Community health updates are changing daily in Lake County due to COVID-19. As of March 19, 277 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Colorado. No COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Lake County to date. Five Lake County residents have been tested; two tests came back negative and three are pending. Following is the latest, updated as of 4 p.m. on March 19:
Lake County Public Health Agency
Lake County Public Health Agency (LCPHA) is now adhering to the Colorado Department of Public Health’s order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. Such gatherings include public meetings, sporting events, faith-based events and concerts.
LCPHA is testing people for COVID-19 at Rocky Mountain Family Practice (RMFP) and St. Vincent Hospital (SVH) according to CDC parameters. If a patient is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call RMFP or SVH before showing up as they are not doing drive-up testing.
Solvista Health started delivering 24/7 mental health services by telehealth and telephone this week. Telehealth is talking with a mental health professional by a secure teleconference link from a personal computer or smartphone.
Community members can reach Solvista Health offices at 719-275-2351, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to set up an appointment. Individuals can also text the statewide crisis line by texting TALK to 38255.
“By delivering services remotely, we have increased our capacity to serve community members who may be experiencing symptoms of mental health or substance use issues during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Solvista Health Chief Operating Officer Mandy Kaisner said.
Lake County Government
All Lake County Government offices and facilities are currently closed to the public. The facility closure, which includes the courthouse, aquatic center and library amongst others, is effective through March 22. The Board of County Commissioners plans to reevaluate Lake County’s facility and programming closures on March 20.
The City of Leadville
City Hall remains closed to the public. According to Mayor Greg Labbe, all city departments will continue to work during the COVID-19 closure. Residents can access forms and pay bills on the city’s website: colorado.gov/pacific/leadville.
Lake County School District
On March 18, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order suspending in-person learning in public and private schools across the state until April 17. The order directs school districts to provide alternative remote learning opportunities, as well as access to free and reduced breakfast and lunch.
Lake County School District (LCSD) met with school leaders today to continue developing remote learning plans for students. Remote learning at LCSD is set to begin on March 30.
LCSD will start distributing free sack breakfast/lunch for anyone 18 years and younger on March 23. Meals will be delivered Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the entrance of Mountain View Village East, Mountain View Village West, Lake Fork Mobile Home Park, the Village at East Fork and Lake County High School. The district is working on a door-to-door delivery plan for sick populations.
The Colorado High School Activities Association extended the suspension of spring sports season from April 6 to April 18 earlier this week. No practices or competitions are allowed during the suspension period.
Colorado Mountain College
Colorado Mountain College (CMC) credit courses will remain online or Webex for the remainder of the spring semester. The decision was made in response to Governor Jared Polis' executive order suspending in-school learning until April 17, as well as state-level directive prohibiting meetings of 10 or more people.
Students residing in residence halls are being encouraged to vacate unless the facility is their primary home. All non-credit courses are canceled through May 1. The Leadville campus remains open to students and employees, primarily for computer access.
Colorado Mountain College (2020) also canceled all in-person commencement ceremonies planned for this spring. College leadership is considering alternate arrangements to celebrate CMC’s pending 2020 graduates, students who will continue to work on degree completion via distance learning. CMC faculty is currently working to transition face-to-face courses to distance learning formats for credit students.
The CMC board of Trustees voted to include 300- and 400-level courses in five existing tuition discount programs earlier this week. Lower level courses were already included in the discount program.
“In these unprecedented times, our first priority is for students to remain healthy and complete their spring coursework on schedule, if possible,” said Carrie Besnette Hauser, president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College. “Our faculty and staff are putting all of their energy into keeping our students on track through online and alternate course delivery. We understand how disappointing it is for students who will not have the chance to participate in commencement this May, but hope they know how proud we are of them and their accomplishments.”
Mt. Massive Golf Course
The Mt. Massive Golf Course’s Nordic ski trails remain open to the public. The clubhouse is closed.
Ski Cooper will now remain closed though April 6 in adherence with Governor Jared Polis’ extension of an executive order that originally suspended downhill ski area operations through March 22.
Leadville Safeway is reserving Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. as shopping hours for members of the Lake County community most at-risk to COVID-19. Such populations include senior citizens, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. The stores asks locals who do not fit into an at-risk category to avoid shopping at those times.
On March 16, Governor Jared Polis announced that all restaurants, bars, gyms and theaters in Colorado will be closed to dine-in service and limited to only takeout and delivery service for the next 30 days in an effort to fight COVID-19.
Restaurants and food banks in Lake County are still allowed to provide delivery and drive-up services if they meet environmental cleanliness guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).