Out-of-state visitors released from quarantine; no new cases among international visitors
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The two out-of-state visitors who were the first in Routt County to test positive for COVID-19 have made a full recovery and were released from quarantine, according to Kari Ladrow, director of Routt County Public Health.
Because they are not local residents, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment took over the public health investigation process and issued them a release from quarantine letter after a 10-day quarantine, as per the state’s most recent protocol.
No local close contacts were ever identified.
“They have met medical requirements for release from isolation and have been cleared for travel back to their home state,” Ladrow said. “As you can imagine, this can be a very stressful process, and these individuals were very cooperative and compliant with all aspects of the isolation process. I would ask that our community view individuals who have come in contact with the COVID-19 virus through a compassionate lens as we do other viruses and illnesses while taking the appropriate precautionary measures for themselves and their families.”
Ladrow also reported, as of Thursday morning, she had not received any new reports of more positive cases of COVID-19 among the group of 30 international visitors, of whom seven tested positive after returning home to Australia from Steamboat Springs.
“Through contact tracing, Routt County Public Health has contacted all of the known establishments where the Australian visitors frequented, and the employees who came into close contact have been advised to self-quarantine for 14 days and seek medical care if they become symptomatic,” Ladrow reported. “To reemphasize, contract tracing recommendations for this pandemic response are to focus on close contacts rather than locations.”
Close contact is defined as 6 feet or less for prolonged periods of 10 minutes or more.
Before immediately heading to the hospital, people who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 have several resources, including:
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is providing a phone line to answer questions from the public about COVID-19. Call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 877-462-2911 or email email@example.com for answers in English and Spanish, Mandarin and more.
- UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center offers Ask-A-Nurse, a 24/7 call line staffed by registered nurses who can assess symptoms and provide advice on seeking care. In Routt County, Ask-A-Nurse can be reached by calling 970-871-7878.
- Virtual Visits can be done from the comfort of your home and only require a computer or tablet with a working webcam, speakers and microphone, or a smartphone.
- If patients are experiencing severe symptoms or having difficulty breathing, they should visit the hospital’s emergency department.
Take precautions in everyday life:
- Frequently and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home if you’re sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
- Clean surfaces in your home and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products.
- Be calm but be prepared.
- Employees at businesses and customers are required to wear a mask, according to a statewide public health order.
- Limit distance between non-household members to 6 feet when indoors and outdoors.
- The maximum group size for indoor activities is 10.
To reach Kari Dequine Harden, call 970-871-4205, email kharden@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @kariharden.
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More COVID-19 booster shots are getting approved, health officials are saying people can mix or match the brand of these shots, and vaccines for children between 5 and 11 are closer than ever.