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Individuals at higher risk of serious illness should take precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit County Office of Emergency Management and Department of Public Health are encouraging community members to begin preparing for the likelihood of COVID-19 spread in Summit County. Officials have specific guidance for at-risk populations to limit the number of cases of severe illness caused by the novel coronavirus locally.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance earlier this week for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. At-risk individuals include older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
If COVID-19 does begin to spread in Summit County, at-risk individuals should stay home as much as possible to avoid contact with other people. They should enlist friends or family members who are at lower risk to bring food and other supplies to the house. At-risk individuals who do not have locally based, low-risk friends or family should contact Summit County Human Services at 970-668-2940 for assistance with critical supplies like food and medication.
Any individual who develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should consult with a health care provider. At-risk individuals should ensure that lines of communication are established with friends, family members, neighbors, health workers and other key contacts before becoming ill.
"You don’t want to be stuck in bed and realize that you don’t have your neighbor’s phone number when you really need her help," Public Health Director Amy Wineland said. "Having all your important contact info at the ready could make a big difference in the midst of your own major illness or an outbreak in the community."
Individuals at higher risk should have supplies like prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and groceries on hand in sufficient quantities to last for a prolonged period of time, in case there is a COVID-19 outbreak in Summit County.
At-risk individuals should take everyday precautions, like frequent handwashing with soap and water, avoiding close contact with sick people, avoiding high-touch surfaces, practicing routine home cleaning and disinfection and avoiding crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.
More information for at-risk populations, including ways community members can help, is available on the CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html.
To learn more about the 2019 novel coronavirus, including symptoms and prevention, visit the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 webpage, which also includes a link to outbreak data from the CDC.
People who have general questions about COVID-19 can call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911, or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish.