El Paso County's health officials are cautiously optimistic
Last updated 5/6/2020 at 12:29pm
El Paso County Public Health issued a new local Public Health Order (2020-02) last week that mirrors the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's (CDPHE) orders regarding "Safer At Home" (PHOs 20-26 and 20-28).
County officials say the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present a novel threat to public health that must be addressed with strong, evidence-based measures to protect El Paso County, particularly its more vulnerable populations, as well as its necessary health care, first responder, and other community infrastructure. This order highlights social distancing as a critical tool in the response to COVID-19 and emphasizes the importance of following guidance from CDPHE.
Looking at local case data based upon the date of symptom onset (cumulative and day-to-day tracking), Public Health's data experts have noted an overall decrease. This suggests that the spread of COVID-19 in El Paso County has slowed down, in large part due to increases in testing, public health orders, and social distancing. From April 12 through April 26, there was an average of five cases per day, based on symptom onset. To give some additional context on why this is such a positive trend, from March 29 through April 11, there was an average of 19 cases per day and from March 15 through March 28, an average of 28 cases per day. To track current data trends, visit El Paso County Public Health's data dashboard.
"This most recent data is encouraging and aids Public Health in using science to ground our decision to align with CDPHE's Public Health Order," said El Paso County Public Health Director Susan Wheelan.
El Paso County Public Health believes following the new Public Health Order is our county's best defense against COVID-19 and expects all residents to follow the state's Safer At Home order until it is lifted.
"While we remain cautiously optimistic, we want to remind people that this new phase marks a gradual shift toward easing restrictions. It's still critical for people to remember to do their part by staying home as much as possible, practicing social distancing, and taking steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19," said Wheelan.