May 18, 2021
For immediate release:
For more information, please contact:
Emily Anderson, Deputy Director
Chaffee County Public Health
Chaffee County, CO – Chaffee County Public Health adopted an updated local Public Health Order in response to the current Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and recent Colorado state-wide amended Public Health Order issued May 14th by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The Chaffee Public Health Order 2020-08 Amendment #19, effective today, May 18th, modifies the indoor mask requirement to align with the state and current scientific stance. The Order now allows vaccinated individuals to go without any type of face covering in most settings. However, any individual 11 years or older, who is unvaccinated is still encouraged to wear a face covering within indoor spaces where members of different households are present.
Data from across the globe continue to show that COVID vaccinations are highly effective against spread of the virus; there is strong evidence that vaccinated individuals are at very low risk of contracting an infection. However, the COVID virus continues to be present within our communities and transmissible between unvaccinated individuals. Because of this concern, both the CDPHE state-level Public Health Order and Chaffee County’s local Public Health Order mandate a few exceptions where face coverings must still be worn by unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals. These environments where face coverings must still be worn include K-12 schools and childcare centers, congregate care facilities such as assisted living facilities, prisons and jails, most healthcare settings, and for staff within the Department of Motor Vehicles offices.
Chaffee County continues to promote vaccinations as the most important action individuals can take to help to return to more of a normal pre-COVID daily life. Data across the country and state show that as local vaccination rates increase, there’s a related decrease in local COVID infection rates and greater protection of vulnerable populations. The greater the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals in our community and beyond, the more we can continue to gradually relax COVID precautions.
In addition to updating the face coverings requirements, the Chaffee County’s Public Health Order emphasizes the “Chaffee County COVID Code of Conduct.” The Code of Conduct establishes the following expectations for all Chaffee County residents and visitors as a part of the community’s on-going COVID response:
- Get vaccinated;
- Stay home if sick;
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms;
- Wash your hands;
- Respect the COVID-19 safety protocols for any individual business or organization;
- Physically distance if unvaccinated, and;
- Wear a mask indoors and in crowded outdoors spaces if unvaccinated.
Chaffee County supports any business, organization, or individual that elects to require face coverings and implement other COVID precautions within their facilities that are more restrictive than the current Public Health Order.
“The lifting of the mask mandate in Chaffee County and across Colorado is welcome news to some, while anxiety-provoking for others. We have been through an incredibly challenging 15 months, and as we slowly transition back to normal I ask that everyone is patient and kind to friends, neighbors, strangers, and business owners as we all decide what feels right to each of us within the updated regulations and guidances,” shares Emily Anderson, Chaffee County Public Health Deputy Director.
If you haven’t received your vaccine yet, there are many convenient options available. COVID-19 vaccinations are available at several providers across Chaffee County. Chaffee County Public Health holds weekly clinics at the CCPH offices at 448 E 1st, Salida, that are open to the general public on Thursdays, 5:00-6:30 p.m. (utilizing Moderna vaccine, 18 years+) and on Fridays, 9:00-11:00 a.m. (utilizing Pfizer vaccine, 12 years+ and Johnson & Johnson vaccine 18+ years).
A walk-up vaccination clinic is scheduled for Friday, May 21st at the Salida Middle School, 520 Milford Street, Salida. Pfizer vaccine is available for anyone ages 12+ or Johnson & Johnson for anyone ages 18+. Any child under 18 must have a parent/guardian with them OR a parent/guardian’s signature on their paperwork
A current list of all providers offering COVID vaccines can be accessed at http://bit.ly/ChaffeeVaccines