PUEBLO COUNTY — Pueblo’s Public Health Director, working with the Pueblo County Board of Commissioners and Mayor Gradisar, was notified by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment of the pending move to a more restrictive level on the COVID-19 Dial.
The move could come by the end of this week. If the state moves Pueblo County to a more restrictive level, the county could lose its variances, which could result in the closure of some businesses. Other businesses may have further limits or restrictions on capacity.
All Safer at Home levels limit personal gatherings to 10 or fewer people from no more than two households, and there are various capacity limits for other activities.
“Cases are rapidly increasing in Pueblo and across the state, resulting in many counties moving to more restrictive levels,” said Randy Evetts, public health director, PDPHE. “There are a lot of people positive for COVID in the community, many of whom are asymptomatic. Ultimately, individual behaviors are the only way to reverse the trend before things get critical. Please avoid gatherings both within and outside of the home, wear a face-covering around non-household contacts, stay home when you’re sick, and wash your hands frequently. Doing these things consistently makes all the difference.”
Hours after the city made the announcement about the potential move to a higher level on the COVID-19 dial, Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar released the following statement:
"We have arrived at the situation where the State could move Pueblo into Level Orange or Stay-At-Home: Level Red. The exponential rise in cases has put our hospital capacity at extreme risk leaving us with few good options.
Pueblo is now taking the brunt of this third peak in Colorado and that is hurting businesses and killing Puebloans. But we have a choice tonight, if Puebloans act now to limit social interactions, we can limit the pain to weeks and not months. If we don’t act immediately more businesses will close, more Puebloans will die, and our community will suffer for the entire winter.
Starting tonight, and for the month of November, I am advising Puebloans:
- Go to work, do your shopping, or eat dinner and then go home afterwards.
- Offices in Pueblo should move to 25% teleworking status immediately.
- Businesses need to double efforts to keep employees safe and workplaces sanitized.
- Cancel your Thanksgiving gatherings or choose to hold a virtual one.
- Limit gatherings to 10 people or under, and only one additional household.
- Wear a mask anytime you leave your household, especially around older Puebloans.
I will decide on extending the curfew over the next few days.
We have a lot of work to do to get this under control, tonight I am asking Puebloans to rise to meet this challenge.”
Pueblo County is currently on the Safer at Home Yellow level. The COVID-19 dial includes five levels, from least to most restrictive:
- Protect Our Neighbors Green: Local public health agencies are able to contain surges in cases and outbreaks through testing, case investigation, contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, site-specific closures, and enforcement of public health orders.
- Safer at Home Blue: Less restrictive than Safer at Home Levels, this level is for counties with low virus transmission that have not yet achieved Protect Our Neighbors.
- Safer at Home Yellow: The baseline. While we are all still safer at home, we are also able to practice greater social distancing in our great outdoors than in confined indoor spaces.
- Safer at Home Orange: This is more restrictive than Safer at Home Level Yellow, for counties experiencing increased metrics. Action is needed, but Stay at Home may not be warranted.
- Stay at Home Red: Everyone is required to stay at home except for grocery shopping, exercise and necessary activities. Only critical businesses are open.
Click here for the capacity restrictions at each level.
“In support of the health of our community, including our business and economic health, we need to work together to lower the spread of the virus in Pueblo", stated Evetts.
For more information about Colorado's COVID-19 dial and county status, click here.