Up-to-date information about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
CO-HELP is Colorado’s call line for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
People who have general questions about COVID-19 can call CO HELP at 303-389-1687
BCH Statement as of March 28, 2020:
BCH’s highest priority is to do everything within our control to
maintain the safety of our patients, staff and the overall community.
We are aware of the fear that hospitals on the front lines of COVID-19
may be overwhelmed by an influx of too many patients too quickly. We want
to reassure patients and our community that BCH is well prepared to deal
with the potential growth of this pandemic. BCH has the capacity, infrastructure
and resources to deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases — we’re
capable of weathering this storm.
Please be advised that this is an evolving situation and data and information
may change on a daily basis. See below for information about COVID-19
and precautions you can take to keep you, your family and the overall
community safe. We are also posting regular updates regarding BCH facilities
and its policies as it relates to COVID-19 and the health of our patients.
BCH, Foothills Hospital and Community Information
Mental Health, Safety and Protection Resources
COVID-19 General Information
BCH, Foothills Hospital and Community Information
As part of our response planning, we've determined that it is prudent
to centralize our emergency medicine resources at our busiest location,
Foothills Hospital, which is seeing and would continue to see the majority
of people experiencing respiratory illnesses, both flu and COVID-19. To
accomplish this, we will temporarily close the Emergency Department at
Community Medical Center (CMC) in Lafayette, effective Wednesday, March
25, at 9 p.m.
The Emergency Department will be closed for up to 90 days, with ongoing
reassessment of the situation. Staff from the CMC Emergency Department
will be transferred to the Foothills Hospital Emergency Department and
other areas of BCH.
Residents of Lafayette and adjoining communities have access to other nearby
The Imaging and Laboratory services at CMC will also close, with those
staff being absorbed into other BCH locations.
The following BCH services will remain open at CMC:
As of 3/26/20, Gov. Jared Polis issued a statewide stay-at-home order.
You can read more about this and other public health and executive orders
by visiting the
CDPHE public health order page. The order may be changed or extended.
BCH and our neighboring health systems will collaborate to support each
other in battling COVID-19. But in order to withstand the coming surge
of COVID-19 patients, BCH and all other hospitals need everyone to comply
with Gov. Jared Polis’ mandatory stay-at-home order and social distancing
guidelines. We all have the power to help slow the spread of the virus
and reduce its burden on our health care system.
According to the
CDPHE site, you should stay home as much as possible except for critical activities
- Obtaining food and other household necessities including medicine
- Going to and from work if you are a critical employee
- Seeking medical care
- Caring for dependents or pets
- Caring for a vulnerable person in another location
- Participating in outdoor recreation at a legally-mandated safe distance
of six feet or more from other parties
Important points you should know about this order include:
- Work from home is permitted and encouraged where possible.
- Grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, health care facilities, public
transportation and other critical businesses will remain open. Cannabis
and liquor stores will remain open. Please note that cities and counties
may have specific rules around the purchase, consumption, and delivery
of liquor and cannabis. Please check your local government website to
see if they have more specific rules.
- Although this order does not apply to critical business, social distancing
will be mandated for those businesses that remain open.
- All gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason other than critical
business or government functions are banned.
- All non-critical businesses statewide are closed to the public.
- All non-critical businesses must close in-office personnel functions. Keep
employees working from home whenever possible.
- Bars and restaurants are closed, but takeout and delivery options are permitted.
- Theaters, sports venues, casinos, and other gathering places are closed.
- Pastoral services for individuals who are in crisis or in need of end-of-life
services are allowed.
- Houses of worship may remain open, but must practice social distancing
or use electronic platforms.
You can find a
detailed explanation of the order, and who it applies to, here.
The State has not currently created a certification process for individuals
who need to leave their homes while the Stay Home order is in place or
for businesses to certify that they are critical businesses; however,
the Stay Home order is the law in Colorado and everyone is expected to
abide by it.
Boulder Community Health’s COVID-19 taskforce is working around the
clock to monitor the situation in our community and ensure our procedures
reflect the most current recommendations for maintaining the safety of
our patients, staff and community.
While plans to expand COVID-19 testing are being developed at the national
level, local health systems here in Colorado still have limited supplies
to conduct testing. BCH, along with other health systems, must prioritize
our testing to focus on our most vulnerable patients.
Effective immediately, BCH will only test hospital inpatients or patients
who require immediate admission to the hospital. As we all know, the situation
is continually evolving. Our approach to testing may change in the future
if supplies become more available.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recommends
these actions if you are sick:
- Call your health care provider. Follow the provider’s advice before
going into a health care facility.
- DO NOT go to a hospital emergency department unless you are having a medical
emergency. For COVID-19, that means severe respiratory symptoms such as
shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.
- Call 9-1-1 if you are having a medical emergency.
here for the latest updates and guidance on testing at the state laboratory
- For general questions about COVID 19, call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911,
or email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English and Spanish.
BCH follows best practices for reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses
such as COVID-19 as outlined by the CDPHE and CDC. To make sure that we
are able to maintain the health and safety of our patients, staff and
community, please follow these recommendations before visiting any BCH location:
To reduce the spread of respiratory illness, please stay home if you are
sick and can safely do so. For patients with symptoms such as fever, cough
or other respiratory problems or if you feel you require immediate care
for your illness,
please call your health care provider for guidance. We ask that you do not go to the emergency room before calling your physician
As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread across Boulder County, we are
modifying our clinic operations to limit potential exposure to the virus
for both patients and staff. Accordingly, all primary care and specialty
care clinics are
canceling traditional in-office visits for routine, non-urgent appointments until
further notice. If medically appropriate, we will offer patients the opportunity
to have a telephone visit with their provider. Otherwise, we will reschedule
Additionally, our Adult Rehabilitation and Pediatric Rehabilitation clinics
are canceling all non-essential therapy appointments indefinitely. Requests
for new therapy evaluations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Our Occupational Health clinic will also be closed until further notice.
After careful consideration, we are canceling non-urgent, elective surgical
procedures scheduled for March 17 through April 12. This includes any
procedure that can wait at least 30 days without jeopardizing the health
and safety of the patient. There are limited exceptions, such as dialysis
catheters and cancer care procedures. We will reschedule these surgeries
at the earliest opportunity to safely proceed.
As most are aware, there is a national shortage of Personal Protective
Equipment (PPE) for hospital staff. BCH is in a good position thanks to
early preparation and emergency reserves. We are taking measures to conserve
our supplies while adhering to PPE guidelines for mask use from the World
Health Organization (WHO) and local and state health authorities, as well
as best practices shared by other health systems experiencing community
spread of COVID-19 in their areas.
The Boulder community has a great tradition of people pitching in to help
out in tough times, and we have received many offers from people with
supplies they would like to donate. We would welcome donations of sealed/unopened
boxes of masks, gloves or other PPE. Bring those donations to the main
entrance of Foothills Hospital (NOT the Emergency Department entrance)
and place donations in the blue bin. Donations are accepted Monday through
Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thank you for your generosity!
BCH is making changes across our network in order to lower potential exposure
to respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Please see below for updated
BCH Patient Services Center Office Closed to the Public
Our office will not be seeing patients in person. We are still available
to serve the needs of our patients via the following:
- Call the Patient Service Center at 303-415-5300
- Email email@example.com
- Payments or letters can be mailed to 5450 Western Avenue Boulder, CO 80301
or drop boxes are available at the main entrance on the outside of the building.
- To pay online for services on or before September 30, 2019, the secure
portal at bch.org/paymybill
- To pay online for services on or after October 1, 2019, use the myBCH patient
portal. Can sign up at my.bch.org or download the MyBCH app from the App
Store or Google Play.
Health Information Management Offices Closed to Public
As of 3/19/20, our Health Information Management offices will be temporarily
closed to the public at our Pearl Parkway and Foothills Hospital locations.
Patients who have questions or need assistance with their medical record
can still reach us by phone at 303-415-7760 Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or by
email at HIM@bch.org.
Effective as of March 19, 2020
Family members and loved ones are an important part of the healing process.
However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases,
we must take extra steps to protect our patients, along with the physicians
and staff providing care. After careful consideration, we are restricting
visitation within BCH medical facilities until the transmission of COVID-19
is no longer a threat in our community.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), limiting
public gatherings is a very effective tool for slowing the spread of COVID‑19.
We are following that CDC recommendation and canceling all non-essential
public gatherings intended for community members. This is effective immediately
and includes community education programs and wellness-related events.
We recognize that activities like community education programs are highly
valued by community members and the BCH staff who provide those services.
Accordingly, we have a task force working to identify alternative ways
of providing such activities. We expect to begin using such new approaches
in the near future.
As of March 18, BCH is canceling all in-person free community health lectures.
However, because providing this service to our community is important,
folks can still "virtually attend" our free health lectures
online, by visiting our
Community Health Lecture Livestream page. On this page, you can watch our lectures live or view a recording
the following day.
Thank you for understanding and supporting this effort to safeguard our
From Boulder County Public Health:
School districts and the University of Colorado at Boulder have implemented
closures on their campuses to help slow the spread of COVID-19. See information
from these institutions in the links below.
All Boulder County offices and buildings
are closed due to COVID-19.
Increased Ventilator Supply
In “normal” times, BCH has 10 ventilators available to care
for patients suffering severe respiratory symptoms. In anticipation of
the pandemic, we’ve identified additional ventilators — and
other medical equipment that can function as a ventilator — that
we can quickly obtain, allowing us to ramp up our ventilator capacity
to four times our normal level. For example, we can use Continuous Positive
Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines — such as those used to treat sleep
apnea — to support hospitalized people with less severe breathing
issues, allowing us to reserve ventilators for patients with severe respiratory issues.
Moreover, we’re continuing an intensive effort to obtain ventilators
and other ventilation devices from companies around the globe, giving
us the potential to further increase our capabilities.
Expanded Bed Capacity
Similar planning has been done to enable us to increase the number of Intensive
Care Unit and medical-surgical beds available for patients with COVID-19
and other serious medical conditions. BCH had been licensed for 174 inpatient
beds, but we recently became licensed for an additional 40 beds. We have
contingency plans in place to repurpose areas throughout the BCH system
to accommodate more inpatient beds. Nursing units, waiting rooms, procedure
rooms and conference rooms can all be repurposed to quickly increase our
overall bed capacity by 50%.
Optimized Supply of PPE
We’ve been working relentlessly to preserve and increase our stores
of personal protective equipment (PPE) in readiness for a prolonged increase
in the number of patients in our care. We’re also using optimization
guidelines from the World Health Organization, with guidance from BCH
infectious disease specialists, to help us to conserve and safely extend
the use of this equipment.
Established in 1978, the Boulder Community Health Foundation is a 501(c)(3)
charitable organization that exists to enhance the quality and availability
of health care services in Boulder County by generating and administering
all charitable gifts to our nonprofit community-owned hospital system.
COVID-19 Response Fund
With the continued spread of COVID-19 throughout Boulder County, the BCH
Foundation has established the COVID-19 Response Fund, which helps raise
money to help BCH employees directly affected by the virus and to help
procure the equipment and services we need to care for our community during
100% of all proceeds raised to this fund will continue to go directly to
these areas of support:
Support our most critical asset at BCH, our people.
You can help us assist those BCH staff who are facing unanticipated financial
challenges (e.g., needing child care due to the closing of schools, financial
hardship from a spouse/partner being out of work, etc.). We will provide
the assistance they need by significantly expanding the depth and breadth
of support provided by the BCH Employee Assistance Fund.
Remove any barriers to providing the best treatment for COVID–19.
You can help by supporting BCH’s significant investment in our testing
capability, expanding telehealth access, and planning for an increase
in cases, including supply management, space capacity and flex training
for our staff and physicians.
BCH leadership is confident in the ability and personal commitment of our
clinical team to provide the best treatment and care to the community
in the coming weeks. We need your help to support those caregivers. Please
consider donating to our COVID-19 Response Fund.
Donate to COVID-19 Response Fund
Feed the Frontlines Fund
In coordination with community volunteers made up of restauranteurs, philanthropists
and entrepreneurs, the BCH Foundation has helped set up Feed the Frontlines
Boulder fund. This program is designed to benefit both health care workers
and restaurants and allows the community to donate meals from local restaurants
to be delivered to health care workers on the frontlines. It’s a
true win-win: health care workers will enjoy nourishing meals, while local
restaurants will receive the critical business they need to help keep
Several local restaurants including Salt, Big Red F Restaurant Group, Kitchen
Next Door, Japango, Blackbelly/Santo, and Community Kitchen Table helped
to get this program off the ground. The food services partner at the hospital,
BCH Food Services, has generously offered their trained staff and facilities
to help receive, distribute, and store the meals delivered by the restaurants.
As this program grows in the coming weeks the BCH Foundation will look
at expanding further across Boulder County to support other health care
workers as funding allows and also add to the list of local restaurants
participating in the program.
Donate to Feed the Frontlines
Mental Health, Safety and Protection Resources
Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions
in adults and children. We’ve gathered some resources and tools
to help manage anxiety and reduce stress in yourself and others during
Stress and coping: Taking care of yourself, your friends and your family can help you cope
with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your
community stronger. Learn what you can do to support yourself and others.
Talking to children about COVID-19: It’s very important to remember that children look to adults for
guidance on how to react to stressful events. Helping children cope with
anxiety about COVID-19 requires providing accurate prevention information
and facts without causing undue alarm.
Learn more (Spanish)
Reducing fear and taking care of yourself: We need to be careful that fear is not what we spread across our communities.
When we take actions that help us be prepared, healthy and informed, we
can spread calm instead.
Coping strategies for those with mental health vulnerabilities: People
affected by mental illness face additional challenges dealing with COVID-19.
Read how to take care of yourself and check in on loved ones with mental
We understand this is a stressful time and people want to know what steps
to take to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19. In addition
to staying informed about what’s happening in our community and
always following the directions of state and local authorities, we’ve
gathered some important information and guidance to help you and your
loved ones remain safe.
Caring for someone with COVID-19: If you are caring for someone at home, it’s important to know how
to monitor for emergency signs, prevent the spread of germs, treat symptoms,
and carefully consider when to end home isolation.
How to isolate at home when you have COVID-19: If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, follow these
steps to help protect other people in your home and community.
How to protect pets if you are sick: If you are sick with COVID-19 (either suspected or confirmed), you should
restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around
Coronavirus self-checker: The purpose of the Coronavirus Self-Checker is to help you make decisions
about seeking appropriate medical care.
COVID-19 General Information
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered
coronavirus. COVID-19 is spread the same way as other respiratory illnesses:
- You have to be exposed to the virus to become sick. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) defines exposure as being within six feet
of someone with a confirmed infection for a prolonged period of time.
- Exposure can occur through respiratory droplets, when an infected person
coughs or sneezes.
- It may be possible to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that
has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals
or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory
infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common symptoms are:
- Dry cough
Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore
throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.
Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't
feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without
needing special treatment.
Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill
and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying
medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes,
are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and
difficulty breathing should call their primary care physician for guidance.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention
immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for
any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
People at increased risk of infection are:
- Those who have been to areas where widespread community transmission is occurring
- Those who have had direct close contact with someone who has COVID-19
Should you meet the above criteria, please
call your primary care provider for guidance.
COVID-19 can be especially dangerous for those at higher risk, including people:
- 60 years old and older
- With underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease,
- Who have weakened immune systems
- Who are pregnant
From the CDPHE COVID-19 site:
Simplified Chinese |
Community spread can mean a few different things.
- Limited person-to-person spread (or transmission) means a person in Colorado
became infected from a known exposure to another person in Colorado.
- Limited community spread (or transmission) means there are cases and outbreaks
in certain communities where people became infected, and we are unable
to identify the source.
- Widespread community spread (or transmission) means there are cases and
outbreaks in many communities where people are spreading the virus to
There is known community spread of COVID-19 in many communities in Colorado.
Be prepared for a community spread in your community.
Slowing Community Spread
Creating distance between people slows community spread of COVID-19. Slowing
the spread of COVID-19 will decrease the daily number of cases and hospitalizations
that occur in Colorado. Fewer hospitalized cases at one time are needed
to make sure our hospitals have the staff and equipment they need to take
care of the sickest people.
We all have a role to play, and we’re all in this together. We urge
Coloradans to exercise personal responsibility to protect public health.
As per the CDPHE site, working together we can:
- Reduce the number of people who get COVID-19 before an effective treatment
or vaccine is available.
- Protect those most likely to experience severe symptoms, such as older
people and those with serious chronic conditions.
- Preserve and protect our health care system so they can continue to care
for all people in the community.
- Minimize the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 over the long run.
To learn more about community spread and the steps we can take to slow
it, please visit the CDPHE
Slowing Community Spread page.
Anyone with symptoms such as fever, cough or other respiratory problems should
call their primary care provider for guidance. It’s recommended that you DO NOT go to the emergency room so that
hospital resources are available for those with the most critical need.
If you are sick, stay home and talk to your employer about options to
work from home.
Because exposure to COVID-19 requires prolonged periods of close contact,
there are simple protective measures recommended by the World Health Organization
which can minimize your risk of exposure:
- For those WITH respiratory symptoms: maintain physical separation of six
feet and wear a mask
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
- Stay home if you are sick
- Get an annual flu vaccine if you have not had one
- Avoid visiting hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes to
the extent possible. Limit time there and keep at least six feet away
Getting ready for a widespread disease is largely about preparing for possible
shortages. Here are some things you can do:
- Try to get an extra months’ worth of prescription medications, if
possible, in case there are supply chain disruptions
- Slowly start to stock up on enough non-perishable food to last your household
through two weeks of staying at home if there is a wave of transmission
in the community
- Think through how you will take care of sick family members while trying
not to get infected
- Start practicing not touching your face now. This can greatly reduce the
frequency of potential spread. (You can even try a buddy system, where
you and a friend remind each other when someone scratches their eyelid
or rubs their nose.)
- Replace handshakes with elbow-bumps.
- Start building healthy habits like pushing elevator buttons with a knuckle
instead of a fingertip.
- Avoid sharing e-cigarettes, drinks, etc.
- Increase regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces (e.g. doorknobs,
faucet handles, toilet handles etc.).
According to the CDC:
There is currently no information from published scientific reports about
the susceptibility of pregnant women to COVID-19. However, pregnant women
experience immunologic and physiologic changes which might make them more
susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19.
There is no evidence that children are more susceptible to COVID-19. In
fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred
in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very
young children. There is an ongoing investigation to determine more about
this outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will
be updated as it becomes available.
Information about children and pregnant women and COVID-19 is available
on this page.
From the CDPHE:
- Employers should take steps to make it possible for employees to minimize
close contact with large numbers of people when necessary.
- Make sure flex place options are available.
- Urge employees to stay home when they are sick, and be flexible with sick
- Model and encourage everyday actions to limit the spread of illness.
CDPHE Environmental Cleaning Guidance for COVID-19 -
Simplified Chinese |
How do I know if I have COVID-19?
Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. A phone evaluation
by a health care professional is needed to determine if you meet the criteria
to come in and be evaluated for testing.
Can I come in and get a culture?
Only those with fever or respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness
of breath will be evaluated to see if they meet the testing criteria.
Those without symptoms will not be tested.
Also, evaluation for testing must be done through our hotline to central
triage, and further exam to consider testing is currently limited to our
emergency rooms and urgent cares.
Is there a vaccine?
No, there is no vaccine at this time. Vaccines can take several months
or years to be developed.
Can I get several months’ worth of my medications?
That has to be determined by your physician.
For more frequently asked questions, please visit the
CDC FAQ and
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