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Dear Rusty: I have been a widow since November 2019. I retired under the Federal Civil Service Retirement System. Before my husband died, I made an appointment with Social Security to see if I could receive his Social Security if he passed on. 

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A moose cow and calf cool off in a pond in western Chaffee County July 30. The pair was photgraphed by Salidan Don Dubin. Colorado Parks and Wildlife warns female moose are very protective of their young and can be dangerous if approached or caught off guard. Photographers can share photos a…

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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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Chaffee County commissioners unanimously approved the renewal of the 1041 application for the Homestake suction pipe replacement project, which provides water to Colorado Springs and Aurora.

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The U.S. stock market ended the day higher Tuesday, led by the energy sector.

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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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After a long delay, the annual SunFest concert will be held at Riverside Park Friday and Saturday during FIBArk weekend.

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The United States dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare from a B-29 bomber on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. The second came three  days later on Aug. 9 when the United States dropped another bomb on Nagasaki. 

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Salida city council members unanimously approved the master plan and airport layout plan for Harriet Alexander Field at its regular meeting Tuesday.

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The Salida City Council heard two presentations at its work session Monday, one concerning a city-wide green house gas inventory and second concerning an update on Salida Public Schools. 

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Rob Simpson is the new associate dean of academic and student services for Colorado Mountain College, Salida.

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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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The Stupa Fire was started Friday when lightning ignited a grass fire inside the northern boundary of Great Sand Dunes National Park.

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The FIBArk downriver race will travel the full length of Browns Canyon this year, forcing boaters to navigate some of the toughest and biggest rapids on the Arkansas River during the marathon.

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Chaffee County commissioners will conduct two public hearings during their online meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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 The driver of a semi tractor-trailer is dead following a crash on U.S. 285 two miles north of Jefferson at about 9 p.m. Thursday. 

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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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The Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are monitoring a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of an outbreak of Salmonella Newport in red onions that have been traced to …

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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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Salida City Council will consider adopting the Airport Master Plan and Airport Layout Plan for Harriet Alexander Field at its regular meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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While heavy rain washed out a section on the Rainbow Trail last week, a rock slide also fell on the Greens Creek trail about 3-tenths of a mile from the bottom trailhead. 

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Responding to a call for help, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers found a body Friday in Skaguay Reservoir, a remote, 114-acre mountain reservoir about 20 miles southwest of Colorado Springs.

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As the Salida School District prepares to open for in-person instruction this fall, an online option is also being rolled out for families who, for health or other reasons, are not comfortable with students returning to school.

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Because of relatively stable community COVID-19 numbers in Chaffee County, both Salida and Buena Vista School Districts announced they will be opening for in-person instruction with high mitigation procedures in place.

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Chaffee County Fire Protection District was called out to a vehicle fire at 10:10 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. 285 on Poncha Pass at about milemarker 120.

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Col. Dave Williams, Salida, is celebrating his 90th birthday Sunday.

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The Colorado TINTS (Theater in Non-Traditional Spaces) production of “Mother! The Story of Mother Jones” starring Jan Justis is available to view online.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!