For the seven-day period between 12/19-12/25/21 a total of 42 confirmed cases were identified in Gunnison County residents. A reminder that a confirmed case is a positive result from a PCR test. In the week prior (12/12-12/18/21) there were 11 confirmed cases and 4 probable cases in residents.

Confirmed Cases in ResidentsProbable Cases in Residents

Given the limited testing availability last week due to Christmas and lags in reporting associated with holidays, this number is likely an incomplete picture of the positive results and cases within our community. Reported cases may not reflect the full spectrum of transmission in our community and the associated risk.

As of 12/27/21 there have not been any confirmed cases of the Omicron virus in Gunnison County. The process for genomic sequencing of positive results can take up to 14-days which means identification of Omicron cases is behind identification of positive cases. While we have not yet had confirmation of the Omicron variant from the CDPHE, we expect the variant is here at this time. Statewide, the sequencing process to identify variants is revealing Omicron as the leading variant and it is likely to be the only variant detected by the end of the week.

Other mountain resort communities in Colorado have seen exponential growth in COVID-19 cases over the course of the last week. Omicron is the most contagious of the COVID-19 variants to date. However, it still remains unclear if Omicron will cause severe illness, yet the potential number of cases has the possibility of significantly impacting our community.

As a community, we can work together to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and the associated impact on our community. An essential part of limiting transmission is testing. If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 we encourage you to seek testing and isolate until you have a result. Even if your symptoms are minor (scratchy throat, nasal congestion, etc.) we recommend you seek testing.

If you have been exposed to a known positive COVID-19 case, please monitor for any symptoms, wear a mask, and seek testing five days after exposure. Should you begin experiencing symptoms, please isolate and get tested as soon as possible. Those with a known exposure who are unvaccinated should continue to quarantine after exposure consistent with CDC guidance.

Easily accessible COVID-19 testing continues through a partnership with GVH and COVID Check Colorado. One of the simplest 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 Please try to schedule a test to help make the process efficient and effective for everyone. Those accessing community testing at GVH should use the entrance on N. Colorado Street. Once in the parking lot, turn right just before the large white tent.

Many individuals are able to test at home with a rapid antigen test (BinaxNOW). If you test with a BinaxNOW test, we ask that you please report the result – particularly if it is positive – through You will need to create an account. If you receive a positive result on an at-home rapid antigen test, you should inform your recent contacts. If you are symptomatic and have a negative antigen result we encourage you to confirm it with a PCR test.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, Gunnison County Public Health has been working to complete effective case investigations and contact tracing for positive test results in our community. That process continues today and routine systems are in place. We remind our citizens that thorough engagement with the Public Health Staff as they complete their case investigation and contact tracing process helps mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in our community.

On Monday, 12/27/21 the CDC announced changes to its isolation and quarantine guidance. Given that most transmission occurs in the 1-2 days before symptom onset and the 2-3 days after, the CDC is shortening the isolation recommended isolation period to 5 days – provided an individual is not currently experiencing symptoms. Those who have a booster or a primary vaccination series less than six-months ago do not have to quarantine after an exposure but are recommended to mask around people and test 5 days after exposure. Gunnison County recognizes this is a substantial change and we encourage residents and employers to consult the information found here. A table summarizing the changes in the isolation and quarantine guidance can be found below.

While the Omicron variant has proven a challenge with immunity, there is increasing evidence that booster doses can help ward off the spread of Omicron. The CDC is citing data from South Africa and the United Kingdom that the standard two-dose sequence of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is about 35% effective against infection from the Omicron variant – however, receiving a booster seems to push the efficacy back towards 75%.

With that in mind, Gunnison County will be hosting a community-wide COVID-19 booster clinic on 1/6/22 at the Fred Field Center from 3:30 – 6:30pm. Additionally, the CDPHE mobile vaccine bus will begin making three-day stints in Gunnison County starting on 1/14/21. If you have not yet received a booster, please consult the information below.

If you received Pfizer-BioNtechWho can get a booster: Teens 16-17 years old Who should get a booster: Adults 18 years and older  When to get a booster:
At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series
Which booster can you get: Teens 16–17 years old can get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster Adults 18 years and older can get any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States  
If you received ModernaWho should get a booster:
Adults 18 years and older
When to get a booster:
At least 6 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination series
Which booster can you get:
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States
If you received Johnson & Johnson/JanssenWho should get a booster:
Adults 18 years and older
When to get a booster:
At least 2 months after completing your primary COVID-19 vaccination
Which booster can you get:
Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States

If you need to receive an initial vaccination, get a booster shot, or get your children vaccinated, you will want to consult the resources found on our Vaccine Resources page.

Current statewide data from CDPHE shows that fully-vaccinated individuals are 12.5x less likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 and 12.6x less likely to die from COVID-19.

Gunnison Valley Health continues to effectively manage patient care for those presenting with COVID-19. Between 12/19-12/25/21, 13 patients sought care for COVID-19 across the GVH system (including Urgent Care and other facilities). However, only one patient was admitted for COVID-19 treatment during that time. While hospitalizations have been declining in Colorado in recent weeks, the trend reversed last week and statewide hospitalizations increased. Of hospitalized individuals in Colorado, 81% are unvaccinated.

Sadly, Gunnison County reports the recent death of a 13th county resident. A female, outlying Gunnison County resident, in her mid-70s died at an out-of-county hospital system in the second week of December. On the death, Gunnison County Public Health Director commented, “We regret the loss of another citizen and another thread in our community fabric. Particularly during the holiday season these loses feel particularly poignant to family and loved ones. Gunnison County sends our condolences to those impacted.”

As we face the growth of the Omicron variant across our state and in our community, 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.
    • Get a booster if you are eligible!
  • Assure best ventilation for all interactions including, outdoor spaces, outdoor air circulation and air filtration as needed.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with your face, especially eyes and mouth. 

Please visit: for information on where to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination or testing.