COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE
Over the course of the last two weeks, Gunnison County has seen an average of 31 cases amongst local residents. For the seven-day period between 10/31-11/6/21, there were 29 cases among local residents. In the most recent seven-day period (11/7-11/13/21) a total of 33 cases were identified in County residents. These weekly totals come after case counts in the low 20s throughout the first few weeks of October. For context, the case trend line from the CDC COVID tracker for Gunnison County is below.
Identifying and containing infections is crucial to mitigating the effects of COVID-19 in our community. Not only does timely testing for people with symptoms (and known exposures) help contain the spread of COVID-19, it is also crucial for deploying monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments. Monoclonal antibody treatments are a tool that can help limit severe disease and hospitalization in specific populations who test positive for COVID-19. While monoclonal antibody treatments are not available to all individuals, many of those with underlying risks for more severe disease are eligible. Should you test positive for COVID-19 and believe you might be eligible for monoclonal antibody treatments, please contact your primary care physician about a referral.
Easily accessible COVID-19 testing continues through a partnership with GVH. One of the easiest ways to schedule a test is to use the online platform to self-register. If you would like to schedule a test you can complete the process at https://my.primary.health/l/gvh.
For those who need to routinely test per conditions of their employment, we ask that you try to use the online scheduling tool. Walk-up testing is available for those who cannot self-schedule or who cannot access the Call Center scheduling service. But, walk-ups will not be prioritized over appointments or others already in line for testing.
Testing hours have been updated as of 11/15/21. Please see below for expanded testing hours:
- Monday – Thursday testing will be available from 8:00am – 4:00pm.
- Friday testing will be available from 8:00am-11:00am
There will be no community testing available on Thursday (11/25/21) in recognition of the Thanksgiving holiday.
All testing done through the partnership of GVH and COVIDCheck Colorado has transitioned to a saliva-based test. Instead of a nasal swab, saliva tests require the participant to spit into a vial to generate a sample. Please note, this process takes a bit longer than a nasal swab and the test may take 5-10 minutes for some individuals. No eating or drinking (including water, coffee, gum or anything of the kind) for 30 minutes prior to your saliva test.
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.
Despite regional and statewide challenges with hospital capacity, Gunnison Valley Health continues to have stable operational capacity. In recent weeks, individuals with COVID-19 continue to be treated appropriately or transferred based on their level of illness. As of this writing there are no COVID-19 admits at GVH. Statewide, hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at the highest rate seen since December 2020. Currently, more than 1,400 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. Of hospitalized individuals in Colorado, 81% are unvaccinated.
Current statewide data from CDPHE shows that fully-vaccinated individuals are 9.7x less likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 and 12.5x less likely to die from COVID-19.
Booster doses are now widely available for all three COVID-19 vaccines. Booster doses can be obtained where COVID-19 vaccines are available. Locally they are available through some private providers, pharmacies at City Market and Clark’s, and through Gunnison County Public Health. 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.
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.
In the first week of eligibility for pediatric populations, more than 160 kids under the age of 17 received a Pfizer COVID-19 at the first clinic held in partnership with the Gunnison Watershed School District. With a successful start, pediatric vaccine clinics will continue through 12/9/21.
Gunnison County will be offering COVID-19 vaccination clinics on the following dates and times:
- Wednesday 11/17 @ Fred Field from 3:30-5:30pm
- Thursday 11/18 @ Crested Butte Community School from 3:30-5:30pm (Pediatric)
- Tuesday 11/30 @ Gunnison Community School from 3:30-5:30pm (Pediatric)
- Thursday 12/2 @ Fred Field from 3:30-5:30pm
- Thursday 12/9 @ Crested Butte Community School from 3:30-5:30pm (Pediatric)
If you plan to attend a vaccine clinic please wear a mask. If you are getting a booster, please bring documentation of your previous COVID-19 vaccination. 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.
As we approach the holiday season and families gather, we ask that you be mindful of the continued spread of COVID-19 in our community and statewide. If you’re not vaccinated, consider receiving a vaccine before gathering with family and friends for the holidays. If you’re travelling, please consider testing to help ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. If you’re feeling ill, please stay home and get tested.
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 5 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. This is particularly important in large indoor gatherings.
- 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.