COVID WEEKLY UPDATE – Prowers County Public Health and Environment – July 29, 2020

Total of 46 cases, two hospitalizations, zero deaths.
OUTBREAKS: Total Current Outbreaks: 1 Sonic, 2 cases, no need to close and no customers linked.
Resolved: 1 McDonalds Lamar, 11 cases associated, no customers linked.
Q. What events have you approved in the near future?
A. Public Health does not approve events. We work with event planners and provide guidance to assist the organizer with creating a plan that is compliant with the current guidance and orders.
Q. Do we have a mitigation plan in place?
A. Yes, it was submitted to CDPHE
Q. How many active cases?
A. This term is not well defined. To be best in touch with the current cases, watch our weekly updates. The 2-week case rate per 100,000 will tell you our activity levels.
Two-Week Cumulative Incidence Rate:
The two-week cumulative incidence rate summarizes new cases reported in the past two weeks per 100,000 people. It looks at recent incidence to capture the potential burden of currently ill people who may be infectious and/or currently accessing healthcare.
The sum of each region’s number of reported cases in the past two weeks (in other words, the difference between the total number of cases from two weeks ago from the current total number of cases) is divided by that region’s population. The resulting rate is multiplied by 100,000 to get a two-week cumulative incidence rate per 100,000 people.
• Low: There have been 10 or fewer new cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks.
• Moderate: There have been between 10 and 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks.
• Moderately high: There have been between 50 and 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks.
• High: There have been more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the past two weeks.
Q. What does average positivity mean?
A. Average positivity means of the number of tests done, how many are positive? Our goal is to keep this number <5%.  The percent of positive tests is helpful for public health to track whether symptoms of people being tested are caused by COVID-19 (a higher positivity rate) or if their symptoms are being caused by something else (a lower positivity rate).
Q. How many people have recovered?
A. PCPHE only follows people for their 10-day isolation or 14-day quarantine period. Those who test positive often still have symptoms when we are done following them so there is no way to accurately report those who have recovered 100%. Generally, people with mild illness recover in 2-3 weeks. Those who are moderately to severely ill have much longer recovery periods, especially if hospitalized.
Q. Mask mandate: Who is enforcing this?
A. This is something for people to take personal responsibility for. It allows businesses to enforce this and provide other ways to serve people who cannot or will not wear a mask. The Governor issued this mandate as an Executive Order. It is a low-cost way to get our numbers to get back under control and avoids business closures and reduction of gathering sizes. This health department aims to educate and request compliance with the orders. We have no intention of further enforcement unless a clearly belligerent situation should arise. Some counties and municipalities have fines associated with citations. Prowers County and the cities and towns therein do not.
Q. Why are Sheriff’s writing letters saying they will not enforce this mandate?
A. Sheriffs are elected officials and any reasoning for this response should be sought from them directly. We only request law enforcement support to accompany us should an order have to be issued to ensure all parties are kept safe.
Q. Why only kids over the age of 10?
A. Children 10 years and younger are not required to wear masks because the evidence so far has shown that children in this age group are much less likely to spread COVID-19 than older children and adults. It is also less likely that children of this age will wear a mask correctly.
• The Governor issued an Executive Order requiring masks indoors for those over the age of 10. See the order here:
• We have new data available from the state. We will include our incidence rate and positivity moving forward. For Incidence Rate, 50 or above is too high! For test positivity rate our goal is to be <5%.
• We do not currently qualify for Protect Our Neighbors. More information can be found at
• School guidance was released this week. Stay tuned to your school for more information.
• If you are tested STAY HOME! Isolation and quarantine guidance can be found here:
• Stay home if not feeling well, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently or use 60+% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wear a mask to contain any respiratory droplets and stay at least 6 feet from others.
• If you think you may have COVID-19 and are interested in testing, call your healthcare provider. If you are having severe symptoms such as significant trouble breathing, etc.  Call 911
• Call PCPHE with any questions at 336-8721

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