Fri Sep 25th, 2020
Tags: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Protect Our Neighbors dashboard, Protect Our Neighbors phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Safer at Home, San Juan Basin Public Health, Stay at Home, University of Colorado School of Public Health
Today, San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) launched a Protect Our Neighbors dashboard to share information on La Plata and Archuleta counties’ progress toward the Protect Our Neighbors phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, where there are fewer restrictions needed on economic and social activity in order to contain the virus.
Reaching the Protect Our Neighbors phase demonstrates that communities in Colorado that meet certain criteria have less stringent restrictions than under Stay at Home and Safer at Home phases. Different communities throughout the state will be at different phases, based on local conditions and capabilities.
The dashboard indicates the progress each county is making toward meeting the following eight criteria:
The Protect Our Neighbors metrics were drafted by a workgroup consisting of epidemiologists and public health experts from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the University of Colorado School of Public Health, and local public health agencies from across the state. The group included representatives from urban, rural and frontier counties. In addition, the workgroup consulted health care coalitions and health care systems leadership in drafting treatment metrics. They met over the course of five sessions and reviewed scientific literature, case studies, and expert consultation to develop metrics that would achieve the goal of ensuring that they signify a systems readiness for broader reopening.
“Getting to the Protect Our Neighbors phase is truly a community-wide effort and relies on everyone – our hospitals, healthcare partners, businesses, and local community members to ensure that we are taking the right steps and controlling the spread of COVID-19, so that we can safely move towards fewer restrictions,” said Liane Jollon, SJBPH Executive Director. “Our goal has always been to emphasize that economic recovery requires control of the public health crisis. We are well on our way to achieving that goal, but we must remain vigilant in maintaining good public health practices to ensure that we continue to keep public health metrics favorable as we proceed with further reopening.”
The state recently released its COVID-19 dial framework which tracks the progress of each county in Colorado using key metrics for transmission rates, the percentage of tests that are positive, and the number of hospitalizations. While SJBPH’s Protect Our Neighbors dashboard is focused on metrics related to reaching the least restrictive phase, the state’s dial framework has five levels to guide county response to COVID-19. Counties move back and forth between levels, depending on three metrics.
Both Archuleta and La Plata Counties are currently at “Safer At Home Level 2,” which is the standard level, but if all metrics remain favorable, both counties will move to “Safer At Home Level 1” in the next two weeks, which will ease restrictions on certain types of businesses and on social gatherings. A FAQ for SJBPH’s Protect Our Neighbors dashboard can be found here: https://sjbpublichealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Protect-Our-NeighborsFAQ.docx
For the most up to date information on how to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19, visit SJBPH’s website at: https://sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus/.