Mayor Gradisar warns of “Red Flag” conditions for COVID-19 in Pueblo, will remain at Level 2 on State Dial
PUEBLO – Mayor Nick Gradisar announced on Friday during his weekly address, Pueblo would remain at Safer Level 2 on the State of Colorado’s COVID-19 Dial because of the alarming and steady increase in Coronavirus cases in Pueblo.
With the rise in cases and from a concern more Puebloans are relaxing on safety measures, the Mayor said the city is under the perfect conditions for COVID-19 to spread rapidly.
“What we are seeing is alarming. I liken this to a red flag fire warning, but this is a health emergency, and Pueblo is under the perfect conditions for the COVID-19 pandemic to spread rapidly,” said Mayor Gradisar.
Mayor Gradisar expressed alarm over the highest COVID-19 numbers since March with 133 new cases in October and 5 new outbreaks.
“If the situation worsens, I fear we will have to close certain parts of the economy, hurting Puebloans and our recovery. We cannot let this happen,” said Gradisar. “We must work together to keep Pueblo open and healthy, but residents must remain vigilant as we enter this new critical stage to keep the pandemic under control.”
Pueblo County was a Level 2 county with additional variances when the state released its COVID-19 dial system. Pueblo's goal was to apply to Level 1 if there was a sustained decrease in cases.
“At this time, we will not make any changes to our public health orders, and the limitations on public gatherings remain in place,” said Gradisar.
“Because of the high number of new COVID-19 cases and some Puebloans not taking health warnings seriously – we risk going backward,” said Gradisar. “If we do not get the virus under control, we will not be able to move to that level.”
Gradisar raised four worrying trends contributing to the increase: family gatherings continue to be hot spots, some businesses remain lax on COVID-19 measures, reports that school staff or students are attending school sick, and those failing to isolate or quarantine when COVID-19 positive or probable.
To address the risk of community spread in the restaurant sector, Gradisar warned restaurants and bars their liquor license could be summarily suspended if they fail to implement the required health and safety measures. This action is due to a small number of establishments disregarding COVID-19 standards.
Most businesses inspected by the COVID-19 Education and Compliance team are following guidelines according to Gradisar. He recognized the 60-plus businesses that made the COVID-19 Safety All-Stars.
“These businesses understand that customer confidence is the key to revenue this winter. And one case of COVID-19 could shut down your businesses for days or weeks,” said Gradisar.
Pueblo County has 1295 positive and probable cases and 38 deaths related to COVID-19.
Over 28,500 people have been tested at either the community testing site or through another provider.
Pueblo County has 14 active outbreaks.