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Public Health Emerging Issues: Plague in Colorado

Public Health Emerging Issues: Plague in Colorado

Public Health Emerging Issues

July 27, 2021

Plague Activity in Colorado: Protect Yourself and Know the Symptoms

  • Plague is an illness carried by fleas that live on rodents such as mice, squirrels, chipmunks, and prairie dogs. Their fleas can jump onto domestic animals and pets, infecting those animals or carrying fleas into homes.
  • Most human plague cases result from the bites of infected fleas. Less commonly, people are infected by direct contact with fluids or tissues from infected rodents or other animals (alive or dead), including domestic animals and pets.
  • Plague has been confirmed in six colorado Counties (not including Mesa) this year and the state recorded its first human death since 2015.

Avoid Illness by Taking Precautions

  • Avoid handling dead animals. 
  • Stay out of areas where wild rodents live. If you enter areas inhabited by wild rodents, wear insect repellent and protective clothing to prevent flea bites.
  • Avoid feeding rodents; keep food, pet food, and bird feed in rodent-proof containers. 
  • Keep your pets out of rodent burrows or from playing with dead animals. This
    includes keeping cats from hunting potentially sick rodents. 
  • Talk to your veterinarian about flea control for your pets, and monitor for signs and symptoms of plague (fever or an abscess (i.e. open sore) or swollen lymph nodes), in your animals. 
  • Sudden and large die-offs of rodents could indicate plague activity. If you see such activity, please notify Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) at 970-248-6900.

Know the Symptoms

  • Symptoms of plague in people include sudden onset of high fever, muscle pain, an overall feeling of tiredness, nausea, and vomiting.
    • Individuals with the bubonic form of plague will develop a large, swollen, painful lymph node, called a bubo, in the area of the flea bite. If the patient is not promptly treated with antibiotics, the plague bacteria can enter the bloodstream (septicemic plague) or lungs (pneumonic plague), causing severe, life-threatening complications.

If you believe you’ve come in contact with an animal that may be carrying plague or another infectious disease, please contact your medical provider.

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Activity Update

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Activity Update

Public Health Emerging Issues

July 22, 2021

COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE 

School Guidance

  • Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) worked in coordination with Mesa County Valley School District 51 (D51) on their Keeping Schools Open plan for the 2021-2022 school year. 
  • We will continue to work in collaboration with D51 to identify illness swiftly and take appropriate measures to slow the spread of illness, as well as monitor illness community-wide and make adjustments if needed. The plan remains flexible.

 

Delta Variant Spread

  • There are 836 cases of Delta variant in Mesa County.
    • There were 634 reported last week, an increase of 202. 
    • We estimate the total number of Delta variant cases to be much higher.
    • Not all positive COVID-19 tests are tested again for variants. 
    • Variant testing occurs through random sampling of positive tests. 
  • These variants are more transmissible and can be more severe, with recent studies showing nearly double the hospitalization risk with the Delta variant.
  • Available vaccines reduce severe illness, including hospitalization and death, associated with all COVID-19 strains, including emerging variants. 

 

Testing Efforts

  • Testing is FREE.
  • The Mesa County community COVID-19 testing site offers the Cue test, a highly accurate, rapid COVID-19 test. Results are available in about 20 minutes.
  • Cue and PCR testing is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Mesa County Public Health (MCPH), located at 510 29 ½ Road.
  • Appointments are not required, but you can pre-register online to save time.

 

Vaccination Efforts

  • Vaccines are FREE.
  • The State of Colorado is offering $100 Walmart gift cards while supplies last to anyone who receives a first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a participating state-operated vaccine site. The first opportunity in Mesa County is on Sunday, July 25. More information here.
  • On July 29, The Power the Comeback COVID-19 Vaccine Bus will be at Community Food Bank, 476 28 1/2 Rd. from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • MCPH offers COVID-19 vaccinations in a Mobile Vaccine Van at the Market on Main (5th and Main St.) every Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 
  • A toolkit from MCPH can help employers and organizations schedule on-site vaccination clinics and navigate COVID-19 vaccination in the workplace. Download the toolkit here.

 

Your Vaccine is Waiting

  • The Community Vaccination Site, located at 510 29 ½ Road, accepts walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Hours of operation are Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • All three vaccine types are available, residents are able to choose which vaccine they would like.
  • Immediate scheduling for appointments is still available. An appointment can make the process a little smoother. Schedule your vaccine today using these links: English or  Spanish.  Individuals who are more comfortable communicating in Spanish are encouraged to call the Mesa County Public Health Spanish-language line at 970-255-3700.
  • Search for other vaccine providers in our area including pharmacies and medical clinics, many offer walk-in vaccination. This provider map is updated weekly.
  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is quick and easy, plan for about 30 minutes.

 

Latest Data Vaccine Data 

  • As of the week ending July 17, 55,357 first doses and 56,938 second doses have been administered in Mesa County for a total of 112,295 doses. By age that breaks down as the following percentages for first doses:

 

  • 12-15=20%
  • 16-19=25.6%
  • 20-29=20.7%
  • 30-39=36.3%
  • 40-49=41.3%
  • 50-59=49.7%
  • 60-69=68.2%
  • 70+=69%
  • Total=46.49%

 

  • Approximately 43% of Mesa County residents age 12 and older are 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 with new data related to vaccine by age group.

 

2020 Suicide Report Shows Continued Need For Intervention and Education

If you’re struggling, or know someone who needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or text CO to 741741.

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH), along with several community partners including the Mesa County Coroner’s Office, routinely collects and analyzes data to understand suicide trends in Mesa County and shares key findings in its 2020 Annual Report.  

“This report shows that suicide remains a critical issue in Mesa County. We hope the data can raise awareness and continue to guide prevention, intervention, and post-vention efforts” said Jennifer Daniels, the Suicide Prevention Coordinator at St. Mary’s Hospital who serves on the Suicide Prevention Council. The Council meets on a monthly basis to coordinate and cross-support efforts across our community.

The Annual Report shows 2020 saw an increase over 2019 in youth attempts, but no other significant changes in suicide deaths, ideation, or adult attempts. This may reflect reluctance to visit health care facilities where this is recorded. Mesa County remains higher in suicide related deaths than state and national comparisons. 

Half of Mesa County suicide deaths in 2020 involved drugs or alcohol. For every death by suicide, there were approximately twelve suicide-related visits to an emergency department in Mesa County. The report shows that more males died by suicide, females were more likely to attempt suicide, and ideation was evenly split among gender. Half (50%) of people who died by suicide and had complete mental health histories had seen a behavioral health care provider at some point.

Public Health recommendations for reducing suicide in our community are:

  • Increase connectedness to enhance social networks and strengthen communities.
  • Maintain educational programming to generate community awareness and reduction of mental health stigma.
  • Expand the amount and variety of support services for attempt and loss survivors.
  • Strengthen economic support to increase stability in food, housing, and employment.
  • Expand access to suicide care.

Suicide prevention is a health priority in Mesa County. MCPH and community partners are working toward the goal of a 20 percent reduction in suicide deaths by the year 2024.

The annual report is published online at health.mesacounty.us. For local resources and to learn more about community collaboration, visit the suicide prevention page on healthymesacounty.org.

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Activity Update

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Activity Update

Public Health Emerging Issues

July 14, 2021

COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE 

Delta Variant Spread

  • There are 634 cases of Delta variant in Mesa County.
    • We estimate the total number of Delta variant cases to be much higher.
    • Not all positive COVID-19 tests are tested again for variants. 
    • Variant testing occurs through random sampling of positive tests. 
  • We have seen a decline in Delta variant cases in the most recent week. 
    • For the week ending June 6, 108 Delta variant cases were reported. 
    • For the week ending June 13, 60 Delta variant cases were reported.
  • These variants are more transmissible and can be more severe, with recent studies showing nearly double the hospitalization risk with the Delta variant.
  • Available vaccines reduce severe illness, including hospitalization and death, associated with all COVID-19 strains, including emerging variants. 

Testing Efforts

  • Testing is FREE.
  • The Mesa County community COVID-19 testing site offers the Cue test, a highly accurate, rapid COVID-19 test. Results are available in about 20 minutes.
  • Cue and PCR testing is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Mesa County Public Health (MCPH), located at 510 29 ½ Road.
  • Appointments are not required, but you can pre-register online to save time.

Vaccination Efforts

  • Vaccines are FREE.
  • The Power the Comeback COVID-19 Vaccine Bus is making stops at the following locations:
    • July 14 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Central Library, 443 N. 6th St.
    • July 14 from 3 p.m.to 8 p.m. at Orchard Mesa Lanes, 295 27 Road
    • July 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Capco. 1328 Winters
    • July 16 from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. a Western Colorado Contractors Association Industry Day Vaccine Event at 2405 Patterson Road
    • July 17 from 11 a.m.to 6 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Day at Las Colonias Park, 725 Struthers
    • July 21 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Community Hospital, 2351 G Road
    • July 21 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Hospital Pavilion, 750 Wellington Ave.   
    • July 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Community Food Bank,  476 28 1/2 Rd
  • MCPH offers COVID-19 vaccinations in a Mobile Vaccine Van at the Market on Main (5th and Main St.) every Thursday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. 

*No appointment, ID, or insurance is required for any bus/van vaccinations.

  • MCPH wants to support our business community through up-to-date information on employee vaccination and has put together a toolkit to help employers and organizations schedule on-site vaccination clinics and navigate COVID-19 vaccination in the workplace. Download the toolkit here.

Your Vaccine is Waiting

  • The Community Vaccination Site, located at 510 29 ½ Road, accepts walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Hours of operation are Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • All three vaccine types are available, residents are able to choose which vaccine they would like.
  • Immediate scheduling for appointments is still available. An appointment can make the process a little smoother.
  • Schedule your vaccine today using these links: English or  Spanish
  • Search for other vaccine providers in our area including pharmacies and medical clinics, many offer walk-in vaccination. This provider map is updated weekly.
  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is quick and easy, plan for about 30 minutes.

Make a Plan

  • As you plan summertime activities and get ready for the school year, remember that full protection builds in the two weeks following your second dose (or after your first dose of a single dose vaccine). 
  • If you would like to talk to someone about scheduling or the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, call 970-248-6900 and press option 7.
  • Individuals who are more comfortable communicating in Spanish are encouraged to call the Mesa County Public Health Spanish-language line at 970-255-3700.

Latest Data Vaccine Data 

  • As of the week ending July 3, 54,838 first doses and 56,264 second doses have been administered in Mesa County for a total of 111,102 doses. By age that breaks down as the following percentages for first doses:
  • 12-15=18.6%
  • 16-19=24.8%
  • 20-29=29.9%
  • 30-39=35.8%
  • 40-49=40.7%
  • 50-59=49.1%
  • 60-69=67.6%
  • 70+=68.7%
  • Total=45.86%

 

  • Approximately 42% of Mesa County residents age 12 and older are 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 with new data related to vaccine by age group.

 

MCPH Issues Air Quality Advisory for Wildfire Smoke

MCPH Issues Air Quality Advisory for Wildfire Smoke

UPDATE July 13:  The Air Quality Advisory has been extended through 9:00 A.M. on Wednesday, July 14.  Smoke is expected to decrease for many areas Tuesday afternoon and evening, the public health recommendations should continue to be followed throughout the advisory area due to the lingering health impacts of long-term exposure to smoke.

—————

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) has issued an Air Quality Advisory from 7:00 AM Monday, July 12 to 9:00 AM Tuesday, July 13, due to wildfire smoke. 

Areas of moderate to heavy smoke have been observed Monday morning across the county. Smoke will gradually decrease late Monday morning for most areas as atmospheric mixing increases, however smoke could increase again during the mid to late afternoon hours as the fire becomes more active and smoke transported from out-of-state wildfires begins to increase again. 

It’s not uncommon in the summer months for haze from fires close or even multiple states away, to impact our air quality.

Public Health Recommendations to Protect Yourself from Wildfire Smoke

  • If possible, limit your exposure to smoke. Here are some tips to reduce exposure:
    • Avoid Smoky Periods – Smoke often changes over the course of a day. Track conditions and plan your activities to avoid the worst periods of air quality.  If visibility is less than five miles due to smoke, the smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.
    • Stay Indoors –  Do not go outdoors during periods of increased smoke. If you can’t see the mountains clearly, the air quality may be unhealthy.
    • Reduce Activity – Reducing physical activity lowers the amount of inhaled pollutants and reduces health risks during smoke events.
    • Watch for Symptoms of Excessive Smoke Exposure – Children, pregnant women, older adults, and those with chronic illnesses are more vulnerable to smoke exposure. If you or someone in your family have symptoms related to smoke exposure such as difficulty breathing, prolonged coughing, or chest pain contact your health care provider.
    • Keep Indoor Air Clean – Close all windows and doors. Swamp coolers do not offer filtration. Air conditioners may be run with the fresh air intake closed. If you are unable to keep your indoor air clean or it is too hot, consider relocating to an area with cleaner air.

Consider a portable air cleaner that can be used alone or with enhanced central air filtration to effectively remove particles.

Understanding Air Quality Alert Levels

The Air Quality Index, or AQI, is used to measure the level of air pollution. It assigns a value based on the particulate matter in the air.  The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. 

AQI values at or below 100 are generally thought of as satisfactory. When AQI values are above 100, air quality is unhealthy: at first for certain sensitive groups of people, then for everyone as AQI values get higher.

The AQI is divided into six categories. Each category corresponds to a different level of health concern. Each category also has a specific color. The color makes it easy for people to quickly determine whether air quality is reaching unhealthy levels in their communities.

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


Aviso de calidad del aire para humo proveniente de incendios forestales

Expedido para de Áreas extensas del norte y el centro de Colorado
Expedido en 8:00 AM MDT, lunes 12 de julio Expedido por el Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado

Áreas cubiertas: condados de Routt, Jackson, Grand, Garfield, Eagle, Summit, Mesa, Delta, Gunnison, Pitkin, Lake, Delta, Montrose, y Gunnison. Las ciudades y puntos de interés incluyen, entre otros Glen
Eden, Clark, Steamboat Springs, Kremmling, Granby, Glenwood Springs, Eagle, Breckenridge, Grand Junction, Aspen, Leadville, Delta, and Gunnison.

Aviso en vigor: 8:30 AM MDT, lunes 12 de julio, 2021 a 9:00 AM MDT, martes, 13 de julio, 2021. Recomendaciones de salud pública: Si el humo es denso o se vuelve denso en su vecindario, es
posible que desee permanecer en áreas cerradas, especialmente quienes padecen enfermedades cardíacas, respiratorias, los más jóvenes y los ancianos. Considere la posibilidad de limitar las
actividades al aire libre cuando haya humo moderado o intenso. Considere la posibilidad de moverse de lugar temporalmente si hay humo en áreas interiores y le hace sentir mal. Si la visibilidad es inferior a
5 millas [aproximadamente 8 km] debido al humo en su vecindario, éste ha alcanzado niveles que no son saludables.

Pronóstico: El lunes por la mañana se observaron áreas con humo de moderado a denso en el área de advertencia, particularmente en el norte del Condado de Routt, en las cercanías del incendio forestal de
Morgan Creek. El humo disminuirá gradualmente a última hora de la mañana del lunes en la mayoría de las áreas afectadas a medida que se mezcle más con la atmósfera; sin embargo, el humo podría
aumentar nuevamente a última hora de la tarde cuando el fuego se intensifique y el humo transportado desde los incendios forestales fuera del estado vuelva a incrementarse. A última hora de la noche del
lunes, el humo comenzará a trasladarse hacia las zonas más bajas que rodean el incendio forestal de Morgan Creek, lo que generará períodos de humo denso a lo largo las zonas de Morgan y Reed Creeks,
Elk River Valley y, finalmente, afectará a las comunidades de Glen Eden y Clark hasta la madrugada del martes. Además, el humo comenzará a asentarse el lunes por la noche en el resto del área de
advertencia de incendios forestales fuera del estado, y se espera la llegada de humo más denso en las zonas de los valles.

Para conocer el pronóstico más reciente sobre el humo, visite: http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/addendum.aspx#smoke

Para más información sobre el humo y su salud, visite: http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/wildfire.aspx

Para conocer la información, los pronósticos y los avisos más recientes sobre las condiciones de la
calidad del aire en todo el estado de Colorado, visite: http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/colorado_summary.aspx

Redes sociales:
http://www.facebook.com/cdphe.apcd

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Activity Update

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Situation Update

Public Health Emerging Issues

July 9, 2021

COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE 

Delta Variant Spread

  • There are 569 cases of Delta variant in Mesa County.
    • We estimate the total number of Delta variant cases to be much higher. Not all positive COVID-19 tests are tested again for variants, variant testing occurs through random sampling of positive tests. 
  • Vaccination is critically important as case counts continue to be at a sustained increase in Mesa County and community transmission of the Delta variant is widespread. 
  • Available vaccines provide protection against all COVID-19 strains, including emerging variants.
  • These variants are more transmissible and can be more severe, with recent studies showing nearly double the hospitalization risk with the Delta variant. 
  • Vaccination is proven to reduce severe illness, including hospitalization and death.
  • Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. 

Vaccination Efforts

  • Vaccines are FREE.
  • The Power the Comeback COVID-19 Vaccine Bus is making stops at the following locations:
    • July 9 from 8 a.m. to  11:30 a.m. at Horizon Drive and Crossroads Blvd
    • July 9 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Colorado Canyons Hospital, 228 N. Cherry (Fruita)
    • July 10 from 12 p.m to 8 p.m . at 7th and Main, Downtown Grand Junction
    • July 10 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Whitman Park (all vaccine types available, look for the MCPH van)  
    • July 11 from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. at Church of the Nativity, 2175 Broadway
    • July 11 from 2 pm to 5 p.m. at Laurel House, 3197 N. 12th
    • July 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at CoorsTek, 2449 Riverside Parkway
    • July 14 from 12 p.m. to  2 p.m. at Central Library, 443 N. 6th St.
    • July 14 from 3 p.m.to  8 p.m. at Orchard Mesa Lanes, 295 27 Road
    • July 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Capco. 1328 Winters
    • July 16 from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. a Western Colorado Contractors Association Industry Day Vaccine Event at 2405 Patterson Road
    • July 17 from 11 a.m.to 6:00 pm at Cesar Chavez Day at Las Colonias Park. 725 Struthers
    • July 21 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Community Hospital, 2351 G Road
    • July 21 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Mary’s Hospital Pavilion, 750 Wellington Ave.   
    • NEW LOCATION:  July 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Community Food Bank,  476 28 1/2 Rd
  • Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) offers COVID-19 vaccinations in a Mobile Vaccine Van at the Market on Main  (5th and Main St.) every Thursday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. 

*No appointment, ID, or insurance is required for any bus/van vaccinations.

  • MCPH wants to support our business community through up-to-date information on employee vaccination and has put together a toolkit to help employers and organizations schedule on-site vaccination clinics and navigate COVID-19 vaccination in the workplace. Download the toolkit here.

Your Vaccine is Waiting

  • The Community Vaccination Site, located at 510 29 ½ Road, accepts walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • Hours of operation are Wednesday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • All three vaccine types are available, residents are able to choose which vaccine they would like.
  • Immediate scheduling for appointments is still available. An appointment can make the process a little smoother.
  • Schedule your vaccine today using these links: English or  Spanish. Search for other vaccine providers in our area including pharmacies and medical clinics, many offer walk-in vaccination. This provider map is updated weekly.
  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is quick and easy, plan for about 30 minutes.

Make a Plan

  • As you plan summertime activities and get ready for the school year, remember that full protection builds in the two weeks following your second dose (or after your first dose of a single dose vaccine). Plan your vaccine today to ensure the safest possible interactions this summer.
  • If you would like to talk to someone about scheduling or the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, call 970-248-6900 and press option 7.
  • Individuals who are more comfortable communicating in Spanish are encouraged to 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).

Latest Data Vaccine Data 

  • As of the week ending July 3, 54,096 first doses and 55,303 second doses have been administered in Mesa County for a total of 109,399 doses. By age that breaks down as the following percentages for first doses:
  • 12-15=17.8%
  • 16-19=24.3%
  • 20-29=29.5%
  • 30-39=35.4%
  • 40-49=40.2%
  • 50-59=48.7%
  • 60-69=67.3%
  • 70+=68.6%
  • Total=45.47%

 

  • Approximately 41% of Mesa County residents age 12 and older are 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 with new data related to vaccine by age group.