Mesa County Public Health Celebrates Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

Mesa County Public Health Celebrates Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

Media Contact: Sarah Gray 970-697-4611


Swimming pools and splash pads are central to summer fun. Our team helps pool operators maintain safe and healthy swimming pools. We inspect all public pools and spas in Mesa County every year. Last year, our team completed 87 inspections of pools, hot tubs, and other aquatic facilities.

We want people to have a healthy and positive experience this summer at water destinations in Mesa County. We work with these local facilities to make sure they are operating safely so you and your family can swim without getting sick or injured.


Most Common Germs in the Water

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common germs that cause swimming-related illnesses include Cryptosporidium (Crypto), Legionella, Norovirus, E. coli, and Giardia. Most of these germs are transmitted through poop. Chlorine kills most bacteria within minutes, however, some germs can live in the pool for days. Swallowing even a small amount of contaminated water can make people sick. 


Effective Prevention

The best way to protect everyone is to keep these germs out of the water. Do not swim if you are sick, especially if you have diarrhea. If you or your children have been sick with diarrhea in the last two weeks, you should stay out of the water. It’s also a good idea to shower before you swim.  While at the pool, don’t swallow any water while swimming. We recommend that parents take kids on regular bathroom breaks and check diapers every hour. While our team inspects public pools and aquatic facilities, make sure to treat your pool and hot tub at home as well.

Visit our website to learn more about inspections, and how to make sure your home pool and spa are safe.

Mesa County Public Health Thanks Outgoing Board of Public Health Members

Mesa County Public Health Thanks Outgoing Board of Public Health Members

Media Contact: Sarah Gray 970-697-4611


Four of our Board of Public Health members have submitted resignations. Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) is grateful for their guidance and support during their terms. 

“These wonderful professionals served the community well. We wish them gratitude and best wishes as they move forward,” said Executive Director Jeff Kuhr.

New Board of Public Health members will be discussed and appointed during a public meeting this afternoon at 3 p.m. Information about the meeting is posted on the Board of County Commissioners meeting page.  These new, interim board members will serve while the county goes through the standard process of accepting applications from the public for board members. We anticipate this process could take 2 to 3 months. Per the Board of Public Health bylaws, board members should include, as often as possible, representatives from partnering agencies or representatives with a public-health-related background.

“We are working to ensure a smooth transition that does not impact Public Health services or the great work the agency does,” said Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland.

Kuhr added, “We are committed to working together with the new board to continue the mission of Mesa County Public Health.”

Operations continue as normal at Mesa County Public Health. Once the new Board of Public Health is selected, we will post information about them on our website.

Stay Updated With What’s Going Around Mesa County

Stay Updated With What’s Going Around Mesa County

Media Contact: Sarah Gray 970-697-4611


Even though the cold and flu season is coming to an end, our team continues to monitor what is going around Mesa County during the spring and summer. There are several seasonal illnesses we can see in our region as people are spending more time outside. 

“Our team cares about the health of the community year round,” said Rachel Burmeister, the Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response Manager. “Some of the more common illnesses that we see during the spring and the summer may be due to exposures that are associated with that time of year. For example recreating in water, eating foods that may not be kept cold, or coming into contact with animals that spread disease.  Prevention is key when it comes to keeping people safe and healthy heading into summer.”


West Nile Virus

  • What is it: West Nile Virus is spread to humans by mosquito bites. Many people who get the virus do not realize they have it;others can develop symptoms like fever, headache, body aches, or a rash. There is no treatment for West Nile Virus, so prevention is crucial. We work closely with the Grand River Mosquito Control District to monitor mosquito activity in our community. Most human cases of West Nile Virus are reported in August and September, when mosquito activity is at its peak. We expect there to be more mosquitos locally this year because of the wet winter.
  • What are Local Trends: 2022 was a severe year for West Nile Virus in Colorado. Mesa County had four cases of the virus, however surrounding counties had the highest rates of West Nile Virus in the state. Statewide, 20 people died from the virus.



  • What is it: This virus is carried primarily by deer mice, which can be found in Mesa County. People can get infected by inhaling airborne particles of the virus.
  • What are Local Trends: This disease is rare, however, it can be dangerous for those who become infected. Between 1993 and 2021, there were 119 confirmed cases in Colorado. Out of these cases, 41 were fatal. During this same timeframe, there were three cases in Mesa County.


Animal Bites

  • What are they: In Colorado, animal bites are reportable because of the concern of people being exposed to rabies. Rabies is fatal once symptoms develop so people who are bitten by some wild animals should get a post-exposure vaccine.
  • What are Local Trends: In Mesa County, the number of animal bites has increased over the past year. We work closely with Mesa County Animal Services to follow up on these reports when there is a concern of rabies exposure. Most bites involve cats or dogs, but we also get reports of people bitten by bats, raccoons, coyotes, and other wildlife.



With these seasonal illnesses, prevention is crucial. Visit our website to learn tips for staying safe and healthy.

Mesa County Public Health Celebrates Healthy and Safe Swimming Week

Drinking Water Week Emphasizes Importance of Clean Water

Media Contact: Sarah Gray 970-697-4611


Mesa County Public Health is celebrating Drinking Water Week by highlighting the work of our Regional Lab. Water is an important resource that plays a crucial role in daily life for everyone in our community. Our team works hard to ensure the water we drink is safe. 


Regional Lab Water Services

Homeowners with private wells can have their water tested to ensure its safety. Our water quality program provides bacterial testing for drinking water and irrigation water samples. In 2022, we processed 3,500 water samples. 

“We want to make sure everyone in our community has access to safe drinking water,” said Lab Supervisor Michelle Colon. Safe and clean water is a necessity. It is a key factor that contributes to the overall health and wellness of our residents.”

We offer water testing in our Regional Lab Monday through Thursday. The lab is certified through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Visit our website for more information about the Regional Lab.

Stay Updated With What’s Going Around Mesa County

Air Quality Awareness Week Reminds Residents to Check Conditions

Media Contact: Sarah Gray 970-697-4611


Air quality directly affects the health and wellness of our community.  Mesa County Public Health monitors air quality so we can notify the community when there are concerns. Air Quality Awareness Week is a time to highlight the importance of protecting air quality, tips for planning outdoor activities, and the overall importance of clean air.


Tools to Monitor Air Quality

Our Environmental Health team uses local data to help inform the community about current air quality conditions and any changes that are expected. We rely on data from the National Weather Service and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as well as sensors that volunteers place at their homes or businesses to measure pollutants in the air. The Purple Air Sensor Map on our website shows air quality at different locations in the Grand Valley using those sensors. Residents can also check out the air quality camera snapshots showing visibility conditions. 

You can also:


What Residents Can Do

Check  air quality when you’re planning an outdoor activity. Visit our Air Quality webpage. You’ll see in the upper right corner what the Air Quality Index (AQI) is for our area.

There are several levels of the Air Quality Index (AQI). Most days in Mesa County the AQI is in the ‘Good’ range. It means air quality is safe for being outside. 

We can all help improve air quality as a community with small actions like driving less, riding a bike or walking instead of driving, composting instead of burning yard waste, and by reducing our waste in general.


Trends in Local Air Quality

Recent trends in Colorado and Western states include warmer and drier air. As a result, we’re seeing more wildfires, both in quantity and in intensity. This produces greater volumes of smoke, which we all breathe. Immuno-compromised, our elderly population, and kids are the most affected. For example, low levels of air pollution can impact lung development in children. Even healthy individuals may experience temporary symptoms from exposure to more pollutants in the air, like coughing, congestion, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. Because of this, it is important that we maintain our clean air here in the Grand Valley. Rain and snow can help improve air quality. As rain droplets (or snowflakes) fall to the ground, they can collect air pollutants on their surface and drag them to the ground, “cleaning” the air. 

Unfortunately, less precipitation overall also means less cleaning of the air so particulates and other pollutants may linger longer. Also, more travel to and from our county, or an increase in population means more emissions from vehicles, businesses, and construction. It all impacts the quality of life and health of a community in the long term. 


Burn Permit Update

People who have burn permits also need to know air conditions to make sure it’s safe to burn.  Permitting goals include protecting the health and safety of residents and to reduce pollution in Mesa County. The spring open burn season recently finished in the City of Grand Junction. It continues through May 31 for residential permit holders in Mesa County. Agricultural permit holders in Mesa County may burn year round, provided conditions are okay for open burning.

If you have questions or need help, call us at 970-248-6900. Air conditions can change quickly, so it’s important for people  to check our website on a regular basis. During the first quarter, Mesa County Public Health issued three No Burn Advisories.