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Colorado county issues shelter-in-place order

A county in Colorado issued a shelter-in-place order Wednesday in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

San Miguel County’s shelter in place order will be in effect until at least April 3 at the discretion of the public health director, according to the county’s announcement

As part of its mitigation plan, San Miguel officials will also test the entire county for COVID-19. The testing will be offered free of charge and will be administered by the county public health department. 

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“We know just testing is not enough to fight this virus. If we invest in the short-term inconveniences of isolation and sheltering-in-place now, we will save lives,” Grace Franklin, the county's public health and environment director, said in a statement. 

The county is currently prohibiting events of more than 10 people, as well as all events at community centers. It is also ceasing activities at business facilities except for minimum basic operations and essential services. 

Violators of the county orders are subject to criminal and civil charges. 

"Our actions now seem exaggerated to some, but let me assure you all, any actions we want to take later will be severely inadequate," county medical officer Dr. Sharon Grundy added.

There are no confirmed cases in the county as of Tuesday, according to county data. 

Across Colorado, there are 216 confirmed cases of the virus, according to the state’s data.