SJBPH Issues Public Health Order to Improve Infection Prevention at Restauarants
Durango, Colo.: San Juan Basin Public Health (SJBPH) is committed to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to take strong actions to keep our community healthy. SJBPH’s actions and the community’s sacrifices have resulted in Archuleta and La Plata Counties having some of the lowest COVID-19 case counts per capita in Colorado. To continue to control the spread as the state allows restaurants to reopen for in-person dining starting May 27 and summer day camps to open June 1, SJBPH has issued a public health order for La Plata County to require that restaurants and camps complete an infection prevention checklist and self-certify their compliance with state public health orders to SJBPH.
This order will help protect La Plata County residents from COVID-19 as the agency continues to work aggressively to mitigate the spread of the virus, while also supporting the safe re-opening of specific types of businesses. “Our restaurants and camps are critical partners in preventing the spread of infection,” said SJBPH’s Executive Director, Liane Jollon. “We’ve heard over and over from them that they want to open once and open right. The self-certification process gives them simple tools to provide a safe environment for diners, campers, and employees in the face of this novel disease.” said Jollon. Restaurants in La Plata County must self-certify by June 2nd or prior to offering in-person dining, whichever is later, and summer camps must self-certify prior to offering in-person programming. The SJBPH order does not apply in Archuleta County but restaurants and camps there are encouraged to complete the self-certification checklist to ensure that their infection prevention plans comply with state requirements.
Over 800 businesses and community organizations have already self-certified their infection prevention operations to SJBPH in compliance with the Safer La Plata Public Health Order that SJBPH issued on April 28th. “This simple requirement places good public health practice in the forefront of the business operation in a time when we all need to take care of each other to control the spread of disease,” said Jollon. Good practices at retail and service businesses, along with social distancing, widespread wearing of face coverings, and partnerships between SJBPH, the medical community and government agencies have contributed to encouraging public health statistics in Archuleta and La Plata Counties:
- Both counties are in the bottom twenty percent of Colorado counties in cases per capita, despite high growth rates in San Juan County, New Mexico and the Navajo Nation
- Thanks to hard work on the part of SJBPH and long-term care facility staff, there are no outbreaks of COVID-19 among residents at local facilities. There are 266 such outbreaks elsewhere in Colorado
- Local hospitals have completed a medical surge plan and are able to care for patients without resorting to crisis standards of care
- Both counties have widespread testing availability and SJBPH has the capacity to follow up on every lab-confirmed positive test with contact tracing, isolation and quarantine resources, and case monitoring
“Our success so far is thanks to the work people in our community have done to socially distance themselves, to wear face coverings in public, and to ensure safe environments at businesses and worksites,” added Jollon. “The next phase of community re-openings will only be successful if we all continue to keep each other safe, whether we’re a business owner, an employee, or a customer. SJBPH remains committed to keeping the community informed about the success of state and local public health orders as we all endure these difficult times together.”
The order will be in effect until June 23 unless extended, amended, or rescinded by SJBPH.
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