Elbert County COVID cases on the rise

Four known outbreaks reported in first three weeks of April

Tabatha Stewart
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 4/27/21

Although most statewide COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, with the exception of a mask mandate in public areas, Elbert County Public Health Director Dwayne Smith urges residents to continue …

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Elbert County COVID cases on the rise

Four known outbreaks reported in first three weeks of April

Posted

Although most statewide COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, with the exception of a mask mandate in public areas, Elbert County Public Health Director Dwayne Smith urges residents to continue exercising caution when in public spaces. The county has seen an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, with the highest volume of cases in 2021 being reported, including four known outbreaks in the county.

“We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19,” said Smith. “It’s important to keep taking precautions, like wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more.”

As of April 22, the county ranked ninth among Colorado’s 64 counties in seven-day incidence rate. According to Smith, more than 10% of all tests for COVID-19 among county residents had come back positive for infection.

“This is a strong indication that the virus continues to spread at alarming levels,” said Smith.

On April 19, residents were notified of an outbreak in the Elbert County Administration Building, after one employee tested positive, and two others were experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The county building was closed until April 26. ECPH also reported an outbreak at Legacy Academy along with outbreaks in the Elizabeth School District, prompting Smith to recommend a transition to remote learning until May 3.

“This recommendation was prudent and necessary in order to mitigate continued spread of the virus among school faculty, staff, students and families at each school, as well as within the Elizabeth community and others in Elbert County,” Smith wrote in his daily update. “It was made after much consideration of the facts supporting such a decision, and is consistent with scientific and evidence-based approaches to mitigating communicable disease transmission.”

When state-mandated restrictions were lifted April 15, Elbert County officials declared they would not be enforcing capacity restrictions on local businesses or venues, and encouraged residents to be fully aware of the requirements and exemptions for the mask mandate, which will be in effect until May 4.

“As of April 16th, there will be no capacity restrictions on local businesses or venues. Where possible, we do urge businesses to operate in a manner that allows patrons 6-foot social distancing, provide for contactless payments and other measures that are consistent with maintaining good customer service and allows their business to thrive,” the county commissioners stated in an update.

Commissioners said they will instead “focus our efforts on providing the information necessary for our citizens to continue to make good decisions for themselves, their families and our communities.”

The Elizabeth Fire District has begun administering COVID-19 vaccines, available by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays and delivered at the old Frontier High School gymnasium. To make an appointment visit elizabethfpd.colorado.gov/covid/covid-19-vaccination-sign-up.

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