Mesa County Public Health receives approval to enter Protect our Neighbors Phase of Reopening

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has received approval to enter the Protect our Neighbors phase of reopening in the COVID-19 response. The approval allows MCPH and the Mesa County Board of Health to draft and approve a local public health order which will continue our thoughtful, phased reopening in a way that makes sense for our community. Strong local public health and health care systems are the key to reopening the economy, and Mesa County is proud to be among the first in the state to get to this next level of reopening.

“It’s because of the hard work of everyone in this community, our businesses, our local leaders, and every resident.  It takes us all doing our part to keep COVID-19 at manageable levels. We’ve done great so far, I’m excited to build upon that in this next phase of reopening,” Mesa County Public Health Executive Director Jeff Kuhr, said. 

Once implemented, gatherings up to 500 people or 50% of capacity (whichever is less) will be allowed. The current phase, Safer at Home, allows 50% or a maximum capacity of 175 and 50 people for gatherings. Also different is a tiered approach to capacity limits. Protect our Neighbors starts at 50%, if these measures remain within manageable levels for a four week period, capacity can increase by 5%. This phase also can pause reopening, leaving capacity at the current level; or if needed, lower capacity if data shows illness is increasing or more restrictive measures are needed.

Mesa County Public Health is closely monitoring several key metrics and early warning signs including:

  • New cases  …………………………………………2-week incidence per 100,000 residents
  • Percent positivity ……………………………….below 5%
  • Hospitalizations …………………………………must be stable or declining
  • Epidemiology ‘trend’ …………………………..must be stable or improving
  • Future transmission risk factors …………..not present
  • Metrics under Protect our Neighbors……. all 8 met (including sufficient PPE, documented surge capacity plan, sufficient testing, fewer new cases, and others).

“Mesa County is ready for this, we’ve been working diligently to make sure our local response is robust,” Kuhr added. “This doesn’t mean COVID-19 has gone away. In fact, we know it remains in our community, however, we’re ready to identify, isolate, and contain the spread using sound public health principals guided by local data and local action.” 

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