State moves RBC to Orange on COVID dial

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RBC | The state health department moved Rio Blanco County into Level Orange on the COVID-19 dial framework effective Monday, Dec. 14, according to the state website. The dial levels are based on three factors: new cases reported, percent positivity rate, and impact on hospitalizations.

The move from Level Yellow to Level Orange further reduces capacity rates on indoor dining, manufacturing, offices, personal services, and other venues, and makes the county ineligible for new variance requests. Complete guidelines on restrictions can be found at

As of Wednesday, the county has had 271 total cases since the pandemic began, with spikes in both Meeker and Rangely in the last month accounting for the majority of those cases. Case counts dropped last week in both Meeker and Rangely. You can view real-time data at

Additional increases are anticipated during and after the holiday season. Sixteen RBC residents have required hospitalization. Two have died.


RBC Public Health has been working overtime to keep up with the demand for testing. A state contract with MAKO Medical Laboratories will provide for an eight-person team to come in and provide rapid response testing.
The team is expected to be in Rangely starting Wednesday and stay through Saturday, offering drive-through testing for anyone who wants to come and get a test from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The only requirement is that you stay in your car. Individuals who don’t have a vehicle can call Public Health at 970-878-9520 in Meeker or 970-878-9525 in Rangely to arrange a walk-up test.


The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Colorado earlier this week and are being sent out based on population of individuals slated for the first round of vaccinations: people in long-term care, skilled nursing residents and staff, and frontline hospital workers caring for COVID-19 patients.

RBC is expected to receive 200 doses the week of Dec. 28.

The HT will have further coverage on the vaccine, how it works, and more in coming editions.

Flu shots are still available, as well, and all residents are urged to be vaccinated for influenza.