County’s positive COVID cases appear to be leveling off

Booster shots are popular

[ by Mark Reaman ]

Gunnison County continues to see new COVID-19 cases and last week another death attributed to the virus was recorded to bring the total to 11, but the number of new positives seem to be stabilizing and compared to other counties in Colorado, we seem to be doing better than other Western Slope areas.

Gunnison County public information officer Loren Ahonen said this week that it does look like cases are stabilizing in the last few weeks in our area. “The trend lines on the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) case data look more stable,” he explained. “Over the course of the last three weeks we have had 38, 44 and now 23 residents test positive. In August, 72 percent of cases were with people not fully vaccinated (so 28 percent vaccinated) and in the first week of September it was 71 percent. I would think the numbers would hold a similar pattern for the remainder of September.”

Ahonen said most of the new cases are being seen in the adult population with a handful of positives coming from school-age children and senior citizens.

Booster shots for those already vaccinated are available in the county. Ahonen said many people are getting them. “Heading into our first clinic, we were unsure of what demand would be for a booster, but the first clinic was a success and yielded 240 vaccinations while running smoothly for participants and workers alike,” he said. “Anecdotally, we saw a variety of individuals who meet the guidance (elderly folks, healthcare workers, teachers, etc.) We’ve asked that people bring their vaccination records to help ensure efficiency and virtually everyone did so. We will continue to offer these clinics to make it as simple as possible for qualifying individuals to seek a booster shot.”

As for the latest fatality, Ahonen’s weekly email update indicated that “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.

As of September 28, more than 78 percent of eligible Gunnison County residents have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This is 69 percent of the total population.

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