COVID-19 summary for the week of July 27

July 27, 2021

There is a national discussion around whether reporting new cases or hospitalizations is the more appropriate metric. Nationally, COVID-19 hospitalizations are up 23 percent from the past
week. In Colorado, they are up four percent. Garfield County has remained relatively stable.

COVID remains a pandemic of the unvaccinated. In the U.S., estimates are approximately 97 percent of people being seen in hospitals for COVID are unvaccinated.

Garfield County Public Health staff remains concerned that the majority of cases and all of the current hospitalizations are for unvaccinated persons.

Leading causes of death for U.S. and Garfield County in 2020
Sobering numbers were released by the National Center for Health Statistics this week. COVID19 became the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The average U.S. life expectancy
dropped to the lowest level in 18 years (77.3 years). The Hispanic/Latino population had the sharpest drop, with three years decreased life expectancy, followed by non-Hispanic Black
Americans at 2.9, and non-Hispanic White Americans at 1.2 years.

Garfield County’s all-cause mortality data was recently released by the State of Colorado, revealing COVID-19 as the fourth leading cause of death, and bumping chronic lower
respiratory diseases to number five.

Leading causes of death in 2020 for Garfield County residents:
Total deaths, 395
1. Major cardiovascular diseases – 81
2. Cancer (all-types) – 71
3. Accidents (motor vehicle crash, falls, etc.) – 40
4. COVID – 34
5. Chronic lower respiratory disease – 23
6. Suicide – 14
7. Drug-related overdose – 11
8. Parkinson’s – 8
9. Cirrhotic diseases of the liver – 8

Hospitalizations and deaths
• Four Garfield County residents are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 (hospitals may be within or outside of Garfield County)
• 12 Garfield County deaths have occurred due to COVID-19 since the first week in May. COVID remains a leading cause of death in the county for 2021.
• In the U.S., there have been 610,000 SARS-CoV-2 deaths (as of July 23, 2021), compared to the 675,000 deaths caused by the 1918 flu pandemic.

Breakthrough cases
A breakthrough case occurs when a fully vaccinated individual tests positive for COVID-19. Last week Garfield County had 15 breakthrough cases, which is 21% of the total cases for the week.
Out of the 31,000 people vaccinated, there have been 103 breakthrough cases.

$100 Giveaway Comeback Cash vaccine clinics
*New CDPHE state-run, Comeback Cash Giveaway will offer $100 Walmart gift cards to anyone getting a first or second dose of COVID vaccine on July 30 at the Rifle Walmart.
Please see the Colorado Comeback Cash site for all details
*This is a special event specific to this day and location
*Please do not call the following locations for information about gift cards. Please call our
vaccine hotline at 1-877-CO VAX CO (1-877-268-2926). The hotline is available 24 hours a day,
seven days a week to help answer any questions.

Unvaccinated long term care staff investigations
Unvaccinated staff are at the center of a federal investigation into rising nursing home deaths in Grand Junction.

Back to school is nearly here; ensure kids have time to get both doses
Schools in Garfield County begin mid-August. Parents looking to have their students fully vaccinated by the start of the 21-22 school year need to allow 21 days between doses of
vaccine. It takes two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective.

That means that now is the optimal time to get students vaccinated in order to have them fully protected at the start of this school year.

Full list of upcoming vaccine clinics
Clinics are offered every day of the week in various locations throughout Garfield County. A list of vaccine clinics is online, and on Facebook @Garfieldhealth.

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