Below is information from the City and County of Broomfield’s Health and Human Services Department, pertaining to the City and County’s monitoring of developments regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus):
Broomfield staff continues to monitor the COVID 19/novel coronavirus situation in partnership with state and federal agencies. This is a constantly evolving and complex situation. Moving forward, updates will be provided as the situation warrents.
• Although Colorado currently has no cases of COVID-19, and though the risk is currently low, there is evidence of some community transmission in a few states, namely in WA where, unfortunately, they have experienced six deaths.
• Preparedness is key to successfully slowing the spread of this disease if it comes to Broomfield.
• For more information please see the Mayor Hancock’s press conference from today.
What Broomfield PHE is doing to prepare:
• Broomfield Public Health and Environment (PHE) activated the Public Health Emergency Operations Plan, along with its Pandemic Response Annex and Community Containment Annex, on February 28. This takes PHE’s efforts to the next level in preparedness and allows CCOB leadership to engage in practical preparations.
• PHE is working closely with health care providers, schools, child care, assisted living/long term care facilities to ensure protocols are in place for mitigating risk as well as guidance for identifying individuals warranting referral to public health. The primary concern, as is usually the case, is with vulnerable populations – immuno-compromised individuals and older adults.
• PHE is scheduling trainings/outreach with CCOB departments that may be at higher risk of coming into contact with affected individuals or may serve vulnerable populations (Detention Center, Senior Services, Recreation Center, Library, Public Works, etc.).
• Providing extra sanitation stations at community facilities such as the Library, Recreation Center, etc.
• CCOB’s Leadership Team was briefed on March 2, 2020, and is reviewing its plans to maintain essential services to the community if staff are out sick due to an outbreak, ensuring adequate supplies are in place, and other continuity of operations planning activities.
In the event there is a confirmed case or multiple cases in Broomfield, PHE will:
• PHE will conduct contact tracing – which involves interviewing residents that were exposed to the affected person to determine the potential risk of the spread of the virus in the community.
• Depending on the level of risk, PHE may issue isolation and quarantine orders or other measures to mitigate community risk. This would be done in conjunction with CDPHE and the CCOB legal department.
What CCOB and City Council, and others, can do:
• Reinforce the message of what residents can do to prepare themselves (noted below) and not to panic.
• Send them to credible scientific agencies for more information including the CDC’s website or the CDPHE website. We will continue to post updates on Broomfieldhealth.org.
What businesses and residents can do:
• Residents and Employees can protect themselves from COVID19 or and any respiratory virus (like the flu) by:
o Frequently cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub. Soap and water is the most effective; alcohol-based hand rub is less effective and should only be used if soap and water is unavailable.
o Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. Use the inside of your elbow or a tissue.
o Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
o While there is currently not a vaccine for COVID-19, residents should still get a flu shot as people are more likely to be exposed to flu viruses than they are COVID-19.
o Members of the general public in the United States DO NOT need to use face masks to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Masks should be reserved for people who are sick, so they can protect others from getting infected
o Take proactive measures similar to planning for other situations, such as a major snowstorm. This includes: fill necessary prescriptions, plan for school and/or work closures, stock up on necessary household items, etc
• Residents and businesses can also call CDPHE’s CO Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, or email COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish. Statewide information can be found on the CDPHE website. We will continue to post updates on Broomfieldhealth.org.
• CCOB leadership will have weekly briefings to monitor the progress of COVID-19
• PHE will continue to issue general communication to the public. A message focused on personal preparedness will go out on 3/3.
Please reach out to the Public Health Dept. with questions/concerns/suggestions – we will continue to update Broomfieldhealth.org as information is available.
Jason Vahling, Public Health Director
Health and Human Services