MAY 15 … STATE GRANTS CUSTER COUNTY WAIVER REQUEST
Custer County Department of Public Health
May 15, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Subject: Custer County has received a variance (waiver) from the State of Colorado. The waiver will become effective Saturday, May 16 at 12:01 AM.
On May 8, 2020, Custer County Public Health requested a variance to portions of the Executive Order D 20 044 Safer at Home and Public Health Order 20-08 Safer at Home. At 9:21 PM May 14, 2020 Custer County received the variance from the State of Colorado.
Amendments to Waiver
The waiver was granted with the condition that Custer County abides by the following amendments made by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE):
⦁ The following new opening conditions must be present for all locations:
⦁ All locations shall be limited to 30% of fire code capacity
⦁ Employees shall be screened and those who are symptomatic shall be excluded from the location and isolated for 10 days, per CDC guidelines.
⦁ Face coverings shall be worn by all employees at all times.
⦁ Customers shall be screened before entering the location and anyone who is experiencing symptoms shall be excluded. This can be accomplished by signage on the door notifying the public not to enter if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
⦁ Any self-service areas shall remain closed.
⦁ Signs shall be posted at entrances and throughout the location as needed to remind customers of a minimum of 6 feet social distance and proper hygiene.
⦁ Implement one way enter/exit and directional walkways as much as possible.
⦁ Reasonable accommodations are made for vulnerable populations.
⦁ Provide readily available handwashing and/or sanitizer for employees and customers.
⦁ Restaurants shall have the following elements in plans:
⦁ Tables shall be spaced at a distance that allows for customers to remain at least 6-foot distance.
⦁ Group parties limited to six members of a single household.
⦁ Require customers to wear face coverings in order to enter the business and keep them in place until they have reached their table.
⦁ Bars are to remain closed, including bar seating in restaurants.
⦁ Buffets shall have an employee serving food.
⦁ Staff handling dirty dishes must wear gloves and an apron.
⦁ Implement or maintain physical barriers for high contact settings.
⦁ Implement touchless methods where possible.
⦁ Bars are to remain closed, including bar seating in restaurants. This was already included in our initial waiver request to the state.
⦁ Places of worship plans to reopen must include the following:
⦁ Participants should be encouraged to wear a face covering both when entering and while present in the house of worship, except when specific participation in the service requires removal, such as to receive communion.
⦁ No mingling of crowds before or after service.
⦁ Implement touchless offering and communion options as much as possible.
⦁ Perform environmental cleaning and disinfection of bathrooms and high touch surfaced every two hours and maintain a cleaning log.
⦁ Provide 6 feet of distance between individuals or between groups of a single household.
⦁ Gyms plans to reopen must contain the following:
⦁ Customers should be encouraged to wear a face covering both when entering the facility and while in the facility, unless a face covering inhibits the participants ability to participate in the fitness activity.
⦁ Given the many unknowns regarding how COVID-19 is spread, use of equipment in the gym must be limited to no closer than every other machine so that participants are not exercising right next to each other and smaller exercise rooms with poor ventilation should be discouraged from use.
⦁ Spread people out to that there is at least a 10-foot social distance between individuals throughout the facility.
⦁ Personal training is allowed while strictly adhering to social distancing guidelines and limited to 4 people, plus the instructor.
⦁ Indoor and outdoor shared spaces (waiting areas, gathering spots) must remain closed.
⦁ Employees must clean and disinfect shared equipment between customer uses.
⦁ On-site child care facilities must remain closed.
If circumstances change, CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) reserves the right to modify or rescind the variance (waiver) approval. The following are examples of such changes:
⦁ Surges in COVID-19 transmissions occurs
⦁ Cases exceed the capacity for Custer County to fully implement all effective disease control strategies
⦁ If resources of COVID-19 prevalence statewide in CDPHE’s opinion requires a different approach
Guidance Regarding the Waiver
In an effort to lessen confusion, Custer County Public Health Agency will publish guidance for restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, places of worship, etc. regarding the waiver. This will ensure that the businesses and the public are aware of the new guidelines within Custer County. These guidelines will be available on the Custer County COVID-19 webpage: https://www.custercountycolorado.com/covid-19 .
We are excited to take these steps to open Custer County in a way that is sustainable and protects the health and safety of our community. For these steps to continue we are relying on you, our community, to protect one another. That means wearing a mask in public, washing your hands often, and using hand sanitizer in between handwashes. It is the actions of each individual that will protect the whole community.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisa Livengood, Custer County Public Health Director at email@example.com or (719)-783-3369.
CUSTER COUNTY ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR BUSINESSES TO OPEN
At a 10am Thursday press conference, Custer County Director of Public Health Elisa Livengood announced that the current Colorado “Stay at Home” order will expire midnight April 26 and be replaced by a “Safer at Home” order. This allows some businesses to reopen under strict guidelines. All businesses must fill out a form from Custer County Public Health. The business will be visited by someone from Public Health or Emergency Management and will be advised of the specific requirements for opening.
The Board of Health agreed at a meeting on April 22 to submit a waiver request to the state. If approved, the waiver would allow Custer County to set it’s own policies that may differ from the “Safer at Home” order due to our rural environment. Unless and until this waiver is approved, Custer County is required to follow the State of Colorado order.
Colorado Public Radio has an in depth discussion of the “Safer at Home” order HERE
Custer County remains at 2 confirmed cases, unchanged in the past 3 weeks.
APRIL 20 … STATE ANNOUNCES UNEMPLOYMENT PROGRAM
APRIL 8 … CUSTER COUNTY REMAINS AT 2 CONFIRMED CASES
Custer County Public Health announced today that two outstanding test results have both come back negative. Current totals: 11 tests issued, 2 positive, 6 negative, 3 results pending
APRIL 3 … CUSTER COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH STAY AT HOME ORDER
Custer County has issued a Stay at Home order, taking effect Friday, April 3 at 8 am.
Custer County Departments of Public Health and Emergency Management held their weekly noon Friday press conference. There was clarification on the new Custer County Stay at Home order. The statewide Stay at Home order from the Governor is still in effect. Additionally, in Custer County, all public and private gatherings/meetings are prohibited where people are not able to stay 6 feet away from each other. Those visiting Custer County are being asked to leave. Visits from outside the county are strongly discouraged. Short term lodging rentals are prohibited until at least April 30.
Director of Custer County Public Health Elisa Livengood said that, according to the CDC, each positive test result represents 200-500 people that may have been exposed to the virus and that it is very likely there are more people with the virus here than the two that have been officially diagnosed.
The Custer County Courthouse will be closed to the public until May 4.
April 2 … SECOND CONFIRMED COVID-19 DIAGNOSIS IN CUSTER COUNTY
At 10:30 AM on April 2, 2020, Custer County Department of Public Health is reporting the second positive case of COVID-19, or coronavirus, in Custer County.
The patient is a male in his 70s. The case is confirmed positive, which means test results have been lab confirmed. The patient is working with public health officials in the ongoing investigation to identify people that may have had close exposure.
With our partnerships in the surrounding counties, Custer County was able to obtain tests for 8 individuals. The current case count, as of April 2nd, is:
● Lab Confirmed Positives: 2
● Lab Confirmed Negatives: 4
● Pending: 2
To read the full press release go to http://www.custercountygov.com/index.php?pg=covid19
April 1 … FIRST CONFIRMED POSITIVE CASE IN CUSTER COUNTY
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisa Livengood, Custer County Public Health Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (719) 458-9211
Subject: At 3:45 PM on April 1st, 2020, Custer County Department of Public Health is reporting the first positive case of COVID-19, or coronavirus, in Custer County. The patient is a female in her 60s. The case is confirmed positive, which means test results have been lab confirmed. The patient is working with public health officials in the ongoing investigation to identify people that may have had close exposure. If you haven’t been contacted by Custer County Public Health, then you have not been exposed to this individual.
There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. Custer County Public Health and its partners will focus their response efforts on slowing the spread of the disease, which will require the community’s assistance. Although more than 80% of people who have contracted COVID-19 have relatively mild illness, there are greater risks for complications among older adults, especially above the age of 60 years, as well as people with pre-existing health conditions. Custer County Public Health continues to instruct the community to stay home unless you have essential business to conduct. It is vital that the community abides by the Stay-At-Home order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Those with questions about COVID-19 can call the CO HELP Hotline at 1-877-462-2911. Updates or changes in guidance will be posted to:https://www.facebook.com/CusterCountyEmergencyManagementand https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
April 1 … CUSTER COUNTY SHERIFF WARNS OF STIMULUS PAYMENT SCAMS
OFFICIAL RELEASE FROM CUSTER COUNTY SHERIFF
In today’s world it seems no matter what the situation is, there are always people trying to take advantage of others. The COVID-19 virus outbreak is no different. There are a couple of scams going on now in regards to the relief stimulus packages so we wanted to share the information. It is rather lengthy and I tried to cut out as much as I could and leave the important information. Always remember you should never share your personal information with someone who contacts you, and you do not personally know who it is.
March 31, 2020
COVID-19 Stimulus Scams
Congress has recently passed a large COVID-19 relief and stimulus package. As with other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, fraudsters are exploiting the relief and stimulus to victimize the public. The U.S. Secret Service is observing a rise in stimulus relief fraud over the past several days and expect the fraud attempts to continue throughout the pandemic.
Criminal actors are using a variety of means to contact potential victims. In one instance, the criminal actors are using spoofed email addresses posing as U.S. Treasury officials requesting that the victim provide personal identifying information (PII), so that they can receive their share of the stimulus. A redacted example of an attack email is below:
Other than via email, criminal actors are contacting potential victims via SMS/text, robocalls, and other messaging platforms. Through texts, criminal actors are sending links which directs individuals to a website, which then prompts the potential victim to enter PII and other sensitive information, such as bank account numbers, email addresses, and passwords. See below for an example of an attack SMS sent to a potential victim.
The text message contained the victim’s real name, giving the text an appearance of legitimacy. Official
stimulus/relief information regarding COVID-19 will never be sent via text/SMS or on any other messaging
Foreign partners are also seeing an uptick in COVID-19 stimulus relief fraud. The U.S. Secret Service
anticipates instances of similar fraud affecting U.S. citizens in the coming weeks. The method is the same- a
potential victim will receive a text message directing them to a link. Once they reach the link, they are
prompted to enter a variety of PII data. See below for another example of these SMS/Smishing attacks
received by our foreign partners.
The U.S. Secret Service stresses that individuals seeking information about the stimulus/relief program to
contact the specific government agency via its website for guidance. Individuals should follow protocols
published by those government websites. During this time, it is stressed that the public maintain an increased
vigilance when providing any PII or other privileged and protected information.
The U.S. Secret Service is working with domestic and foreign law enforcement partners, along with the
private sector, to disrupt and dismantle COVID-19 related fraud schemes. If anyone has any information
related to this alert, the GIOC can be contacted at GIOC@usss.dhs.gov.
March 30 … BOTH CUSTER CO PATIENTS TESTED FOR VIRUS ARE NEGATIVE
Custer County Public Health has received notification that the first probable case, associated with the Custer County Courthouse, was negative. Therefore, Custer County still has 0 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2 negative test results.
March 27 … GOVERNOR POLIS ADDRESSES STATE, CUSTER COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH CLARIFIES STAY AT HOME ORDER, UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS MAY SOON BE AVAILABLE TO INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
Custer County Public Health and Custer County Emergency Management held a joint news conference today and clarified the current statewide “Stay at Home” order. It was stressed to valley residents that although “essential” items are available, please limit your visits to once a week if possible and enter the stores alone. Here is a summary of the presentation:
• Case count – Elisa
o 1 negative, 1 pending
• Testing Capabilities
• What is Quarantine?
• Stay-at-home order and what that means for Custer County – Elisa
o Restaurants – carry-out/delivery still open
Don’t forget to tip!
o Dollar Stores still open
o Grocery Stores still open
One time a week… ish
o Can do
Obtain food and other household necessities for themselves and their
family or household members.
Deliver services or supplies to others, such as food, pet supply, other
household consumer products, and products or equipment necessary to
maintain the safety, sanitation, and critical operation of a residence.
To engage in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, nordic skiing,
snowshoeing, biking or running. For purposes of outdoor activity, state
parks will remain open to the public to engage in walking, hiking, biking,
running, and similar outdoor activities but all playgrounds, picnic areas,
other similar areas conducive to public gathering and attended areas shall
To perform work for critical industries.
To care for a family member, a vulnerable person, or pet in another
household, or to care for livestock kept at a location other than an
To seek medical care
o Can’t do
o Full order can be seen on Custer County Covid-19 webpage or CDPHE website
• SBA Loan
• Best way to beat this is to stay home
• Daily updates on Facebook pages and COVID-19 page on custercountygov.com
• Contact SBS offices in Denver or local SBDC
For coverage of Jared Polis’ address to Colorado today, and for more information on the possibility of expanding the scope of the unemployment benefit program, please visit our friends at COLORADO PUBLIC RADIO
March 25 … GOVERNOR POLIS ISSUES “STAY AT HOME” ORDER
Gov. Jared Polis issued a statewide “stay at home” order Wednesday, requiring the state’s 5.7 million residents to avoid unnecessary travel and mingling with others outside their households. Polis has also requested a major disaster declaration for Colorado from President Donald Trump, which would allow for additional federal aid to arrive in the state.“I call upon President Trump to grant this immediately,” Polis said.
March 24 … LOCAL FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES RELIEF PROGRAM
COVID-19 Economic Support Program
A Community Effort Promoted by a Local Family Foundation
A Group of Concerned Valley Residents
Effective Monday, March 30th, all Custer County residents adversely affected by COVID-19 related employment lay-offs or other hardships are invited to visit the Loan a Ranger facility on Main Street to collect a coupon for up to $150.00 per family per week to redeem for food products at several local establishments. Proof of layoff (letter from your employer) or other hardship along with valid ID is all that is required.
If you are able to support this program with a tax-deductible donation, please send your check to:
P.O. Box 241
Westcliffe, CO 81252
The Foundation will match up to $25,000 of all donations.
Ezulwini Foundation is a registered 501c3 foundation. This advertisement paid for by friends of the COVID -19 Economic Support Program
March 24 … VETERANS’ SERVICES … volunteers needed, services offered
Good afternoon. In partnership with Custer County Public Health and the Custer County Sheriff’s Department, Custer County Veteran Service Officer John Carroll is coordinating volunteers to assist residents who may need to have essential items delivered to their homes and to check on our residents who are considered to be at a higher risk of COVID19 exposure. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, or if you are available to assist, please call or email John … t 719-783-9470 or email@example.com
March 23 … HEART OF THE ROCKIES PRESCRIPTION SERVICE
Here’s how to have your prescriptions filled by Heart of The Rockies and delivered to the Custer County Clinic. Call Heart of the Rockies to set up the service. They will need your insurance information and a credit card # to put on file. You will be instructed how to submit your prescription to HRCC. Deliveries are made daily to the Custer County Clinic, usually about 4:30 pm. Pickup is available at the clinic until 5:00 pm. Usually prescriptions called in by 1:00 pm are delivered in Westcliffe the same day.
Heart of The Rockies Rx service 719-530-2401, Custer County Clinic 783-2380
March 20 …. CUSTER COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH NEWS CONFERENCE
Custer County Public Health Director Elisa Livengood hosted a virtual Town Hall Friday afternoon. Topics covered included what to do if you feel ill. She advised to first contact your primary physician. She is also available for direct consultation at 719-458-9211. Should a patient be considered positive with COVID-19, treatment includes rest, fluids, pain/fever reduction (not ibuprofen) and isolation. Isolation can happen at home. Livengood also said the patient diagnosed as positive has on average infected 4 other people without knowing they were sick. A youtube link to the Town Hall video will appear at the top of this page when available.
Listen to The Community Calendar on KLZR for information on area closures and cancellations. We have increased the frequency of our on air Community Calendar in response to current events.
List of local closures as of 8am March 19
The Custer County Courthouse is closed until April 1st. Exception: Access to the Courthouse begins March 23 for those with COURT BUSINESS ONLY 8am – 1pm
Westcliffe Town Hall is closed until further notice.
The Senior Center is closed for meals and all other social activities. For questions regarding the meal program, please call Rae at the Senior Center at 719-783-9508 or Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments at 719-539-3341.
The Custer County Department of Human Services is closed until April 1st.
Commodities distribution scheduled for 03/18/2020 has been cancelled. DHS will update when it is rescheduled.
The Custer County Community Sharing Center, 120 3rd St., Westcliffe. We will be distributing prebagged food this Friday from noon to 3:00 pm, to clients while in their vehicles. There is no ordering, it is a variety of essentials.
Custer County Schools will remain closed until at least April 6th.
The West Custer County Library is closed until further notice.
Alititude Community Fitness closed until further notice.
Custer County Department of Public Health has announced the first probable positive case of coronavirus in Custer County. This is upgraded from yesterday’s report of assumed positive because it is now known that the patient has been in contact with a known positive COVID-19 patient.
Custer County Department of Public Health is holding virtual town hall briefings online including every Friday at 12 noon. Visit KLZR.org and follow the link to the “COVID-19 Information Page.”
KLZR will continue to update information regularly, but things are changing quickly. Call ahead to check on closures and cancellations.
COMMUNITY CALENDAR ANNOUNCEMENTS ON KLZR
Custer County DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH-10 Hermit Lane #5Silver Cliff, CO 81252 (719) 276-3369
March 17, 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisa Livengood, Custer County Public Health Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or (719) 458-9211Subject:
Custer County Department of Public Health is reporting the first assumed positive case of COVID-19, or coronavirus, in Custer County. The patient is a male in his 50s. The patient is working with public health officials in the ongoing investigation to identify people that may have had close exposure. The case is assumed positive, which means the patient has been tested for everything that mimics the symptoms of COVID-19. However, all those tests came back negative. Therefore, we are assuming this patient has COVID-19.Local health and medical partners have acknowledged that the arrival of COVID-19 to Custer County was a matter of when versus if. As a result, they have been planning what a local response would look like as well as running through different scenarios. There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. Custer County Public Health and its partners will focus their response efforts on slowing the spread of the disease, which will require the community’s assistance. Although more than 80% of people who have contracted COVID-19 have relatively mild illness, there are greater risks for complications among older adults, especially above the age of 60 years, as well as people with pre-existing health conditions. Identification of the first case in Custer County is an important indicator. Health officials are reminding residents and guests that the individual precautions they can take to limit their exposure are the same precautions that can help slow the spread of COVID-19 within the community. These precautions will also help protect people in our community who may be at greatest risk for complications if they get infected.Protect yourself:•Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating or touching your mouth and nose.•Avoid close contact with people who are sick.•If you are sick, stay home. •Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.•Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.What to do if you’re sick:•Stay home if you develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath. •Wear a mask or cover your cough and sneeze.•Wash your hands frequently and don’t share personal items (drinking glass or utensils) with others.
•Call your healthcare provider. Do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or the emergency department unannounced. •Your doctor’s office will assess your illness on the phone and provide information or guidance for you, household members, and other close contacts. •Testing for COVID-19 is not a routine test. Your healthcare provider will assess your symptoms and risk for the disease based on guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. •Since many of the illnesses are mild, we expect most COVID-19 patients will be isolated in their own home to rest and recover. If possible, sleep in a bedroom and use a bathroom that is not used by other household members.•There is no antiviral treatment for COVID-19. Getting rest and drinking plenty of fluids will likely be helpful for recovery. Only the most critically ill will be hospitalized.Public Health officials also recommend residents prepare for an emergency that might require them to stay at home for several days, including having food supplies, water and medications. Those with questions about COVID-19 can call the CO HELP Hotline at 1-877-462-2911. Updates or changes in guidance will be posted to https://www.facebook.com/CusterCountyEmergencyManagementand https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/2019-novel-coronavirus
Custer County DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH-10 Hermit Lane #5Silver Cliff, CO 81252 (719) 276-3369
March 17, 2020FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elisa Livengood, Custer County Public Health Director at email@example.com or (719) 458-9211
.Subject: Effective at 4:00 pm on March 17th, 2020, Custer County Department of Public Health is closing the Custer County Courthouse until April 1, 2020 except for essential personnelalready established. It has come to our attention that a person who is assumed to be positive with COVID-19 was in the courthouse. This person does not have a confirmed test of COVID-19, but they do show all the symptoms and have tested negative for all other illnesses. All other county buildings (Sheriff’s Office, VSO, Road and Bridge, SAR, and Public Health) are still open as usual. We have determined that, in order to best slow the spread and protect our citizens, it is in the county’s best interest to close the courthouse until April 1st, 2020
Here are some links for information the COVID-19 virus …
Custer County COVID-19 page(Link to local Town Hall stream every Friday at noon found here)
Our friends at Colorado Public Radio do a great job