Community health updates are changing daily in Lake County due to COVID-19. As of March 20, 363 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Colorado. No COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Lake County. Five Lake County residents have been tested; two tests came back negative and three are pending. Following is the latest, updated as of 6 p.m. on March 20:
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.
Grocery, pharmacy, pet food stores, hardware stores and gas stations are still open but may only sell pharmaceuticals, groceries, essential cleaning products, pet food, hardware and gas. Other retail stores are restricted to online or phone sales.
As of today, short-term lodging in Lake County is prohibited through April 30. All hotels and short-term rentals must be vacated by noon on March 22, unless occupied by a worker assisting COVID-19 efforts.
LCPHA is testing people for COVID-19 at Rocky Mountain Family Practice (RMFP) and St. Vincent Hospital (SVH) according to CDC parameters. If an individual is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, call RMFP or SVH before showing up as they are not doing drive-up testing.
According to LCPHA, the state lab is receiving a higher number of test samples than it has the capacity to process. Lake County is experiencing a delay in receiving test results for this reason. If Lake County individuals are tested, they are either hospitalized or instructed to self-isolate for 10 days following the onset of symptoms. Essentially, tested individuals are treated as if they have received a positive result.
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. Offices are still operating remotely, call or email with questions.
The City of Leadville
City Hall closed to the public on March 16 in accordance with LCPHAs social isolation recommendations. 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.
CMC 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.
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).
CenturyLink and Spectrum both committed to the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Both internet providers will not terminate a residential or small business customer’s service due to financial circumstances associated with COVID-19 for the next 60 days. The companies will also waive late fees. CenturyLink is suspending data usage limits for consumer customers; Spectrum does not have data caps. Both providers will open WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Xcel Energy will not disconnect service to any residential customers until further notice. The utility company is working to arrange payment plans with customers affected by COVID-19.
According to Xcel, the company has staffing plans in place to ensure power plant operators, line workers, customer care representatives can continue to deliver energy services.