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COVID-19 Hospitalizations Contributing to Health Care System Overload

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Contributing to Health Care System Overload

CONTINUED MEASURES NEEDED AS WE WORK TOGETHER TO RETURN TO THE WESTERN COLORADO WE ALL KNOW AND LOVE

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) continues to respond to an elevated number of COVID-19 cases and is seeing increased community transmission with variant strains. The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in recent weeks. On April 13 there were three (3) ICU patients and seven hospitalized with COVID-19 in Mesa County. One month later, on May 13, hospitals reported eight (8) COVID-19 patients in ICU, and 25 total confirmed hospitalizations.

Western Colorado is a medical hub, with severe cases transported to emergency departments and trauma centers in Mesa County. “This is the season with increased outdoor activity, traditionally our hospitals fill up this time of year due to injuries and trauma related to those activities,” Community Hospital Chief Medical Officer, Thomas Tobin, MD said. Dr. Andrew Jones, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, St. Mary’s Medical Center explained, “the additional patients due to COVID-19 are putting a strain on the system. I encourage all eligible individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as this effectively prevents most illness and nearly all serious disease.” 

Mesa County has been successful in slowing and containing COVID-19 in our community throughout the pandemic, these variants create an urgent need to continue the measures to protect our community, our economy, and our hospitals. 

“We are seeing an increase in COVID 19 positivity rates and hospitalization rates as well as increasing numbers of staff testing positive for COVID 19. Like our community hospital partners, these dynamics are impacting and putting stress on our emergency room resources, system, and staffing levels,” VA Western Colorado Health Care System Executive Director, Richard Salgueiro, said.

Measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses continue to be important. “We recognize more than a year into this pandemic, our community is tired of public health recommendations,” Jeff Kuhr, Executive Director of Mesa County Public Health shared. “Now that COVID-19 vaccines are readily available there is a clear path to end this pandemic, choosing to get a COVID-19 vaccine is an effective way to protect yourself and your community,” Kuhr added. 

Case investigation and contact tracing are instrumental to MCPH’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Case investigation has shown transmission occurs most frequently in settings where larger groups gather; such as social events, milestone celebrations, or events where multiple households interact. “Think about what we’ve learned over the last year and take precautions to prevent the spread,” Kuhr said. “Our residents know what to do and how to stay safe, but they need to know that COVID-19 is still here. We must learn how to live with it while protecting ourselves and others.”   

MCPH asks residents for their continued support and to consider aiding the community efforts to end the pandemic. The most effective ways to prevent the spread of any COVID-19 virus are to stay home (away from work, school, child care, and activities) when you are not feeling well, wash your hands often, and get a COVID-19 vaccine. Unvaccinated individuals should maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others and wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces.

The COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost, and identification or insurance is not required. Eligibility recently expanded to include individuals as young as 12 years of age.

Schedule your appointment at the Mesa County Community Vaccination Site here

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Public Health Emerging Issues

May 12, 2021

 

COVID-19 VACCINATION UPDATE

  • On May 10, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in children ages 12-15. 
  • The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) needs to recommend use before Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) can offer appointments to this age group. The ACIP is meeting Wednesday, May 12, to make a recommendation on the vaccine’s use for this group. 
    • If recommended, individuals age 12-15 will be able to sign up for a vaccine on the MCPH website as early as Thursday, May 13, with appointments as soon as Saturday, May 15.   
  • Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech have also applied for full FDA approval.
  • The Community Vaccination Site (CVS) at the Grand Junction Convention Center will relocate to the MCPH building (510 29 1/2 Rd) on May 19. If you are getting your first Moderna or Pfizer vaccine dose this week, your second dose will be administered at MCPH.
  • MCPH has partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to bring a Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic to Mesa County. 
    • Vaccines are available at no-cost, without an appointment, and no ID or insurance is required at two remaining stops in Clifton this week. Click here to learn more.
  • As of the week ending May 5, 47,844 first doses and 47,130 second doses have been administered in Mesa County for a total of 94,974 doses. 
    • Approximately 68% of individuals ages 70+ and 63% of those between the ages of 60-69 have received a first dose. 
    • Approximately 37% of the total Mesa County eligible population (16 years and older) is fully vaccinated, meaning they have received both doses in a two-dose series, or a single dose vaccine. 
    • A Vaccine Dashboard is updated weekly on the MCPH website.
  • MCPH is working to make getting a COVID-19 vaccine as convenient as possible and offers evening and weekend appointments.
  • If you are unable to complete scheduling online call 970-248-6900. Press Option 7. Individuals who are more comfortable communicating in Spanish should call the Mesa County Public Health Spanish-language line at 970-255-3700.
  • The State of Colorado has set up a Vaccine Hotline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with answers to general vaccine questions available in multiple languages. Call 1-877-CO-VAX-CO (1-877-268-2926).
COVID-19 Testing Offered in Fruita, Samples Will be Sequenced For B.1.617.2 Variant

COVID-19 Testing Offered in Fruita, Samples Will be Sequenced For B.1.617.2 Variant

 

Date: May 11, 2021               

 

COVID-19 TESTING OFFERED IN FRUITA, SAMPLES WILL BE SEQUENCED FOR B.1.617.2 VARIANT

With the identification of the B.1.617.2 variant and case numbers remaining elevated, Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) in coordination with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), will set up a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at the Fruita 8/9 school this Wednesday, May 12, by appointment.

What:   Drive-Thru Rapid Response COVID-19 Testing

Where:  Parking Lot at Fruita 8/9 School, 1835 J Road

When:   Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 – By appointment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

How:      Pre-registration link here.

 

The Mesa County cases are the first time the B.1.617.2 variant of interest has been identified in Colorado. This variant of interest, was first identified in India in December 2020. Investigations are underway to learn more about B.1.617.2 and the potential impact on current vaccines and treatments. 

Through case investigation, MCPH has identified a number of School District 51 students and staff who have become ill – some severely – with COVID-19 have also tested positive for the variant. 

Testing will help MCPH learn where the variant is in Mesa County and learn more about it. Infections due to the new variants seem to have the same symptoms as the original COVID-19 strain and include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. COVID-19 is spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneezes, or talks.

The CDPHE Rapid Response team will administer the tests, free of charge. The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests will be processed at the state laboratory with results available for residents 24-48 hours after collection. CDPHE staff will collect phone numbers to have the CDPHE call center report results.  For general questions regarding testing or for results, or if you have not received results by Friday, May 14, please call 303-731-2993.

The most effective ways to prevent the spread of any COVID-19 virus are: 

  • Wear a mask in public indoor spaces.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others.
  • Wash your hands often. 
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Choosing to get a COVID-19 vaccine is an effective way to protect yourself and your community. Vaccine appointments are available to all eligible Mesa County residents. Schedule your appointment at the Mesa County Community Vaccination Site here

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, but are not able to make it to Fruita for this event visit the MCPH website for a list of other community testing options available for free, including the community testing site at Mesa County Public Health, open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., no appointment needed.


Fecha: 11 de mayo de 2021

 

PRUEBAS DE COVID-19 OFRECIDAS EN FRUITA, LAS MUESTRAS SERÁN LA SECUENCIA PARA LA VARIANTE B.1.617.2

 

Con la identificación de la variante B.1.617.2 y los números de casos que permanecen elevados, la Salud Pública del Condado de Mesa (MCPH) en coordinación con el Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE), establecerá una prueba de COVID-19 desde su vehículo en la escuela Fruita 8/9 este miércoles 12 de mayo, con cita previa.

Qué: Prueba COVID-19 de respuesta rápida Drive-Thru (sin bajar de su auto)

Dónde: Estacionamiento en la escuela Fruita 8/9, 1835 J Road

Cuándo: miércoles 12 de mayo de 2021 – Con cita previa de 10 a.m. a 6 p.m.

Cómo: Haga click aquí para hacer su cita

Los casos del condado de Mesa son la primera vez que se identifica la variante de interés B.1.617.2 en Colorado. Esta variante de interés se identificó por primera vez en India en diciembre de 2020. Se están realizando investigaciones para obtener más información sobre B.1.617.2 y el impacto potencial en las vacunas y tratamientos actuales.

A través de la investigación de casos, MCPH ha identificado una cantidad de estudiantes y personal del Distrito Escolar 51 que se han enfermado, algunos de forma grave, con COVID-19 también han dado positivo por la variante.

Las pruebas ayudarán a MCPH a saber dónde está la variante en el condado de Mesa y aprender más sobre ella. Las infecciones debidas a las nuevas variantes parecen tener los mismos síntomas que la cepa COVID-19 original e incluyen:

  • Fiebre o escalofríos
  • Tos
  • Falta de aliento o dificultad para respirar.
  • Fatiga
  • Dolores musculares o corporales
  • Nueva pérdida del gusto u olfato
  • Dolor de garganta
  • Congestión o secreción nasal.
  • Náuseas o vómitos
  • Diarrea
  • Dolor de cabeza

Los síntomas pueden aparecer de 2 a 14 días después de la exposición al virus. El COVID-19 se transmite principalmente de persona a persona a través de gotitas respiratorias cuando alguien tose, estornuda o habla.

El equipo de respuesta rápida de CDPHE administrará las pruebas de forma gratuita. Las pruebas de reacción en cadena de la polimerasa (PCR) se procesarán en el laboratorio estatal y los resultados estarán disponibles para los residentes entre 24 y 48 horas después de la recolección. El personal de CDPHE recopilará números de teléfono para que el centro de llamadas de CDPHE informe los resultados. Si tiene preguntas generales sobre las pruebas o los resultados, o si no ha recibido los resultados antes del viernes 14 de mayo, llame al 303-731-2993.

Las formas más efectivas de prevenir la propagación de cualquier virus COVID-19 son:

  • Use una máscara en espacios públicos interiores.
  • Mantenga al menos 6 pies de distancia física de los demás.
  • Lávese las manos con frecuencia.
  • Quédese en casa cuando esté enfermo.
  • Obtenga una vacuna COVID-19.

La elección de la vacuna COVID-19 es una forma eficaz de protegerse y proteger a su comunidad. Las citas para vacunas están disponibles para todos los residentes elegibles del condado de Mesa. Programe su cita en el sitio de vacunación comunitaria del condado de Mesa aquí.

Si tiene síntomas de COVID-19, pero no puede asistir a Fruita para este evento, visite el sitio web de MCPH para obtener una lista de otras opciones de pruebas comunitarias disponibles de forma gratuita, incluido el sitio de pruebas comunitarias en Mesa County Public Health, abierto los martes hasta el sábado de 8 am a 2 pm, no se necesita cita.

No Burn Advisory Due to Red Flag Warning Through 9 pm on 5/8/2021

No Burn Advisory Due to Red Flag Warning Through 9 pm on 5/8/2021

NO BURN ADVISORY EXTENDED

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for May 8, 2021, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. the No Burn Advisory has been extended.

PREVIOUSLY ISSUED

Mesa County Public Health has issued a no burn advisory on May 7, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., due to a Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service. 

The combination of gusty winds, low relative humidity, and dry fuels will result in critical fire weather conditions.

Conditions are not appropriate for burning of any kind, including agricultural burning. Instead of burning, consider these alternatives:

  • Take yard waste to the Mesa County Organic Materials composting facility at Mesa County Solid Waste, 3071 U.S. Hwy. 50. The facility accepts material for composting at no charge and is open from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Wednesday- Saturday. For more information, call (970) 263-9319. 
  • Compost leaves and grass clippings yourself. This can improve water retention in your yard or garden.
  • Rent or borrow a wood chipper for your tree and shrub trimmings. Chipped branches can also be good mulch.

 

For information on current air quality conditions and to learn if it’s OK to burn, visit our website

COVID-19 Testing Offered in Fruita, Samples Will be Sequenced For B.1.617.2 Variant

Five Variant of Interest Cases Identified in Mesa County

Through sequencing of test samples, a variant of interest has been identified in five Mesa County COVID-19 cases. The individuals, all females from different households, range in age from 30 to 65 years old.

The Mesa County cases are the first time this variant of interest, referred to as B.1.617.2, has been identified in Colorado. This variant of interest was first identified in India in December 2020. Because viruses are constantly changing, it is normal to see variants appear over time.

Vaccination can slow the spread of illness and is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and our community from the spread of COVID-19. Scientists believe the currently approved vaccines are effective in providing immunity against emerging variants. Mesa County operates a Community Vaccination Site with immediate scheduling available for all residents 16 years of age and older.

In populations not eligible to get the vaccine, such as those under the age of 16, having community protection in the form of high vaccination rates is vitally important. “It’s called cocooning, we use this to protect those who are too young to get vaccinated and others who for various reasons may not be able to get vaccinated.” Jeff Kuhr, Executive Director of Mesa County Public Health said. Vaccination is an effective and proven tool to aid in the reduction of illness and disease. Currently, 36% of eligible residents in Mesa County are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, meaning they have received both doses in a two dose series or a single dose vaccine. “We urge those who are able, to get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Kuhr added.

MCPH understands the choice to be vaccinated can come with questions and a desire to learn about the approved vaccines. We urge all residents to get information from trusted sources, such as the MCPH website. MCPH recommends vaccination for COVID-19 as well as other proven prevention methods to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community including frequent hand washing, the use of face coverings in public indoor settings where social distancing is not possible, and staying home and away from school, work, or child care, if you or a loved one is not feeling well.

“We know it’s been a long 14 months, you may be done with COVID-19 and the associated measures, but COVID-19 is not done with Mesa County. We are asking our community to stay committed for Mesa County’s overall and economic health,” Kuhr added.

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Public Health Emerging Issues

May 5, 2021

 

COVID-19 VACCINATION UPDATE

  • Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to bring a Mobile COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic to nine locations across Mesa County from May 4-14. 
    • Vaccines are available at no cost, without an appointment, and no ID or insurance is required. Click here to learn more.
  • As of the week ending May 1, 47,075 first doses and 45,117 second doses have been administered in Mesa County for a total of 92,192 doses. 
    • Approximately 68% of individuals age 70+ and 62% of those between the ages of 60-69 have received a first dose. 
    • Approximately 36% of the total Mesa County eligible population (16 years and older) is fully vaccinated, meaning they have received both doses in a two-dose series, or a single dose vaccine. 
  • MCPH will resume the administration of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine on Friday, May 7. From May 7 forward, the J&J vaccine will be available on Fridays and individuals will be able to choose whether they want the J&J vaccine or the Moderna/Pfizer vaccines on the MCPH scheduling website.

 

  • The Community Vaccination Site (CVS) at the Grand Junction Convention Center will relocate to the MCPH building (510 29 1/2 Rd) on May 19. 
    • With over 90,000 vaccine doses administered in Mesa County, shifting operations back to the MCPH building is appropriate. 
    • The site, where vaccine administration started, will continue to meet the community vaccination needs
    • The shift will also allow the Grand Junction Convention Center to host events as outlined in the Free to Choose Resolution.
  • Immediate scheduling and next-day appointments are available.
  • MCPH is working to make getting a COVID-19 vaccine as convenient as possible and offers evening and weekend appointments.
  • This week, we are administering about 500 vaccine doses per day with enough vaccine to administer about 1,500 doses per day. 
  • A Vaccine Dashboard is updated weekly on the MCPH website. 
  • If you are unable to complete scheduling online call 970-248-6900. Press Option 7. Individuals who are more comfortable communicating in Spanish should call the Mesa County Public Health Spanish-language line at 970-255-3700.
  • The State of Colorado has set up a Vaccine Hotline, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with answers to general vaccine questions available in multiple languages. Call 1-877-CO-VAX-CO (1-877-268-2926).