For the seven-day period between 10/24/21 – 10/31/21 there were 21 Gunnison County residents who tested positive for COVID-19. For the second week in a row, 24 positive cases were identified through testing in the County during the same span. Over the last two weeks case rates in our community are nearly identical. Given the stability in our COVID-19 rates, these updates will transition to a bi-weekly model. The next written update will be available on 11/15/21.
Identifying and containing infections is crucial to mitigating the effects of COVID-19 in our community. Easily accessible COVID-19 testing continues through a partnership with GVH, however there will be some upcoming changes to the community testing process. Starting on Monday, 11/8/21 the weekly hours for testing availability will change to the following:
- Monday – Thursday testing will be available from 8:30am – 4:00pm.
- This makes testing available over the lunch hour
- Friday testing will be available from 8:30am-11:30am
This Thursday (11/4/21) there will not be testing available due to a Mental Health Day for staff with our partners at COVIDCheck Colorado.
Individuals can continue to 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/l/gvh. Additionally, the testing site is also taking walk/drive-ups on an as needed basis. A reminder that those accessing testing are required to wear a mask.
All testing done through the partnership of GVH and COVIDCheck Colorado will transition to a saliva-based test. Instead of a nasal swab, saliva tests require the participant to spit into a vial to generate a sample. No eating or drinking (including water, coffee, gum or anything of the kind) for 30 minutes prior to your saliva test. If for any reason an individual is unable to generate a saliva sample, a nasal swab can still be used.
Given a variety of constraints with testing small children, testing will not be available for children under two years old. Children under two who are symptomatic should be seen by a provider who can help determine the appropriate next steps in patient care.
To schedule testing over-the-phone, please utilize the Call Center (970-641-3244) from 8am – 3pm. The Call Center can also address additional questions about COVID-19 vaccination, booster doses, and other questions.
Despite regional and statewide challenges with hospital capacity, Gunnison Valley Health continues to see individuals with COVID-19 and is able to treat them appropriately based on their level of illness. As of this writing, there is one COVID-19 patient admitted at GVH. Statewide, hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at the highest rate seen December 2020. More than 1,100 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. Of hospitalized individuals in Colorado, 78% are unvaccinated.
Current statewide data from CDPHE shows that fully-vaccinated individuals are 3.4x less likely to become a COVID-19 case and 4.1x less likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19.
Gunnison County continues to monitor the federal process for authorization of COVID-19 vaccinations in pediatric (5-11-year-old) populations. Plans are currently being developed for the delivery of pediatric COVID-19 vaccinations once they are authorized at the federal level.
Booster doses are now widely available for all three COVID-19 vaccines. Booster doses can be obtained where COVID-19 vaccines are available. Boosters are available under an Emergency Use Authorization for individuals at risk due to age, health conditions, employment or living situations. Any person who identifies as being at risk can receive a booster vaccination.
One additional component of the guidelines is that individuals can choose which booster dose they would like to receive. People DO NOT need to receive the same type of vaccine as their original dose.
Those who received a two-dose series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine with the second dose at least six-months ago can receive a booster. Individuals who received a dose of Johnson & Johnson at least two-months ago are also eligible to receive a booster as well. The State of Colorado encourages those who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine to receive a booster of any COVID-19 vaccine.
Gunnison County will run a COVID-19 booster clinic on 11/2/21. This clinic will offer Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Again, a booster of any brand is available for anyone who completed a two-dose series (six-months ago) or a single shot of Johnson & Johnson (two-months ago).
- Tuesday, 11/2/21 @ Fred Field from 3:30-5:30pm
If you plan to attend a vaccine clinic, please bring documentation of vaccination and wear a mask. Those accessing the clinic must be able to provide documentation of their previous COVID-19 vaccinations. Additional information can be found on the Vaccine Resources page.
Many individuals may have misplaced their vaccination cards in the last few months. If you no longer have a record of your vaccination, you can try to look it up through the CIIS Public Portal. You will need to utilize the same address and phone number you used when getting your primary vaccination to access your record. Please be advised the system is sensitive to typos and other challenges and you may encounter challenges when using this web portal.
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.