Thursday, July 2, 2020

Have a happy & responsible 4th of July!

The beginning of the state’s new fiscal year also coincides with the 4th of July holiday. With the COVID-19 pandemic still upon us, the State of Colorado wants you to have a fun but responsible holiday weekend. Whether you are enjoying Colorado’s great, vast outdoors or celebrating with a classic cookout, the state has provided some additional steps to keep one another and our communities safe. 
  • Make it safer - if you choose to participate in in-person activities, keep it small, keep your distance from others, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask. Don’t be afraid to change your plans if you feel uncomfortable about the risk.
  • Know before you go - check fire bans and local COVID-19-related rules at your destination. If you plan to play in the great outdoors be prepared with appropriate supplies.
  • Prevent fires - It’s fire season, and this year we need to be even more careful due to added threats due to COVID-19. We want to prevent situations where people have to evacuate their homes, firefighters have to deploy to camps, and smoke worsens summer air quality (and the impacts on people already at risk for breathing difficulty). This year, skip the fireworks and campfires.
Together we can slow the spread of the virus and help preserve the vast, great, outdoors where we all love to play.

How to spend the holiday weekend responsibly outdoors -

  • Remember to play it safe and be respectful outside. While using this opportunity to spend time outdoors, please do so safely and responsibly. Our first responders and search and rescue teams are all facing these challenges along with us. Please avoid high-risk or remote activities, as accidents stemming from these types of activities may require extensive resources. Colorado Search and Rescue teams are prepared and ready to respond but could become overloaded if the number of calls increases and the number of available responders decreases.
  • Visit the Care for Colorado website where you will find a fun, one-minute animated video called Steps to Care for Coloradans and the Are you Colo-Ready? Responsible Travel Edition brochure designed especially for those using Colorado's trails.
How to reduce your risk this holiday -
  • The safest thing, for everyone, is to minimize your exposure to others. Activities like camping with people from your household using your equipment are lower risk than activities that involve more interpersonal interaction.
  • We do know there are risks associated with travel. Think through your travel plans. Make sure your plans are comfortable for you and your family. We want people to make summer plans in the great outdoors.
  • If you do travel, make sure that you understand and follow the rules at your destination.
  • Your mask is your passport to the Colorado you love. Make sure that you take it with you and wear it. Follow social distancing guidelines and wash your hands frequently.
  • Those looking to explore the outdoors should check out COTREX to see what trails, trailheads and activities are permissible on state and federal public lands, and what isn’t crowded.
How families can safely have holiday cookouts and gatherings -
  • Summer gatherings this holiday should look different compared to a typical summer. It’s important to keep your distance and keep gatherings small. We’re asking you to continue to have less interactions with less people and do so in a safe way by wearing a face covering, remaining 6ft away from others, and washing your hands frequently. Additionally, being in an outdoor environment is ideal - we have the benefit of climate and sunshine to modify/decrease transmission.
Please be sure to spread the word to your coworkers, friends, and family.

Today's blog comes from OIT Chief Information Officer and Executive Director, Dr. Theresa M. Szczurek

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