MCPH hosts community flu clinics, emphasizes importance of vaccine to #fightflu

MCPH hosts community flu clinics, emphasizes importance of vaccine to #fightflu

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) is reminding our community that this year’s flu season is officially underway, and it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. By getting your flu shot, you will be keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses is more important than ever. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked to ensure there is enough flu vaccine this season, and MCPH ordered more doses of vaccine than usual to ensure we have an adequate supply to protect our community. 

We make it easy with drive thru clinics

Mesa County Public Health is hosting drive thru community flu clinics this year. The outdoor clinics are for people of all ages, with special considerations for children. In an effort to keep the events as contact free as possible, we ask that you register ahead of time using this link. Flu vaccine is typically covered by insurance, and if you do not have insurance, you qualify for our vaccine program. Don’t let cost be a barrier.

WHEN:

  • Saturday, October 17th from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. (open to all ages)
  • Saturday, October 24th from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. (open to all ages)

WHERE:

  • Community Services Building, 510 29 ½ Road

IF YOU CAN, AHEAD OF TIME:

WHAT TO BRING:

  • ID
  • Insurance card – if you have it, if not, don’t worry!

Why a flu shot is important

You can get seriously ill from the flu, especially if you do not get a flu vaccine.The CDC estimates that during the 2019-2020 season 38 million people were ill with flu. In Mesa County last year, 77 people were hospitalized due to complications from the flu. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine, especially people at high risk including young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older, and people with certain chronic health conditions. 

COVID-19 and Flu

Because flu (influenza) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory viruses, symptoms are similar and it can be hard to tell them apart.

                                                Flu (Influenza Symptoms)                                                                Also COVID-19 Symptom?

Fever/chills Yes
Cough Yes
Sore throat Yes
Fatigue Yes
Muscle or body aches Yes
Headache Yes
Stuffy, runny nose Yes
Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children) Yes

The main difference between COVID-19 and flu is that with COVID-19 you can experience a loss of taste or smell. But not everyone with COVID-19 experiences this symptom, and not all symptoms are present in all individuals. Both viruses are spread in similar ways, through droplets or touching an infected surface. You can also be contagious before showing symptoms.

Prefer an appointment?

The MCPH Clinic offers flu vaccination during regular business hours – Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.  If you would like your flu vaccine outside our drive thru flu clinic hours, an appointment is needed. We urge all residents who want to get a flu vaccine to come in and see us or give us a call at 970-248-6900 with any questions.

Protect Our Neighbors Emphasizes Local Solutions Based on Community Illness Levels

Protect Our Neighbors Emphasizes Local Solutions Based on Community Illness Levels

MCPH provides clarification on local public health order in regards to face coverings, last call, and gatherings.

Protect Our Neighbors is community-specific, and different communities will be at different phases based on local conditions and capabilities. During a press briefing on Tuesday, October 5, while explaining the state health department’s new dial approach and levels within it, Governor Jared Polis stated the conditions counties can allow for under Protect our Neighbors, based on their case counts. These are county-by-county decisions and his comments were in the context of a discussion about regional capacity and readiness of local communities to respond to manageable levels of COVID-19. We are working with the state to provide clarification on comments made by Governor Polis.

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has advocated for this type of local control, it’s one of the reasons we were among the first to be given this designation. The current local public health order outlines this phase of reopening in Mesa County. The public health order supports Mesa County’s efforts to continue to open gradually, prioritizing our economy while balancing public health.

Currently in Mesa County:

  • All industries (all types of businesses, establishments, and activities) may operate at 50% of normal capacity.
  • Indoor occupancy is capped at 500 people.
  • Cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth must be worn for interactions where physical distancing is not possible or when entering and moving throughout indoor public places. Face coverings can be removed while seated.
  • Last call for alcohol sales in restaurants and in on-premises retail liquor establishments can be no later than midnight.

In Mesa County, we are open significantly more than in other areas of the state, but with increased positive cases we must make adjustments that are gradual. Within the last several weeks we have seen record case counts, including a single-day record of 35 new positive cases last Thursday.

The pandemic isn’t over. With flu season upon us, our actions must also take into consideration the increased demands placed on our health care system by flu. We’re asking the community to work together and avoid the individual behaviors leading to community spread.

We are working with the state and our local businesses to open as quickly and safely as possible. Mesa County is different, we need your help to continue to prove that our local control is working, and our gradual approach is successful.

Residents, visitors, and anyone in Mesa County must follow the local order, which is not interchangeable with the State’s order. All community members are strongly encouraged to visit the Mesa County Public Health website and read the entire public health order and industry-specific guidelines.

Air Quality Advisory Extended Until Further Notice

Air Quality Advisory Extended Until Further Notice

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has extended the Air Quality Advisory until further notice. Smoke from wildfires in several surrounding states, including as far away as California, is moving into the Grand Valley, causing hazy skies and possibly unhealthy conditions for sensitive groups, including people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and young children. MCPH will notify residents when the advisory is lifted.

If visibility is less than five miles due to smoke in your neighborhood, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy. 

Some people are more at risk of harmful health effects from wildfire smoke than others, including:

  • Children less than 18 years old
  • Adults aged 65 years or older
  • Pregnant women
  • People with chronic health conditions such as heart or lung disease, asthma, and diabetes
  • Outdoor workers
  • Individuals experiencing homelessness or those who have limited access to medical care
  • People who are immunocompromised or taking drugs that suppress the immune system.

Smoke levels may change rapidly throughout the day due to wind and weather conditions. For current air quality conditions, health advisories, and details, including instructions about how to use visibility to determine air quality, visit the air quality page of our website

Due to current fire restrictions, the Fall Open Burn Season which typically begins September 1 has been temporarily suspended. Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) is not currently issuing burn permits, and open burning is not allowed. Agricultural burning is only allowed with a special permit from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Air Quality Advisory Extended Until Further Notice

Air Quality Advisory Extended Until Monday October 5

This advisory has been extended through Monday, September 5 at 10 a.m.

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Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has issued an Air Quality Advisory through Sunday, October 4, at 10 a.m. Hazy conditions are expected due to wildfire smoke.

When air quality is in the moderate (yellow) range there is an increased risk for people in sensitive groups, including people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and young children. If visibility is less than five miles due to smoke, the smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.

Residents are advised to take the following precautions to stay healthy:

  • Avoid heavy outdoor exertion such as running or other forms of exercise.
  • Keep your indoor air clean and stay inside as much as possible.
  • Avoid activities that increase indoor pollution. You want to keep your indoor air as clean as possible.
    • Do not vacuum. It stirs up dust in your home.
    • Do not smoke tobacco in your home.
    • Do not burn candles, fireplaces or gas stoves.
  • Contact your health care provider if you’re concerned about your health.

Due to current fire restrictions, the Fall Open Burn Season which typically begins September 1 has been temporarily suspended. Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) is not issuing burn permits, and open burning is not allowed. Agricultural burning is only allowed with a special permit from the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

For more information on air quality conditions and alerts, including real-time readings through a community-sourced monitoring system called Purple Air, visit our air quality page.

MCPH Has Flu Vaccine Available

MCPH Has Flu Vaccine Available

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has flu vaccine available and is currently scheduling appointments. The best way to protect yourself from the flu this fall and winter is to get vaccinated. It’s a safe and effective way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy. 

Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness characterized by fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, body aches and headache. To avoid getting the flu, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the seasonal flu vaccine for individuals ages 6 months and older. Annual flu shots are necessary to protect against seasonal strains of the flu.

Symptoms of COVID-19 and flu are very similar. Older populations as well as those with underlying conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19 and the flu, but the flu also hits children particularly hard. There were three pediatric deaths in Colorado during the 2019-2020 flu season, and 77 hospitalizations in residents of all ages Mesa County. 

Get Vaccinated Every Year

  • Every year the flu changes, so you need an updated vaccine to ensure your body develops immunity to the most recent strain of the virus. 
  • After the vaccination, it takes approximately two weeks for the body to develop an immune response. That’s why Mesa County Public Health recommends residents get immunized now.

Mesa County Public Health is hosting two drive thru flu clinics during the month of October, all residents are welcome. Don’t let cost be a barrier, we have options for those who do not have insurance.

What:   Drive Thru Flu Clinic

When:  October 17, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

 October 24, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: Mesa County Public Health

              510 29 ½ Road

The MCPH Clinic offers flu vaccination during regular business hours, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. We urge all residents who want to get a flu vaccine to come to a flu clinic, or call 970-248-6900 to make an appointment.