FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE
For the seven-day period between 9/26 – 10/2/21 there were 23 Gunnison County residents who tested positive for COVID-19. In total, 29 positive tests were produced in the community with several case investigations still to be completed as of this writing. Over the course of the last three weeks, an average of 35 residents a week have tested positive for COVID-19.
Last week, Gunnison County ran its first large-scale Pfizer vaccine booster clinic. In a little more than two hours, the clinic provided 240 booster doses of Pfizer to eligible populations. Gunnison County will continue to host weekly Pfizer booster clinics throughout the month of October. The remaining clinics are scheduled as follows:
- Tuesday, 10/5/21 @ Fred Field from 4:30-6:30pm
- Thursday, 10/14/21 @ Fred Field from 4:30-6:30pm
- Wednesday, 10/20/21 @ Crested Butte Community School from 4:30-7pm* (Combined COVID/Flu vaccine clinic)
- Tuesday, 10/26/21 @ Fred Field from 4:30-6:30pm *(Combined COVID/Flu vaccine clinic)
If you plan to attend a booster clinic, please bring documentation of vaccination and wear a mask. Those accessing the clinic must be able to provide documentation of a two-dose Pfizer series. Additional information can be found on the Vaccine Resources page.
The clinics on 10/20 and 10/26 will also provide flu-vaccine. Both vaccines can safely be administered simultaneously. We encourage anyone considering a flu shot to note the opportunity to receive one in Crested Butte on 10/20/21 and in Gunnison on 10/26/21.
At this time, only Pfizer-BioNTech is approved for broadly delivered booster doses. This means that boosters are available for certain individuals who received a two-dose series of Pfizer at least six months ago.
In the finalized guidance, there are two populations – those who SHOULD receive a booster and those who MAY receive a booster based on their individual risk assessment.
Those who SHOULD receive a Pfizer booster include:
- Those 65 and older or who live in a long-term care facility or an ‘institutional’ setting
- Those between the age of 50-64 who have underlying medical conditions
Those who MAY receive a Pfizer booster include:
- Those who are 18-49 with underlying medical conditions, based on individual benefit and risk
- Those who have increased risk for COVID-19 exposure based on occupational setting, based on individual benefit and risk
The CDC has published additional guidance on this high-risk workforce eligible for boosters. This now includes, First responders (healthcare workers, firefighters, police, congregate care staff), Education staff (teachers, support staff, daycare workers), Food and agriculture workers, Manufacturing workers, Corrections workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, Public transit workers, and Grocery store workers. This list is subject to update in the future.
Individuals fitting any of these categories who previously received a two-dose Pfizer series can self-attest for a booster.
Additionally, third-doses of both Pfizer and Moderna are available to immunocompromised individuals. These third-doses are intended to support individuals who may have never developed a robust immune response to the original series due to their immunocompromised status. Anyone who self-attest to the immunocompromised statuses listed below can received a third-dose.
- Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
Based on updated data and analysis, the CDC now also ‘strongly recommends’ that pregnant people should seek COVID-19 vaccinations. Individuals who are pregnant are at a higher risk for significant complications from COVID-19 infection.
While cases continue, we offer a reminder that those who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have a known exposure should seek testing. The hours for available testing have expanded to Monday-Friday from 8:30–11:30 am and 1:30–4:30 pm.
Individuals can now schedule their own testing slot online through GVH. If you would like to schedule a test you can complete the process at this web address https://my.primary.health/r/gvh. Additionally, the testing site is also taking walk/drive-ups. If a family, or multiple members of a family require testing you should schedule an appointment by either calling the Call Center (970-641-3244) or using the online scheduler.
The State of Colorado is also making BinaxNow home test kits available to any Coloradan who wants one. Test kits can be requested here and will be delivered by mail. These BinaxNow test kits are meant to be used on serial (repeated) basis to screen for infection at home.
Week to week, Gunnison Valley Health continues to see individuals with COVID-19 admitted to the hospital and treated appropriately based on their level of illness. From 9/26-10/2/21 four patients were admitted to GVH for COVID-19. Additionally, patients who need a higher level of care continue to be transferred to out-of-county hospital systems.
On 9/28/21, Gunnison County received confirmation of the death of a local resident due to COVID-19. Shortly after being diagnosed, a man in his upper 70’s was transferred to an out-of-county facility where he died due to complications resulting from COVID-19. “It is with great sadness that we acknowledge another loss to our community due to COVID-19. Collectively, we send our condolences to our community impacted by this loss.” said Gunnison County Public Health Director Joni Reynolds in confirming the death.
Throughout the pandemic, Gunnison County residents have been successful in the COVID-19 response on many levels. As of 9/28/21 more than 78% of eligible Gunnison County residents have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This is 69% of the total population. It’s important for all county residents to continue to take actions to protect themselves as individuals and the larger community including:
- Get vaccinated if you are eligible (ages 12 years and older), be sure to complete the entire vaccination series.
- Assure best ventilation for all interactions including, outdoor spaces, outdoor air circulation and air filtration as needed.
- Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, isolate if you experience symptoms. Stay home if you are sick and away from others as much as possible.
- Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms
- Wear a mask if unvaccinated in all indoor settings, especially where distancing is not possible. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends all persons (regardless of vaccination status) wear a mask in indoor settings.
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with your face, especially eyes and mouth.
Please visit: https://covid19.gunnisoncounty.org for information on where to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination or testing.