COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE
Since our last written update on May 17, 2022 we have seen reported case counts for COVID-19 infections at a similar rate to what we saw during the Delta surge in fall 2021. We feel confident that only a fraction of cases are being reported and that we are once again witnessing community spread in Gunnison County. The table below shows known, confirmed cases across the community for the seven-day period identified.
|Week Of||Known Confirmed Cases in Gunnison County|
COMMUNITY CASE MONITORING
The CDC Community Level has Gunnison county at a LOW level. This is due in part because there are no current admissions for COVID-19 at Gunnison Valley Hospital. However, the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker shows community transmission levels in Gunnison County at a HIGH rate. Pursuant to CDPHE Public Health Order 20-38 a substantial or high level of community transmission requires people to wear masks in healthcare settings. We urge community members to protect yourselves against COVID-19 infection by masking in public spaces when appropriate, and to continue being cautious of spreading disease. Isolate if you are feeling ill, and get tested. Do not assume that your symptoms are from a cold or allergies, as you may be spreading COVID-19 unknowingly to vulnerable members of the community.
The City of Gunnison has been participating in the Colorado COVID Wastewater Monitoring program since early March 2022. There is a lag between sampling and reporting, however, this is a useful tool to help assess the prevalence of COVID-19 within our community. Since early May there has been a significant spike in Gunnison’s SARS-COV-2 viral load within Gunnison City wastewater. Likely this is evidence that COVID has increased within our community, despite the lack of testing or reported cases.
TESTING and TREATMENT
The COVID-19 testing site was moved back to the tent at Gunnison Valley Hospital. Those seeking testing should enter the hospital parking lot from N. Colorado Street and proceed to the white tent. Testing continues to be available Monday through Thursday from 9am-4pm. On Friday, testing will continue from 8am-11am. Appointments for testing can be scheduled at https://my.primary.health/l/gvh.
Rapid antigen tests are now widely available for free across our community due to a partnership with CDPHE. Home antigen tests can be picked up at the Gunnison County Libraries during regular business hours until supplies run out. Additionally, tests can be picked up at Gunnison County Health and Human Services. You can also continue to order rapid-antigen tests to be delivered through the mail with CDPHE’s Rapid-At-Home program.
If you, or members of your household test positive for COVID-19 and you have questions about an underlying health condition, managing your illness, isolating appropriately, or you have additional needs, do not hesitate to call 970-641-3244 and ask for a public health nurse. If your symptoms worsen, please seek medical attention. CDPHE keeps an updated COVID-19 Treatment page. There are several options for people with different situations including the widely available antiviral pill Paxlovid. The FDA has authorized the emergency use of Paxlovid for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children [12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds] with a positive test for COVID-19, and who are high risk for developing severe disease. Paxlovid is available free of charge, but does require a prescription.
You can report positive tests at this site, or call Gunnison County Health and Human Services to report your case at 970-641-3244.
While we all continue to work through this period of the pandemic, Gunnison County strongly recommends the tactics we have come to know well:
- 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! Boosters limit the potential for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Find out if you are eligible for a booster at the CDC Vaccine Booster page.
- Children ages 5-11 are now recommended to receive Pfizer booster doses 5mo after the initial series.
- Second boosters are now recommended for adults aged 50+, and people ages 12+ who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
- Vaccines for children under age 5 may be available as early as June 20, 2022.
- Limit Exposures, try to avoid large, indoor gatherings with folks you don’t know or where vaccination status is unknown.
- 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.
- Get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. Many vaccinated individuals experience very mild symptoms that could be overlooked.
- Wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with your face, especially eyes and mouth.
- Wear a mask as needed during periods of elevated community transmission.
For more information on where to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination or testing, please visit: https://covid19.gunnisoncounty.org.