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Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties prohibit events of 50 or more amidst COVID-19 concerns

A Public Health order issued by the counties hopes to slow the spread of the virus after several residents tested positive.

COLORADO, USA — Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties issued a public health order in the wake of the spread of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, which will prohibit events involving 50 or more people.

The public health order will go into effect in the mountain counties immediately, and the issue will be reevaluated April 8. 

After several individuals in the counties tested positive for the virus, the order is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to reduce the number of potential deaths caused by the disease.

Gatherings with less than 50 attendees are recommended to take precautions such as social distancing, encouraging proper hygiene and discouraging attendance of those particularly vulnerable to the disease, such as older individuals and those with compromised immune systems.

The order defines events as “a gathering for business, social or recreational activities,” but does not apply to settings in which avoiding congregating is impossible, such as lift lines, restaurants, workplaces and schools.

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A press release issued by the Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties’ Public Health departments said they are not actively searching for violators, but will pursue enforcement if the departments receive reports of events disobeying the order.

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019. This new strain of coronavirus began popping up in the United States in February.

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Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.

If you are feeling ill with symptoms similar to those associated with COVID-19 the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE) recommends the following:

Manage your symptoms at home the same way you manage other cold symptoms. To the extent possible, people with flu-like symptoms should remain at home.

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If you need medical care, contact your primary care provider and schedule a visit. Let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.

Only contact 911 for emergencies requiring immediate life-saving care and let them know if you are concerned you might have COVID-19.

Restrict visits to the hospital emergency room or urgent care - only individuals needing immediate care should visit these facilities. If you must visit an ER or urgent care facility, call ahead and let them know that you are concerned you might have COVID-19.

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CDC's testing guidance includes three types of people:

Those who have symptoms such as fever OR lower respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and have had "close contact" with a confirmed coronavirus patient within 14 days of their first symptoms.

Those who have fever AND/OR lower respiratory symptoms, require hospitalization and have traveled to areas impacted by the epidemic in the last 14 days.

Patients with fever and severe, acute lower respiratory symptoms who require hospitalization, and for whom no other diagnosis has been found — such as the flu. No travel or contact exposure is needed.

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