Practice the "3Ws" to keep our community safe

3ws graphic

A Labor Day holiday weekend message from the undersigned members of the Health Care Working Group Committee of the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, an alliance of the Chambers of Commerce of Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley.

A new deadly and rapidly spreading virus has turned our world upside down. In just five months, as of Sept. 1, the US has gone from its very first COVID-19 death, to now over 6 million cases, and tragically, more than 183,000 deaths. In Colorado, there are nearly 57,000 confirmed cases and 1,945 deaths. In Weld County there are 4,060 cases and 146 deaths, and in Larimer County, there are 1,932 confirmed cases and 36 deaths.   Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC, said we are in the midst of “the greatest public health crisis our nation and world have confronted in a century.”

Because this is a new virus, there is no vaccine and no known cure yet, although there are multiple promising research efforts underway. There is no group of people that do not get COVID, and no group of people that cannot get really sick from the virus. Most people recover from COVID, but all have some risk of severe consequences. Some people are at dramatically increased risk of severe consequences (sometimes long-lasting or permanent), and even death.

There are thousands of people in our community working to control the spread of COVID:   health care workers; local and state public health responders providing guidance, testing, contact tracing, and supportive isolation; and businesses and schools following public health guidance and protocols.

But in the end, slowing the spread depends on every one of us.  We each have the power to help control how far the virus spreads.  It is incredibly important that every individual who is able take responsibility to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. There is now considerable evidence supporting the 3 Ws.  Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Watch your distance. Wear a cloth or surgical mask while out in public, especially indoors. [Wearing a mask while exercising outdoors (away from others) is not recommended by the WHO, but DO wear a mask outdoors if you are with others outside your household]. Watch your distance from those around you, avoid contact, and ensure that you keep at least six feet of distance between you. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

These 3 Ws, if done by everyone, would significantly slow the spread of COVID-19, making our community a safer place to work, shop, and attend school. It’s important that we ALL do our part so that our community has its best chance of keeping our businesses open and our economy working.  We are not out of the woods yet – the virus is still circulating. Please join us in protecting our community’s health and economy!

Kevin Unger
UCHealth –Poudre Valley Health System

Margo Karsten
Banner Health

Yvonne Myers
Columbine Health Systems

Senator Joann Ginal

Mindy McCloughan
Loveland Chamber of Commerce

Carol Plock
Health District of Northern Larimer County

Mark Wallace
North Colorado Health Alliance

John Kefalas
Larimer County Commissioner

Michael Allen
SummitStone Health Partners

Steve Tool
Former Director, Health Care Policy & Financing and former Colorado state legislator

Jan Gillespie
Northern Colorado Independent Provider Assn.

Jennifer Cooney
City of Greeley

Karen Klawin
Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado

Jennifer Fairman
Larimer County Benefits

Bob Smith
Colorado Business Group on Health

Joaquin ‘Keen’ Garbiso
City of Fort Collins

Kyle Lynch
Family Physician’s Group of Greeley