County reports 3 new COVID-19 cases

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Ouray County officials this morning reported three new cases of COVID-19.

Two men in their 20s and 40s were confirmed positive cases after testing at Ouray County Public Health on Wednesday. A boy under the age of 10, meanwhile, is considered a probable case.

The new cases bring the county's total caseload to 106 — 94 positive and 12 probable. Of those, 55 have occurred in the last two weeks.

The announcement of the new cases comes one day after officials confirmed an outbreak among City of Ouray employees. A woman in her 30s and a man in his 40s tested positive for the virus.

Ouray City Hall closed to the public, except by appointment, on Monday after state health officials moved Ouray to "high risk" level orange on the state's COVID-19 safer-at-home dial. The move reduces business capacity in most cases from 50 to 25 people and nixed the variance allowing increased capacity at pools. The Town of Ridgway also decided Thursday night to close town hall due to increased virus levels, and the county will be closing its buildings to the public starting Monday. Business can still be conducted through the county's drop boxes and offices are still being staffed so business can be arranged by contacting individual county offices.

Elected officials, business owners and other community leaders have signed a letter encouraging people to take action to reduce the recent surge in cases in the county, cautioning that, without doing so, businesses may have to shut down again as they did in the spring. The letter will publish in next week's Plaindealer.