July 23, 2020
I hope you are enjoying your summer in good health while continuing to adjust to our new normal.
These last few weeks have been challenging for all of us as we’ve seen our caseloads climb, and watched COVID continue to spread rapidly through cities and towns across our country. My primary challenge is to do the right thing as your Public Health Director, a job that I take very seriously.
Over the last five months, I have experienced what it truly means to be in this together. I am in regular communication with our Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Grundy, our Board of Health, multiple, credible infectious disease experts, as well as our community businesses and citizens. It is my responsibility to gather and interpret data and rapidly changing information, which I carefully use to calculate before making any public health decisions that impact each of you.
While it is difficult to watch the uptick in cases, we should note that much of this is to be expected. We were not going to stay at home indefinitely. The measured steps we took and are taking allow our businesses to rebuild, and our community to reconnect and enjoy the vibrancy summer has to offer. We are also fortunate to have had minimal serious cases and no deaths from the virus.
The metrics we established are working as a checks and balance system to help us recover responsibly and in the best interest of our community. While we do not want to take what could be perceived as steps backwards, if we find solid reasons to make such adjustments, we will, and these steps will ultimately allow us to move forward once again.
My focus, our focus as a county, remains your good health: your personal, economic, and emotional health. Please remember, there are financial and mental health services available to those who live and work in San Miguel County through Tri County Health (tchnetwork.org, 970.708.7096) and the Center for Mental Health (centermh.org, 970.252.3200).
It is our personal responsibility to commit to best practices. We know we won’t have a hundred percent compliance - with our citizens or our visitors. However, studies show that if 65% of people socially distance and wear face coverings, we can significantly reduce the spread of the virus and are estimated to not overwhelm the healthcare system to care for those that do get severely ill from this disease. These are our best weapons, so far, to mitigate spread while moving forward with our lives.
Thank you for continuing to do your part. I am reminded as I sense the many smiles under your face coverings that we are strong, and we are thriving, despite many undesirable circumstances. I invite you to join me and share my confidence that we will prevail, together.
Public Health Director