COVID-19 summary for the week of July 4
July 4, 2021
Changes with Public Health Order 20-38, vaccination disparity in Garfield municipalities, 10 deaths in 2 months, booster update, HIPPA and proof of vaccination
Impacts of Public Health Order 20-38
This order became effective 6/30/21, and rescinds many things that were in previous orders.
NEW – testing requirements for congregant settings such as long-term care facilities, jails, prisons, and homeless shelters have changed. These settings/facilities are strongly encouraged to require all of their unvaccinated and not fully vaccinated staff to participate in COVID testing either
a) daily rapid testing, or
b) once weekly for PCR testing
NEW – face coverings are still required for unvaccinated, and not fully vaccinated patients, residents, and visitors. Medical grade face masks are required for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated staff that serve vulnerable or at-risk populations in homeless shelters, prisons, jails, emergency medical and healthcare settings.
*3 out of 4 of the current Garfield County outbreaks are in care settings. These outbreaks are due to staff not being vaccinated and working with vulnerable high-risk patients.
Stark disparity in vaccine uptake and illness in western Garfield County
There is a visible disparity in vaccine uptake from the eastern to western communities of Garfield County. This has affected rates of illness in these communities.
Rifle has approximately half as many first and second dose COVID vaccinations as Glenwood Springs. These towns have roughly the same population estimate. Parachute has less than a quarter of Glenwood.
Cases in Parachute/Battlement have increased sharply over the past two weeks. Over the past 30 days, Parachute had 66 reported COVID-19 cases, which is greater than the number of cases for Carbondale and Glenwood combined, and approximately 30% of the overall case count.
Vaccination rate by city graph
10 deaths in 2 months
Of the ten deaths due to COVID-19 that occurred in May and June, six were not vaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or have no vaccination record.
All four of the fully vaccinated individuals who died due to COVID-19 had severe underlying conditions that put them at greater risk. We have had 27,314 fully vaccinated persons in Garfield County. That is less than 2 hundredths of a percent. The vaccines are not 100% effective, but they are most effective at preventing the rate of deaths we were seeing in the winter.
Five cases were added to the Garfield County data page on one day, after they were confirmed by the Garfield County Coroner. Deaths are not reported on the data site until confirmed.
Incremental increases in vaccination rate
The percentage of people becoming fully vaccinated or UTD (up to date) is slowly increasing.
Garfield County women (56%) and men (52%) have roughly the same rate of vaccination.
Breakthrough cases less than one percent of vaccinated
17% of the week’s cases were breakthrough cases. A breakthrough cases occurs when someone who is fully vaccinated contracts COVID. Of the 27,314 Garfield County residents fully vaccinated there have been 64 or less than one percent of breakthrough cases.
COVID-19 outbreaks and long term care facility impacts
A large outbreak investigation continues in a private company that has led to over 20 people ill, several hospitalizations and one death, in employees that are unvaccinated.
Due to low staff vaccination rates, long-term care facilities were required to send in vaccination plans to the state health department.
Long-term care facilities are now required to follow enhanced infection control protocols to contain and prevent COVID outbreaks in their facilities.
In Mesa County, this strategy alone prevented seven sick nursing home workers from working while contagious with COVID-19 during a Delta variant outbreak at their facility. With this enhanced guidance, there is enhanced surveillance testing specifically for unvaccinated staff and residents and enhanced testing for all for outbreak mitigation.
There are now 76 confirmed cases of the Delta variant in Garfield County.
HIPAA and privacy laws for COVID vaccines
Vaccination is covered by HIPAA, however HIPAA applies only to HIPAA-covered entities (healthcare providers, health plans, healthcare clearinghouses and the business associates). HIPAA does not apply to most employers.
If an employer asks an employee to provide proof of COVID vaccine, in order to allow that individual to work without wearing a facemask, that is not a HIPAA violation.
Asking about vaccine status would not violate HIPAA, but other laws could be violated. For example: requiring employees to disclose additional health information such as the reason why they are not vaccinated could potentially violate federal laws.
Upcoming vaccine clinics
Clinics are being offered every day of the week in various locations throughout Garfield County. A list of vaccine clinics can be found on the English web page, Spanish web page, and on Facebook @Garfieldhealth.
CURRENT STATS as of 7/2/21
|Geographic Area||Total Cases||Currently Hospitalized||Deaths||*Recovered|
|Global||182,867,501||Not Available (N/A)||3,959,094||167,613,018|
|Garfield County||6,292||3*||49 Confirmed||N/A|
* Hospitalized cases that GCPH is tracking though the contact investigation process.
* From Johns Hopkins, CDPHE, Statista and the CDC
CASES SINCE LAST WEEK
• 59 cases added over the previous 7-day period, for a rolling average of 9.1 cases added per day. Up five cases from last week.
• 49 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths
• 2 deaths have occurred amongst COVID-19 cases; cause of death was not COVID-19
• 0 deaths under investigation
• 1 new death reported since last week
METRICS (6/19 – 6/25)
|Day||7-day Cumulative Incindence||7-day Test Positivity Rate||14-day Cumulative Incidence||14-day Test Positivity Rate|
*Percent of cases Public Health is tracking through the contact tracing process
*As of July 1, for individuals vaccinated anywhere in the state with a Garfield County address. The following are the total number of doses administered by Garfield County providers as of July 1:
|Vaccine||First doses||Second doses|
|Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)||2,449|
|First doses||Second doses||Doses Administered for the week|
|All providers as of 6/24||30,46625,135||951|