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by D.J. DeJong

Mail Staff Writer

Chaffee County Public Health released a new public health order Wednesday replacing the previous order which expired Tuesday.

Andrea Carlstrom, Chaffee County Public Health director said there is significant alignment between the county’s order and the state’s Safer at Home and in the Great Outdoors order issued July 30.

That order remains essentially the same as the previous June 30 order.

Added to the new health order is current guidance on the state mandated masking order, which mirrors that of the governor’s executive order and the CDPHE order.

Chaffee County remains in the Safer at Home and the Great Outdoors phase of reopening.

Chaffee County’s number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 since March is currently at 290.

A recent outbreak at Buena Vista Correctional Complex has added 184 inmates to the county number as of Wednesday, however those patients do not have contact with the community at large.

An outbreak at Columbine Manor Care Center in the spring has since resolved, but the incident added 44 residents to the county total, and accounts for almost all of the 19 deaths associated with the virus in the county.

Among the general community, the county reports 60 cases of COVID-19, 10 of whom are Department of Corrections staff involved with the current outbreak at BVCC, 12 of whom were staff members at Columbine Manor during that outbreak, and 38 members of the general public.

CCPH also reports 13 cases identified in Chaffee County, but who live in other counties.

The new CCPH order states, “Transmission of the virus continues to threaten Chaffee County citizens’ way of life and livelihoods, particularly with the influx of tourist traffic throughout the county.”

“CCPH recommends that without taking appropriate steps, the number of cases within Chaffee County will once again rise which may result in serious illness or death for certain members of the community, and will have the effect of further interrupting the functioning of the community, will overwhelm the capacity of the local health care system and the ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the document stated.

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A bee collects nectar and pollen from a Salida SteamPlant sunflower on a sunny Wednesday. Bees are attracted to different varieties of flowers, especially in the late summer. There are several beekeepers in the Salida area whose bees not only make honey, but serve as pollinators for various crops.

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The games will go on this year in Colorado, but the high school sports seasons have been modified and shortened in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The new data dashboard Chaffee County Public Health launched Thursday, is designed to provide real-time updates regarding COVID-19 in Chaffee County to keep the public abreast of case data.  

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Editor’s note: Most social events have been canceled due to precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following events, most of which are online, were scheduled as of press time but are subject to change.

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The biggest sale of Saturday’s Chaffee County junior livestock sale will go towards a 4-H scholarship in memory of Roselyn Cope. Evelyne Cope sold a heifer in memory of her late sister, Roselyn, and McMurry Land and Livestock purchased the cow for $11,000. 

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Dale Culver, Chief Ranger at Great Sand Dunes National Park, reported Monday that the Stupa Fire, which started by a lightning strike within the northern boundary of the park on Friday, was 100 percent under control as of 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Foundation recently awarded two $5,000 scholarships to local residents with Emergency Medical Service certifications currently pursuing nursing degrees.

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The U.S. Forest Service San Isabel National Forest – Salida Ranger District announced Wednesday that Monarch Park campground will be closed in August while heavy equipment is operating in the area.

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Meals on Wheels are delivered Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in Salida and Buena Vista. All meals are served with 2 percent milk and most are served with whole wheat bread.

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Chaffee County Public Health launched a new data dashboard Thursday to keep the community abreast of changes in the county’s COVID-19 status.

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Andrea Carlstrom, Chaffee County Public Health director and incident command for COVID-19, reported the launch of a new data dashboard that should be available to the public today.

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The Colorado Department of Agriculture has received numerous reports from across the state of people receiving unsolicited packages of seeds in the mail that appear to have originated from China and other countries and labeled as containing jewelry or other items. 

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In celebration of Colorado Day, and the 144th birthday of the state, Colorado Parks and Wildlife offers free entry to 41 state parks on Aug. 3. Although the state recognizes this annual holiday on the first of the month, state parks celebrate the occasion with free entrance on the first Mond…

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Three new community cases of COVID-19, four new Buena Vista Correctional Complex staff cases and an additional 50 positive cases among BVCC inmates brings the county’s total to 282 cases of COVID-19 reported so far in the county.

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Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze lifted all fire restrictions within the county’s unincorporated lands today, according to a press release.

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Bill Murphy was a member of Ray Lines Post 64 of the American Legion for 57 years and was recipient of Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce Cornerstone Award for 2011.

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife is adding big game hunting lands to the Hunting Reservation System. The new properties will allow a small number of licensed big game hunters to reserve hunt sites at a select number of properties in Game Management Units (GMUs) 1, 11, 23, 40, 41, 211 and 441. 

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Nathrop hiker Terry Pann, 60, is missing and is believed to have been hiking alone in the vicinity of the Three Apostles, having taken off from the Lake Ann trailhead near Winfield. 

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Meals on Wheels are delivered Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in Salida and Buena Vista. Most are served with bread and butter. Call 719-539-3341 to sign up for delivery.

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A 19-year-old man from College Point, New York, is dead following a wreck that occurred at the intersection of U.S. 50 and Colo. 9 at 2:50 p.m. Saturday. 

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Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center and Chaffee County Public Health will hold a COVID-19 panel discussion at noon today to provide local response updates and present a panel discussion on “How to Boost Your Immune System.”

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Chaffee County residents are encouraged to stop by to complete their 2020 Census from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in front of Walmart,  7865 W. U.S. 50.

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Beginning Thursday establishments that sell alcohol will have to close at 10 p.m. per a new executive order from Gov. Jared Polis, a press release stated.

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Gov. Jared Polis listed Chaffee County Tuesday as a county that will need to increase restrictions due to its surging COVID-19 case count Chaffee County Public Health announced on Facebook.  

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Buena Vista Correctional Facility has 131 reported positive cases of COVID-19, including 128 inmates and 3 staff members thus far in their recent outbreak of the virus. 

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Chaffee County Search and Rescue recently purchased a new rescue vehicle with funds donated by Colorado Grand, Monarch Community Outreach and community support of the group’s main fundraiser, the annual Angel of Shavano Car Show.

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Meals on Wheels are delivered Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in Salida and Buena Vista. Most are served with bread and butter. Call 719-539-3341 to sign up for delivery.

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Chaffee County Public helath reported two new cases of COVID-19 Thursday bringing the county total to 126.

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Collegiate Peaks Bank is matching up to $10,000 in donations made to the “Chip in for Your Chamber” fundraiser for the Buena Vista Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce.

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Chaffee County Community Foundation is hosting a virtual conference for nonprofit organizations on Thursday mornings  that begins July 30 and runs through four weeks until Aug. 20.  

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Rain started pouring in downtown Salida around 1:30 p.m. Friday, dropping .21 inches of moisture and some hail in approximately 15 minutes before letting up, and then picking back up. As of 5 p.m., .46 inches of rain had fallen.

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Collegiate Peaks Bank is matching up to $10,000 in donations made to the “Chip in for Your Chamber” fundraiser for the Buena Vista Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce. 

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will meet at 8 a.m. Thursday, adjourning at 4:45 p.m. The commission will reconvene at 8 a.m. Friday and adjourn at 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be streamed live on CPW’s youtube page – youtube.com/user/ColoParksWildlife. 

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The Salida Wine Festival won’t take place this year. With continued uncertainty surrounding large-scale events and in the interest, and safety for the Salida community,  Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce decided to cancel the ninth annual festival. The Salida Wine Fest was scheduled t…

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Chaffee County’s case numbers for COVID-19 rose from 82 to 121 positive cases as of Sunday mainly due to inmate testing at Buena Vista Correctional Complex last week, according to Chaffee County Public Health Director and COVID-19 Incident Command Andrea Carlstrom.

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