COVID-19 update, flu vaccine available, free rapid testing, and radon tests

Oct. 5, 2021

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Mini-grants are now available through Garfield County Public Health, as are flu vaccines and radon tests.

$500-$2,500 mini-grants available

Public health is offering 10 mini-grants, ranging from $500 to $2,500, for projects that encourage youth ages 12 to 17 and their caregivers to get vaccinated. Grant funding can be used for both the vaccine promotion activity and to cover the cost of something unrelated. Grants that focus on ensuring equitable access for children and youth to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are given priority. Applications are due Oct. 11 and are located on the public health website.

Free rapid testing for symptomatic people

Roaring Fork Free COVID testing now offers free rapid antigen testing for those with symptoms, in addition to free PCR molecular testing.

Flu vaccinations available

Flu vaccine is available during walk-up clinics or by appointment. For a full list of clinic dates and locations, see the public health flu page.

The influenza virus changes every year, so getting vaccinated annually is important to make sure you have immunity.

Flu symptoms appear one to four days after exposure to the virus and typically last between five to seven days. Even after symptoms resolve many individuals continue to feel fatigued. People who have had the flu shot generally have less severe symptoms over a shorter period.

Few Americans had flu last season

The CDC reported 1,316 positive flu cases between September 2020 and January 2021. During that same period for the 2019 to 2020 season there were nearly 130,000 cases.

While more people in the US received a flu vaccine in 2020, the decrease was primarily due to mask-wearing and social distancing.

*Free radon test kits

Garfield County Public Health is offering free radon home-test kits.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to radon accounts for approximately 21,000 deaths from lung cancer each year. Colorless and odorless, the gas becomes trapped indoors after it enters buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Breathing it over time increases your risk for radon-related lung cancer.

You can reduce and control the radon in your home. Testing is the only way to know how much radon is in your home. If levels are high, contact a certified professional to fix your home using a ventilation system. EPA guidance suggests mitigating if levels are at or above 4 picocuries/liter.

Kits are available at:

Garfield County Public Health

2014 Blake Ave.

Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Garfield County Public Health

195 W. 14th St.

Rifle, CO 81650

Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER), Third Street Center

520 S 3rd St.

Carbondale, CO 81623

COVID-19 update

  • Garfield County had three COVID-19 deaths in September.
  • Over the past 14 days, there has been a decline in the number of cases and test positivity, a sign that the “fifth wave” is in a possible decline.
  • As of Friday, 10 Garfield County residents were hospitalized with the virus – nine were unvaccinated.
  • Breakthrough cases account for less than one percent of fully vaccinated individuals in Garfield County.
  • A national study showed that nearly four in 10 people who became infected with COVID-19 still have at least one symptom three to six months later.

Pregnant women reach highest number of COVID-related deaths in August, CDC issues urgent alert for vaccinations

The CDC issued a health alert on September 29, recommending urgent action for pregnant women, recently pregnant women, and those who are trying to become pregnant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to prevent serious illness and death.

In August 2021, more pregnant women died from COVID-19 in the U.S. than in any other month during the pandemic.

Leave a reply