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Cornavirus (COVID-19) reaches Colorado

As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to dominate the news channels across the country and the world, Estes Park Health (EPH) continues to take an aggressive and proactive approach to not only prepare for the potential of the presence the virus in Colorado, but in our Estes Valley.

Estes Park Health is collaborating every day with the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and healthcare agencies at the state, Larimer County, northern Colorado, and our local municipality. This collaboration is the most effective method possible to ensure that EPH has up-to-the-minute information on best practices for safety and best procedures in place to handle the suspected or actual presence of the virus.

Colorado overall is being very proactive, also, in anticipating the appearance of the virus in our state. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment has the Coronavirus front and center on the home page of their website (https://www.colorado.gov/cdphe), and has opened up an email and a phone line for any citizen to ask questions about, or request guidance in regard to, this public health event. There is a wealth of current information, updated daily, and fact sheets about the world and national status of the virus. There’s also good advice about the nature of symptoms and the key questions to consider when a citizen wonders how to evaluate the danger of potential infection. For general questions about COVID-19, you can call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, or email questions to cohelp@rmpdc.org. There are also some great links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for national/global information.

On the home front, EPH is ensuring that all staff and physicians have the latest information on the proper procedure for evaluating potential presence of the virus, and we have an open channel with the state of Colorado for providing test specimens in the event that there is a suspected potential case of COVID-19 in our community. As recommended procedures develop and change over the coming days and weeks, EPH will stay attuned frontline to those changes, and implement in step with the leading healthcare authorities in the state and USA.

If you are an Estes Park community member or visitor, and have a question for EPH about the virus, including a suspected infection, the absolute best approach is to call EPH at 970-586-2200. You’ll be directed to the appropriate triage resource to help you assess the situation and determine next steps for you, or the individual in question. Since there is no known cure for COVID-19, we stress that people with mild symptoms use the triage phone number instead of showing up at the hospital. We want to ensure the safety of our staff and other patients to help mitigate the spread of the virus. People with significant respiratory symptoms who need urgent treatment are encouraged to call 911 or use hospital facilities.

Your local community medical center stands ready to assist as this situation develops, and as the crisis eventually peaks and passes. It’s our privilege to be there for you at any time and especially during these types of health crises.