Tri-County Health Department, which serves over 1.5 million residents of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, has surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with 548 deaths.
At the same time, there have been over 10 million cases worldwide with 500,000 deaths; 2.5 million cases in the U.S. with 125,000 deaths; and 32,000 cases in Colorado, with almost 1,500 deaths.
“These are massive numbers, and our hearts go out to everyone impacted by this pandemic since each number represents a person who is part of our greater community and who is cherished by family and friends,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “We used to think that the virus was mostly spread by coughing and sneezing, but we now know that many of the people with COVID-19 don’t show any symptoms and are capable of spreading the virus just by talking or breathing. In that respect, these increasing numbers raise cautions about greater community transmission and reinforce the urgency of our statewide prevention efforts.”
The virus is extremely contagious, and while the number of new cases had slowed in Colorado, along with the number of new hospitalizations, current data show the number of new cases are once again increasing. When comparing the average number of reported cases per day, for the week of June 7-13 compared to the week of June 21-27, Adams County went from an average of 25 new cases/day to 32 cases/day; Arapahoe County went from an average of 23 new cases/day to 29 cases/day; and Douglas County went from 6 new cases/day to 12 cases/day.
“This recent uptick isn’t surprising, since we knew that when we began to increase testing and ease some of our social distancing restrictions, the numbers of cases would likely increase. However, as the experience in other states in many parts of the U.S. indicates, now is not a time to be complacent about key prevention strategies, including wearing a face mask in public, continuing to social distance, washing your hands frequently and getting tested and isolating when sick.” Douglas said. “And if you do test positive for COVID, please help our efforts at curbing transmission and protecting the community by providing information about where you might have acquired infection, and to whom you might have spread it when our public health staff contacts you.”
All of these measures work at both keeping people healthy as well as supporting a safe and sustainable re-opening of our community activities and the economy. By following the guidelines of “Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors,” Colorado has thus far been more successful than many other states that have looser regulations and less community cooperation.
As we head into the July 4th holiday weekend, please remember to keep your gatherings small and limit contact with people with whom you have not already been socializing, as well as following the prevention measures above. We can still celebrate the July 4th holiday, we just need to do it more carefully.
More information about the number of cases and efforts to prevent the spread of the virus is available at www.tchd.org/818/Coronavirus-COVID-19.