Pitkin County has moved on from the State Dial mitigation measures and guidelines, so what’s next? The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and Pitkin County Public Health will be refocusing on regional and local hospital capacity as the main monitoring metric for COVID-19 status. The new COVID-19 Status page is now the central location for staying up to date on Pitkin County’s current status. At the top of the page, the current overall status is posted as low, moderate, or high risk.
Pitkin County Monitoring
The capacity of our local hospital, Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH), will be one of the main determinants of Pitkin County’s COVID-19 status. Public Health receives detailed, daily reports from AVH staff on hospital capacity, including inpatient hospitalizations and their ability to transfer patients to other hospitals. The AVH status table displaying these capacities and other key COVID-19 information can be found here.
In addition to monitoring AVH status, three key metrics from the previous CDPHE Pitkin COVID-19 dial are displayed on the page and in the new dashboard. The 7-day case counts, incidence rate and average % positivity estimates from CDPHE that are displayed in the dashboard are based on our local data and displayed with previous CDPHE Pitkin COVID-19 dial thresholds. These thresholds serve as a reference and only inform current COVID-19 recommendations and best practices. However, should AVH capacity reach concerning levels, capacity limits and public health requirements may be reinstated for the community based on the three key metrics and other data displayed on our data dashboards.
CDPHE will now monitor each county’s COVID-10 status using the capacity of their Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Services Advisory Councils (RETACs). Each Council is made up of 5 or more counties that coordinate emergency and trauma services to meet the needs of the region. Pitkin County is part of the Central Mountains RETAC (CMRETAC). The two metrics that CDPHE is tracking closely are Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Acute Care Occupancy. Our new dashboard shows both types of occupancy over the last month in CMRETAC (“ICU Occupancy” and “Acute Care Occupancy” tabs). Should either ICU or Acute care bed use go above 85% of available beds in use in the CMRETAC, CDPHE will review each county in the CMRETAC that is contributing COVID-19 patients. If Pitkin County is contributing significant numbers of patients in the CMRETAC, capacity limits and public health requirements may be reinstated for the community.
How Can We Do Our Part?
Enjoying our progress and relaxed mitigation strategies this summer is Pitkin County Public Health’s top priority. Here are the main ways you can contribute to a safe and healthy summer: