still the safest and best options to protect yourself and others.
  • Stay home if you’re sick or feel off. A number of new cases reported going out while symptomatic.
  • Avoid gatherings. Skipping gatherings limits the chance for virus to spread. Gatherings of any size pose a risk.
  • Wear masks. Masks are required indoors, and we strongly recommend them anytime you are near others not in your household.
  • Assume you could have come in contact with COVID-19 anytime you go out. Currently, about a third of cases do not know where they could’ve gotten COVID-19. Watch for symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have these symptoms, call your doctor or visit our testing page for information on how to get tested.

 

Resources Available by Category I Need Support?

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.

 Mesa County CARES Assistance Request

  •  The Mesa County Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) has received additional CARES Act funding to support the community recovering from the impacts of COVID-19. Funding requests are limited to $5,000 or less.
  • Eligible activities for this funding must be geared toward alleviating the causes and conditions of poverty in our community and must meet one of the following federal objectives: employment, education, housing, health, and social/behavioral development, and linkages with other programs. Eligible Entities must provide services to individuals who earn an annual household income at or below 200% Federal Poverty Level. Proof of income will be required.

 Click here to apply.

 General Help

  •  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
      • 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.

 Food Resources

Employment

  • Unemployment Insurance Benefits
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
    • Access a variety of resources including information about layoffs, unemployment and funding options. The office also has a small business navigation hotline available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 303-860-5881 or oedit_sbanavigator@state.co.us.
  • 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.