FOOD SAFETY ALERT: DOLE-BRANDED AND PRIVATE LABEL PACKAGED SALADS
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released information about a recall on certain Dole-branded and private label packaged salads from two of its processing plants. The recall involves a possible health risk from Listeria monocytogenes contained in the iceberg lettuce of these products, which may have been distributed in Mesa County.
- These products are likely not on the shelf anymore but may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers.
WHAT IS LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES?
- Listeria monocytogenes, commonly called listeria, is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
- Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
DESCRIPTION OF RECALLED PRODUCTS
- Products subject to the recall from one processing plant are identified by a product lot code beginning with the letter “W” and a “Best if Used By” date between December 22, 2021 and January 9, 2022.
- Products subject to the recall from the other processing plant are identified by a product lot code beginning with the letter “B” and a “Best if Used By” date between December 23, 2021 and January 8, 2022.
- The product lot codes are located in the upper-right-hand corner of the package (see example below)
- View a complete list of recalled products here.
WHAT SHOULD CONSUMERS DO?
- Consumers who have any of these products in their refrigerators are urged not to consume the product and to discard it immediately.
- If you suspect you have symptoms of a listeriosis infection, seek medical care immediately.
- Retailer and consumer questions about the voluntary recalls should be directed to the Dole Consumer Response Center at 800-356-3111, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm Pacific Time.
MESA COUNTY RECORDS HIGHEST DAILY CASE COUNT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC
Caution Urged As Omicron Dominates Spread Locally
Mesa County has seen a recent significant spike in COVID-19 transmission and cases. On January 9, 2022, 532 cases were reported. That is the highest single-day case total. Previously, the most cases reported in a single day was 322 in November 2020.
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) continues to urge prevention methods in a layered (the more the better) approach for all Mesa County residents, regardless of vaccination status. All Mesa County residents are asked to stay home and do not go to work, child care, public places, or gatherings if you have symptoms of any kind, even if you are vaccinated. If you have symptoms, even if they seem mild, please get a COVID-19 test.
“This is Omicron. We know it spreads quickly, sharp spikes like this are occurring in other areas of the state and country,” Jeff Kuhr, Director of Public Health for Mesa County, said. MCPH anticipated an increase in cases after the holiday season. “We’re not seeing as dramatic of a spike in our hospital admissions; a sign that illness, especially for those who are vaccinated, is typically milder, so the strain on our hospitals isn’t as severe with this latest surge so far. Because hospitalizations lag behind cases, we are closely monitoring admissions and other key metrics,” Kuhr added.
Other areas of the country experiencing this wave have also seen dramatic increases, followed by a much quicker reduction in cases than observed with previous surges.
Recent cases are distributed across all age groups, with the 5-11 age group experiencing the highest positivity rates, currently around 23%. The current 7-day positivity rate across all ages is currently at 15.2%, a pandemic high.
“The volume of cases and the sharp spike are alarming, but it’s important to note we are not in the same place we were last year or in March of 2020,” MCPH Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response Program Manager, Rachel Burmeister said. We know a lot more about this illness, the ways it spreads, and the steps we can take to protect ourselves and each other. “It’s likely you know someone who is sick right now, there are things we can all do to minimize the spread of illness in our community,” Burmeister added.
We can all protect ourselves and each other by staying home and away from work, child care, and school if you are not feeling well, avoiding close contact with others, covering your nose and mouth in public indoor areas, and utilizing remote (curbside, contactless delivery, work from home) options when possible.
Because of the volume of cases, there may be a delay in case investigation. If you do not receive a call from a public health professional but you have tested positive for COVID-19 you should:
- Immediately isolate for at least 5 days (the day your symptoms started is day 0).
- If you do not have symptoms the day you got tested is day 0.
- If, after 5 days, your symptoms are getting better and you do not have a fever you may return to normal activities while wearing a mask in all public settings for an additional 5 days (10 days total).
If you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID, there is a high likelihood that you are also infected. You should quarantine for 5 days and monitor yourself for symptoms. If, after 5 days you remain symptom free, you can return to normal activities while wearing a mask for an additional 5 days. If you develop symptoms, get tested and isolate.
As of January 10, 54% of Mesa County residents are fully vaccinated with more than 30-thousand booster doses (approximately 21%) administered. All Mesa County residents age 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated. The vaccine is widely available in our community at numerous pharmacies, mobile clinics, and the Community Vaccination Site at Mesa County Public Health. Walk-ins are accepted at most locations, scheduling an appointment is also an option. MCPH is administering third (booster) doses which are now authorized five months after the initial series for Moderna and Pfizer recipients and two months after a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In response to this current wave, MCPH will update all metrics of the data dashboard daily (M-Sun) so our residents can monitor the data and make informed decisions. Stay up to date by visiting health.mesacounty.us.
Related Resources: Updated Isolation and Quarantine Guidance [English] [Spanish]
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has issued an Air Quality Advisory through Saturday, January 8 at 6 p.m.
Cold and stagnant weather conditions in the Grand Valley have allowed fine particulate matter concentrations to climb into the Moderate category on Saturday.
People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy indoor and outdoor exertion through the advisory period.
Public Health Recommendations to Improve Air Quality
Mesa County Public Health is asking residents to take action to improve air quality while these conditions exist. To help you can:
- Reduce the number of trips you take in your car. Consider carpooling or using local transit options.
- Be sure your tires are properly inflated.
- Only burn if the wood stove or fire is your primary source of heat.
- Consider using gas logs instead of wood.
- If you have a wood stove, Learn Before you Burn; check the Wood Stove Database to ensure your setup is certified.
For more information on air quality conditions and alerts, including real-time readings through a community-sourced monitoring system called Purple Air, visit the air quality page of our website at health.mesacounty.us.
MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY THERAPY TREATMENT CLINIC CLOSES
Treatment not effective against Omicron variant, which is predicted to be dominant strain in Mesa County
The Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Treatment Clinic that opened nearly one month ago, located at 401 Kokopelli Blvd in Fruita, is closing. The last day of treatment for the clinic is January 3, 2021.
The initial plan for the clinic was to be open for one month with the potential to stay open longer depending on community demand. However, we were recently informed that REGEN-COV, the medicine used in the treatment, is less effective against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Although MCPH has only identified three cases of Omicron variant in Mesa County, we expect cases to increase based on the contagious nature of the strain. In less than one month, Omicron became the dominant variant of COVID-19 in Colorado, making up more than 90% of all variant cases in the most recent week.
The clinic operated through a partnership between Mesa County Public Health (MCPH), Family Health West, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The clinic treated more than five hundred people who were potentially saved from experiencing severe illness due to COVID-19.
With the closing of the Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Treatment Clinic, MCPH continues to explore effective ways to treat COVID-19 in the community. A mobile unit with the capability to serve approximately 15 individuals per day with a different injection type that is effective against Omicron will be at Ariel Clinical Services, 2938 North Ave., through at least January 15. Appointments are available Monday through Saturday starting at 8 a.m. Scheduling information for this mobile clinic, provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), can be found here.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, MCPH recommends getting vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, getting tested and staying home if you feel sick, wearing a face-covering when in indoor public spaces, and keeping immunity up by practicing healthy habits.
COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE
Latest COVID-19 data
- COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been decreasing for the past several weeks after a recent peak in November.
- Of Mesa County residents currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 90% are unvaccinated.
- Hospital bed capacity in Mesa County continues to be over 90% full of patients with COVID-19 and other illnesses/injuries.
- Mesa County is a regional medical hub and serves patients from many neighboring counties.
First Cases of Identified Omicron Variant Cases in Mesa County
- As of December 30, 2021, three Mesa County residents have tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
- None of the individuals identified had a record of COVID-19 vaccination.
- All positive COVID-19 PCR tests in Mesa County are being sequenced, or specifically screened, for the Omicron variant.
- What we know about Omicron so far is it seems to spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- How easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown, however, according to statewide data, more than 90% of COVID-19 cases are now the Omicron variant in Colorado, a significant increase from just two weeks ago.
- More data are needed to know if Omicron infections cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants.
CDC Updates COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance
- New guidance from the CDC reduces the amount of time a person needs to quarantine or isolate. The change in guidance is based on data showing that the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness.
- Mesa County Public Health has aligned our guidance with the new information for all people and businesses in Mesa County.
A visual breakdown of the guidance can be found here. A written explanation can be found below.
Isolation Guidance for People with a Positive Test Result (everyone, regardless of vaccination status)
- Stay home for five days.
- If your symptoms are gone or are resolving, you may leave your home after 5 days.
- Continue wearing a mask around others for five additional days. You should wear a mask for 10 days total after the positive test result.
- If feverish on day five, you should stay home until symptoms resolve.
Quarantine Guidance for People Who Have Been Exposed to Someone with COVID-19
- If you are boosted, within six months of your second Pfizer/Moderna shot, or within two months of your Johnson&Johnson shot:
- Get tested five days after exposure, wear a mask in public for five additional days.
- If any symptoms develop, get tested and stay home.
- If you are more than six months out from your second Pfizer/Moderna shot, more than two months out from your Johnson&Johnson shot, or unvaccinated:
- Quarantine for five days.
- Get tested five days after your exposure, wear a mask in public for five additional days (you should wear a mask for 10 days total).
- If any symptoms develop, get tested and stay home.
- Everyone ages 16 years and older can get a booster shot.
- Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna (mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) are preferred in most situations. Although mRNA vaccines are preferred, J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be considered in some situations.
- Everyone ages 5 years and older is now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Mesa County Public Health offers COVID-19 vaccines at our community vaccination site, located at 510 29 ½ Road, Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-ins are accepted but appointments are encouraged.
- Pediatric (5-17) vaccines are given by appointment only.
- Scheduling information for a COVID-19 vaccine through MCPH can be found here as well as at numerous local pharmacies and physician offices throughout Mesa County.
- 53% of Mesa County residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19. See how vaccination percentage by age breaks down below:
- Ages 5-11; 12%
- Ages 12-18; 35%
- Ages 19-29; 43%
- Ages 30-39; 50%
- Ages 40-49; 56%
- Ages 50-59; 63%
- Ages 60-69; 85%
- Ages 70-79; 89%
- Ages 80+; 75%