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Be aware of the risks

Locations: Letters Published

Dear Carbondale Community:

As we enter the Fourth of July Holiday weekend, we each must acknowledge the sobering reality that COVID-19 is on the rise in our community. It’s critical we stay alert and don’t become complacent about the public health practices that have proven to be so successful at keeping our community safe.

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COVID-19 is not going away: Locally in Carbondale, COVID-19 is on the rise. We see it in our daily numbers. At the time of writing, Carbondale has had 63 residents test positive for COVID-19 tests; Garfield County has 287 cases.

What does that mean for reopening? If this upward trend continues, it means everyone is at a greater health risk, our healthcare facilities may be over-burdened and Garfield County’s variance that allows greater local control of health orders will be revoked.  Nothing resulting from this trend is good for our local businesses that are already struggling.

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What should the community do about this? Given this risk, it’s more critical than ever to play your part in stopping the community spread of COVID-19. Wear your face-covering or mask inside public spaces (it’s the law in Carbondale), wash your hands or use hand sanitizer whenever you can, ensure you social distance — stay six feet apart — when around other people, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you are sick.

Modify your behavior this holiday weekend: Rethink any plans to be around other people – this may be a good weekend to limit contact with others. If you are going to be around other people– at a barbeque or camping with a small group, insist that everyone is following common-sense health guidelines: mask-on, maintaining social distancing, and frequently washing hands.

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If you are in close contact with someone who has tested positive: you must self-quarantine immediately, for 14 days, and ensure you are symptom-free for 72 hours before you end quarantine.

Asymptomatic means that COVID-19 can be invisible in the community: this means the symptoms can be invisible, and the spread is harder to contain. This means wearing a face covering and taking all the public health precautions we can is really important.

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Remind your kids of these safe behaviors: local and national outbreaks among young people have been on the rise, and we’ve seen this locally in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Living with COVID-19 in our community is the new normal: as we know COVID-19 is spreading, we must all remain diligent and watch for symptoms of COVID-19: these include fatigue, fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.

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We ask you to Love Local: while we must live with this new reality, we also must forge ahead with safe practices to reopen our town’s small businesses and boost the local economy. We ask you to Love Local; consider shopping locally, and to protect our neighbors by always following public health guidelines. If you aren’t comfortable dining inside, get take-out. If you want to gather with friends and family, bring take-out to an outdoor BBQ or camping or try a virtual happy hour! Looking for a gift? Consider a local gift certificate.

We will emerge from this crisis stronger than when we entered it: together. We are Carbondale Strong.

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Dan Richardson
Mayor of Carbondale

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