Garfield County Public Health COVID update

January 21, 2022

State health department says Colorado omicron cases may be nearing peak, slow decline predicted.
Colorado cases of COVID-19 appear to be peaking in both the number of cases and percent positivity. There continues to be a lot of COVID-19 circulating in the community, and the decline in cases will likely be slow.

Overall trends are gradually declining, however, cases among 12- to 17-year-olds are still increasing.

With so many vaccinated individuals getting COVID-19, can we still call this a pandemic of the unvaccinated?
Even though vaccinated individuals are contracting COVID-19, there is still a four-times higher risk of hospitalization among the unvaccinated cases and a two-times higher risk of having a positive reported case than those who are vaccinated. To date, only six percent of people who have received at least two doses of the vaccine have had a breakthrough case.

As of Friday, January 14, six of the eight individuals hospitalized for COVID-19 were unvaccinated. The two vaccinated individuals had received two doses of vaccine but had not received a booster. Boosters increase protection up to 65 percent.

Free test kits and KN95/surgical masks
Homes in the U.S. are now eligible to order free rapid antigen at-home COVID-19 tests through and from the State of Colorado’s rapid at-home testing program.

A limited supply of free KN95 and surgical grade masks are available at Garfield County public library locations. Demand has been high in this first phase of the program. It is anticipated that more locations and masks will become available over the coming weeks. There is a limit of five masks per person per month.

Several Coloradoans have now had “flurona,” flu and COVID-19 at the same time. With both flu and COVID circulating in the community, it is important to receive vaccinations for both viruses.

Vaccines reduce the chance of becoming infected and for those who do become sick, vaccines reduce the severity of the illness. Handwashing and wearing a mask are also helpful to prevent both flu and COVID-19. Find a COVID vaccine or make a flu vaccine appointment.

Don’t forget about routine children’s vaccines
There are many children’s vaccines required for school to keep kids from getting sick with illnesses like hepatitis B, pertussis (whooping cough), chicken pox (which also reduces the chances of getting shingles in adulthood), and polio among others.

Even if your child’s vaccination schedule was delayed over the past few years, it is easy to get caught up. Many vaccines can be given at the same time. Contact your physician or Garfield County Public Health Rifle 970-625-5200 or Glenwood 970-945-6614 to make an appointment.

Long-term care staff lag behind in boosters
There are four active long-term care outbreaks in Garfield County and nearly 64 percent of staff have not received a booster dose.

More than two thirds of long-term care residents have been boosted. This increase in protection is the primary reason COVID-19 cases in the 70+ age category are not increasing as much as other age demographics (specifically those 18 and under).

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