As coronavirus cases rise in Colorado and colder temperatures loom, UCHealth is urging the public to double down on taking COVID-19 precautions.

"Colorado is experiencing a third wave of COVID-19 infections that the governor and public health experts attribute to reopenings at colleges and schools along with relaxed behavior over the Labor Day weekend," the organization said in a recent article. 

Dr. Michelle Barron, an infectious disease expert with UCHealth, is worried that this laissez-faire attitude could lead to overflowing hospitals as the flu season begins to merge with the pandemic.

However, she believes that an immediate change in behavior may prevent a detrimental outbreak this winter.

While the following tips may sound redundant, UCHealth maintains that these strategies are paramount in slowing the spread of the virus:

  • Wear a mask whenever you are near other people outside of your household.
  • Avoid in-person gatherings as much as possible, and keep gatherings small and socially distanced.
  • Isolate yourself if you feel sick, especially if your symptoms are respiratory, or if you may have been exposed.
  • Stay six feet apart from anyone outside of your household.
  • Stay away from crowded indoor situations.

"Our cases are going up, and the exponential rise this past week is worrisome," said Dr. Daniel Pastula, a neuro-infectious disease expert with UCHealth, in the article. "We need to hunker down this fall and winter and practice good COVID prevention so things don't get out of control. And we need to start doing this now."

Much of Colorado has already started to heed this advice.

Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas counties are expanding their mandatory mask mandates until the indefinite end of the pandemic, while Mayor Hancock has upped social distancing and mask restrictions in Denver.

CU Boulder has cancelled their spring break, and Larimer County is debating reverting back to "safer at home" level restrictions.

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