Shift to Level Blue

5/4/2021

What does the change from the COVID State Dial to the local guidelines called “Level Blue” mean for San Juan Basin residents? By Hannah Robertson. Sponsored by FASTSIGNS and Carver Brewing Company.

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On April 16th, Governor Jared Polis announced that Colorado would be dropping the COVID dial that set the guidelines for restaurants, businesses, schools, gatherings, and social distancing, and instead left individual health departments to set their own regulations. So, what does that mean for the communities that San Juan Basin Public Health serve? You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by FASTSIGNS of Durango and Carver's Brewing Company. I'm Wendy Graham Settle. Someone based in public health has decided to maintain elements from the statewide COVID dial as it transitions to level blue guidelines. Now that governor Jared Polis has rescinded state regulations to hand over the responsibility to local public health agencies.

So, San Juan Basin Public Health, with this changeover on April 16th, you know, recognizing that we still have, you know, what's characterized as high rates of infection, or at very high rates based on the CDC characterization of rates of infection. We recognize that we are not ready to lift restrictions. In fact, we still need protective measures while we are working as hard as we can to get as many people as possible vaccinated. So, we chose what we're calling a simplified level blue. You know, kind of paying homage to the dial, but really keeping the most protective and least restrictive elements of the dial. So we're, of course, asking people to continue to wear your masks in all public indoor settings. The additional piece of the simplified level blue is that in indoor settings, households are also continued ordered to remain six feet apart.

Level blue restrictions include face coverings in all public indoor settings. Unrelated groups must maintain six feet separation while in public indoor spaces. And businesses must continue protocols to limit virus transmission.

The reason that we're continuing the public health orders after the Governor has turned this over to the locals is, you know, we need to save lives. We want to prevent people from ending up in the hospital, or even dying from COVID-19. But we also owe it to all of the children and all of the college students in our community to have options for in-person learning for this last stretch of the semester. We know that the level of infection in the community absolutely interferes with the ability of schools to offer in-person learning because if there are too many places outside of the school setting for people to catch the infection, it really can, you know, slow down, cancel in person learning. It can harm the ability to keep cohorts open. So this is it. You know, we owe this to each other to keep each other safe, keep each other alive, but also keep our kids in schools.

The new guidelines are meant to protect people as vaccination rates rise and more outdoor activities become available with the warmer weather.

So, the, you know, the most important thing is that we don't share our air indoors. So we have choices. You know, the weather is getting nicer. We're doing this outside right now. We're going to recommend that everyone move activities outside if possible. If you're indoors, wear your face covering and don't share your air. Don't get closer than six feet to other households until we have gotten many more people vaccinated. Everybody who's over 16 is eligible for a vaccine right now. There's nobody in line ahead of you right now. It is your turn. Go in and get your vaccine.

For more information about the level blue guidelines, vaccine information, and COVID data, visit sjbpublichealth.org/coronavirus. Thanks for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

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