The following metrics have significance for county and state-level decisions around the COVID-19 response. Each of the metrics are driven by data collected by Pitkin County Public Health, which may not reflect data reported by CDPHE’s COVID-19 Dial. Pitkin County Public Health often has access to data several days before CDPHE and thus the Dial’s data may lag Pitkin County data by several days. CDPHE requires that the Protect Our Neighbors Metrics meet their defined Protect Our Neighbor (PON) thresholds in order for Pitkin County to move into the PON status, the green section of the Pitkin COVID-19 Dial page. We have placed a green PON threshold line to indicate when we have reached that threshold for each required metric.
Protect Our Neighbors Metrics
Sufficient Hospital Bed Capacity
Pitkin County is required to maintain the capacity to handle a 20% surge in hospitalizations to meet state requirements for Protect Our Neighbor status. Currently, local hospital bed capacity is at a comfortable level, despite increasing hospitalizations in many jurisdictions across Colorado. However, as the number of COVID-19 cases in Pitkin County continues to rise rapidly, we anticipate a likely increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations in the coming weeks.
Sufficient Supply of Personal Protective Equipment
Hospitals must maintain a two-week supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to meet state requirements for Protect Our Neighbor status. PPE includes respirators, facemasks, gowns, gloves, protective eyewear. Currently, Aspen Valley Hospital is meeting the requirement for this metric.
New Cases Over The Last Two Weeks
The number of new cases among Pitkin County residents must remain below 7 cases over the last 14 days to meet the Protect Our Neighbor requirement. This excludes cases associated with outbreaks in congregate facilities such as residential care facilities and correctional facilities. The number of new cases in Pitkin County continues to surge, which follows very concerning regional, statewide, and national trends of new cases.
Test & Trace
Daily Testing Capacity
Pitkin County is currently meeting the testing capacity requirements for PON status, which is 15 per 10,000 residents per day (27 residents per day for Pitkin County). Currently, we are at a comfortable level of testing to support Pitkin County’s ongoing COVID-19 response, including having testing available for second home owners, visitors, and commuters.
Ability to Implement Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Protocols
Pitkin County is currently meeting the case investigation and contact tracing requirements for Protect our Neighbor status. Currently, Pitkin County is investigating 100% of COVID-19 cases within 12 hours. Protect our Neighbor status requires the capacity to investigate and trace contacts for 85% of COVID-19 cases within 24 hours.
Document Surge-Capacity Plan for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing
Pitkin County must have a documented plan to handle a surge in case investigations and contact tracing up to a minimum of 8.7 cases per 100,000 population per day or about 1.5 cases per day to meet Protect our Neighbor requirements. Currently, we are meeting CDPHE requirements for Protect our Neighbor status.
Documented Strategies to Offer Testing to Close Contacts
Pitkin County provides opportunities for contacts associated with a known COVID-19 exposure to be tested at one of the community testing sites. Public Health referrals for testing do not require a physician’s order or other costs to the person being tested.
Additional Local Metrics
Community Spread Over The Last Two Weeks
Community spread occurs when an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 does not know how they may have been exposed to the virus. This metric is calculated using the total number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last 14 days and exposure information gathered during case investigation. The higher the number of infected people where the source of exposure to COVID-19 is unknown, the more difficult it becomes to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Currently, our level of community spread is high, which makes it more difficult to contain the virus.
Cases Outside Pitkin County Jurisdiction
Cases outside of the county’s jurisdiction are the number of people that tested positive for COVID-19 at a Pitkin County testing site over the past 2 weeks, but are not residents of Pitkin County. Anyone staying in Pitkin County for more than 30 days, including second home owners, are considered residents. We use this metric to inform our guidelines for visitors and people who work in Pitkin County but reside in other jurisdictions. Currently, we are experiencing a high level of out-of-jurisdiction cases and are monitoring regional, statewide, and national trends in new cases to inform our COVID-19 response.
Testing Turn-Around Time
The testing turnaround time is calculated from the average number of days between specimen collection and the date Pitkin County case investigators received the lab result. This is an important metric for containing disease spread because shorter testing turnaround times allow contact tracers to initiate case investigations more quickly. Currently, our testing turnaround time is at a comfortable level for timely case investigations.