COVID lingering in Gunnison County

Half a dozen admissions 

By Mark Reaman

There appears to be a slight uptick in the number of COVID cases emerging in some areas of the country, including Colorado mountain resort towns. While nothing dramatic, officials are advising people to be aware.

“We have seen a bit of an uptick in COVID positives coming through the Emergency Department, the Urgent Care Clinic and the Mountain Clinic,” confirmed Gunnison Valley Health (GVH) marketing and communications director Joelle Ashley. “Although we have been very busy this month, the COVID positives have not impacted hospital operations or capacity.”

Local health officials saw more than three dozen COVID cases in July. In August, GVH has seen eight new positive COVID cases. Anecdotally, several people in the valley tested positive at home for COVID without reaching out to local health professionals. “In July, we saw 43 COVID positive patients who were a mix of visitors and residents,” said Ashley. “Six of those patients were admitted and one was transferred from the ED to another facility.” None of the eight August cases required a hospital admission.

It was reported last week that the wastewater indicator in Pitkin County, including the resort town of Aspen, showed increased signs of the virus.

As of the end of July and early August, weekly hospitalizations have risen by more than 12% across the country according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, marking a second straight week of the virus climbing. According to CBS News, the new figures come after months of largely slowing COVID-19 trends nationwide since the last wave of infections over the winter, and again mark the largest percent increases in these key indicators of the virus since December. While indicators of the virus are now trending up nationwide, hospitalizations for now remain far below the levels recorded at this time last year.

In a recent story from CNN, it was noted that human behavior can be expected to lead to a summer spike in COVID. As more people travel in the summer and interact outside normal social circles, viruses find new hosts when vacationers return home with unintended souvenirs. 

Ashley said GVH is advising its patients and the public to follow CDC isolation guidelines. That can be found at:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/isolation.html 

Welcome to a mountain resort town.

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