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Summit County Emergency Blog

Emergency blog
Activated during disasters and emergencies to provide critical public information. Administered by the Summit County Office of Emergency Management.

Mar 31

Limiting the spread of COVID-19 within a home

Posted on March 31, 2020 at 8:30 AM by Sarah Wilkinson

Someone in my house is sick with flu-like illness.  They may have COVID-19.  How can I protect the rest of my household from also getting COVID-19?

Current CDC guidance for persons that have COVID-19 like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) includes a recommendation to stay at home and self-monitor for symptoms.  Most people who get sick will have mild illness and should recover at home.* Care at home can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community and help protect people who are at risk for getting seriously ill.  

COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and, to a lesser extent, from contaminated surfaces. If you are caring for someone at home, monitor for emergency signs, prevent the spread of germstreat symptoms, and carefully consider when to end home isolation.

Monitor the person for worsening symptoms. Know the emergency warning signs.

  • Have their healthcare provider’s contact information on hand.
  • If they are getting sicker, call their healthcare provider. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that they have or are suspected to have COVID-19.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include**:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face
**This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Prevent the spread of germs when caring for someone who is sick
Studies have demonstrated that COVID can spread within a household.  Taking the following precautions will further minimize the possibility of others becoming sick.  
  • Have the person stay in their own room as much as possible. If this is not possible, isolate their living area to the extent possible such as having a dedicated area within a shared room.
    • If possible, have them use a separate bathroom.
    • Avoid sharing personal household items, like dishes, towels, and bedding.
    • If facemasks are available, have them wear a facemask when they are around people, including you.
    • If the sick person can’t wear a facemask, you should wear one, if available, while in the same room with them.
    • If the sick person needs to be around others (within the home, in a vehicle, or doctor’s office), they should wear a facemask.
  • Household members need to wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after interacting with the sick person. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. 
    • If you are unable to locate hand sanitizer, contact the Breckenridge Distillery (970 547-9759) or the county Emergency Operations Center (970 668-9730).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • High touch surfaces that may have been contaminated should be cleaned and disinfected daily.  Wear disposable gloves, if available, when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and discard when finished. Wash hands immediately after cleaning and disinfecting. 
    • Always follow instructions when using cleaning and disinfection products. 
    • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute.
    • To make a bleach solution, mix: 
      • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water, OR
      • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
      • Verify that the bleach solution will not discolor the product prior to use.
    • For more information on cleaning and disinfecting (including information discussing differences between hard and soft surfaces) visit the CDC website.
  • Wash laundry thoroughly. 
    • If laundry is soiled, wear disposable gloves and keep the soiled items away from your body while laundering. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.
  • Avoid having any unnecessary visitors.
  • For any additional questions about their care, contact their healthcare provider.

  • Only one person from a family should go shopping for household items (groceries, medicines, etc.) as needed. Minimize outings by planning your shopping trips so trips can be infrequent.  Every additional person in a store increases the odds of coronavirus spread.
  • Ask your healthcare provider and insurance carrier for approval of a 3 month supply of prescription medications for chronic illness, such as diabetes, heart conditions, cancer etc.
*Note: Older adults and people of any age with certain serious underlying medical conditions like lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes are at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness and should seek care as soon as symptoms start.

For more information on limiting the spread of the COVID-19 virus within a home, visit the CDC website

Mar 27

Summit County Launches Online Symptom Tracker

Posted on March 27, 2020 at 5:24 PM by Julie Sutor

Summit County has launched an interactive, online symptom tracker to help provide a more complete picture of the spread of illness in our community.

Summit County has confirmed community spread of COVID-19. But due to a national shortage of test kits, local health care providers are not able to offer comprehensive testing of the community – they are only testing health care workers, first responders and people who have serious illness.

The County is asking all Summit County residents who have experienced symptoms of illness since March 1, 2020, to report those symptoms in the Symptom Tracker. Residents' responses will help County and state officials dedicate resources to Summit County to ensure our needs are being met. All personally identifiable information is protected and will not be shared, sold or used to contact respondents.

On the Symptom Dashboard, community members can view anonymous aggregated data from all respondents and sort the data by ZIP code. Data displayed on the Symptom Dashboard includes responses by age group, responses by ZIP code, a symptom onset timeline and symptoms by ZIP code. Symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and shortness of breath.

Any resident of Summit County who has had any symptoms of illness since March 1, 2020, is strongly encouraged to report them anonymously on the Symptom Tracker. 
Summit County residents should complete the online symptom reporting form in the tracker for each person in their household who is exhibiting symptoms or has exhibited any symptoms dating back to March 1.

The form should be completed once for each separate illness. Take, for example, a person who was sick with nausea, vomiting and fever on March 1, and then sick with fever, cough and sore throat on March 20. On March 10, her daughter was sick with fever and cough. She would complete the form three times, once for each illness.

Mar 27

Summit County to Expand Mountain Mobility Paratransit Services

Posted on March 27, 2020 at 4:50 PM by Julie Sutor

Summit Stage will offer a limited public transit service within Summit County by expanding the Mountain Mobility paratransit program beginning Monday, March 30. This limited public transit
service will provide necessary transportation, as defined in the State of Colorado's Amended Public Health Order 20-24:

“All travel, including, but not limited to, travel by automobile or public transit, except necessary travel is prohibited. Public transit only for purposes of performing necessary activities or to travel to and from work to operate critical businesses or maintain critical governmental functions. Those using public transit must comply with social-distancing requirements as defined in Section III.F, below, to the greatest extent feasible.”

This expanded paratransit service will operate on a reservation-only basis. To make a reservation, call the Summit Stage at 970-668-0999 to schedule a trip 24 hours in advance. Some same-day service may be available.

Hours of operation for the expanded paratransit service will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days per week, with the first pick-up at 7:30 a.m. and the last drop off at 6:30 p.m. To maintain appropriate social distancing, the number of riders per reservation will be limited. 

Critical needs are defined as: critical (non-emergency) doctor’s appointments, medication needs, groceries and those employees serving in essential sectors of the workforce (as defined by State of Colorado Public Health Order 20-24).

All requests for a reservation will be screened to ensure compliance with the desired outcomes of the Governor’s Public Health Order 20-24 ( and the Summit County Public Health Department Amended Public Health Order dated March 23, 2020, along with an Addendum dated March 26, 2020, in response to the state actions.

This will not be “stop to stop” service, but is intended to fill a critical need in our community while ensuring the safety of our riders and our staff. This is not an emergency transportation service. If you have an emergency, call 911.