Tempering COVID-19 expectations

SAN LUIS VALLEY — Over the past 7 days we have received news of 4 additional positive cases in the San Luis Valley. It is important to keep this in mind as we prepare to transition to the 'Safer at Home' phase of reopening. The virus remains present in our community and while we begin to prepare for reopening businesses on May 1st, it is important that we all follow the guidelines to protect our community. When the stay at home order expires, it is important that we remember it is still safer at home and everyone is encouraged to stay home as much as possible except for necessary activities, jobs and government functions. 

If your business has not been open as a critical service business during the Stay at Home phase, you should NOT open your doors on April 27th. Guidance will be available from the state next week to guide businesses as they prepare to reopen on May 1st with precautions in place. 

The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) sent the following message to licensees in the personal services industry last night and provides more information about what businesses should expect as we move forward into the Safer at Home phase. 

Dear Licensee:

Numerous questions have emerged within the personal services industry as the state enters the Safer-at-Home phase in its recovery plan related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) recognizes that there is pent-up demand to return to work in all aspects of the economy, including those deemed “non-critical” under the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order, DORA wants to stress that if you are not currently operating as a critical service business, you should not open your doors on April 27th. 

Governor Polis is expected to officially announce in the coming days the parameters for personal services businesses to re-open with strict precautions beginning on Friday, May 1st. Please note that the Governor’s lifting of statewide restrictions does not relieve you of continuing to comply with local public health orders if you work in a community where the local public health authority has extended restrictions on work or travel. In those communities with continued stay-at-home orders, you will need to await the lifting of those local restrictions before you resume operations. 

Following the Governor’s directive, DORA will communicate via email a comprehensive summary of state-level information and guidance specific to your industry. Again, personal services should not take place until these directives are officially conveyed, can be fully implemented, and you can safely re-open, should you choose to do so.

As we navigate into this next stage, deliberation and the latest information must remain at the forefront before resuming operations. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work to ensure that those who re-open can provide the safest customer experience possible.

If you are a licensee, ensure that your email information is current with DORA and look for further guidance from DORA specific to your industry in your email. 

The practices that we encouraged early on are still important. Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and keep your surroundings clean. When you clean, it is important to not mix cleaning products in order to get a stronger effect. Some combinations of common cleaning products may generate harmful gases. Some of those combinations of cleaning products can be deadly for not only you but others in your home. Use those products only as directed on the product label.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can participate in the CDPHE symptom tracker by going to https://covid19.colorado.gov/covid19-symptoms. At this time, the CDPHE symptom tracker does not refer users to testing or allow them to register to receive a test for COVID-19. 

Local screening is being done through our local nurse triage lines. REMEMBER: testing capacity is increasing in our region! If you have symptoms, or think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please continue to call our local triage lines. [Rio Grande Hospital (719) 657-4990; SLV Health (719) 589-2511 ext. 9; Valley-Wide Health Systems (719) 589-3658]  

We have no changes today in San Luis Valley case counts. To see current numbers, go to our website at https://www.slvemergency.org/slv-covid-19/. There will be no daily update on Saturday or Sunday from SLV Public Health. However, work will continue over the weekend to prepare for the phased reopening.