Sterling, Colo. – July 17, 2020: Because of an increase in COVID case rates, Governor Jared Polis announced a statewide mask order yesterday, directing Coloradans to wear a face covering while indoors. The Executive Order states that Coloradans 10 years and older must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when entering or moving within any public indoor space. In our six county health district this order may be controversial. NCHD wants to encourage our communities to keep in mind that COVID-19 is a worldwide health crisis and while we all agree that mask wearing can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, it is also a small act of kindness we can do to help our community, our economy and ourselves.
As more research is conducted on the spread of COVID-19, it’s becoming more apparent that wearing masks does make a difference in reducing the spread. Recent analysis of counties that have full mask orders, compared to counties that have no mask orders, shows there is a significant curb in the rate of new case counts. As communities that pride ourselves with small town values, the power is in our hands to protect the employees in our great local businesses, as well as our friends and neighbors that might be most at risk. Let’s all lead by example and show everyone that the awesome people in northeast Colorado can help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Following all the health guidelines, including wearing masks, ensures our local economy will continue to strengthen while we enjoy the expanded freedoms possible with the current Public Health Order and county variances. If we become complacent and begin to see outbreaks in local business and events, it could lead to more closures and loss of jobs. Wearing masks is our ticket to keeping our economy growing and our businesses and schools open. Additionally, we want to protect our variances and continue to enjoy events such as races, rodeos, fairs and going to movie theaters.
In rural Colorado, kindness is all around us, from a door held open at a store, to breakfast bought by the person in front of you at a drive-through. For most people, wearing a mask is also a small thing to do to help. It’s not a complete cure, nor will washing hands guarantee you don’t get sick, or will keeping your distance assure wellness, but all these little kindnesses together may turn out to help keep our communities thriving during a pandemic and protect the people we love.