Mesa County Readies for Phase 1B.3 While Continuing to Prioritize Individuals 65 and Older

Mesa County Readies for Phase 1B.3 While Continuing to Prioritize Individuals 65 and Older

Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) continues our phased distribution plan for COVID-19 vaccine. Priority continues to be given to individuals age 65 and older, as the risk for severe outcomes is higher in this age group.

Because vaccine supply is more consistent, the number of appointments available in our community is increasing. This reduces the period of time between when the interest form is filled out and when an individual is contacted for an appointment.

“We were ready with a mass dispensing location before we had the vaccine to support it. Now that we’re getting larger shipments more regularly, we are in a good position to quickly distribute vaccine to those currently eligible with minimal wait times,” Jeff Kuhr, Mesa County Public Health Executive Director, said.

Mesa County Public Health has contacted more than 16,000 individuals in the 70 and older category who filled out our interest form via email at least once. MCPH staff is now working through a list of about 1,000 individuals who indicated they preferred phone-only contact for scheduling. 

In the 65-69 category, we have contacted more than 4,000 individuals for scheduling. 

We encourage all residents over the age of 65 to visit the Mesa County Public Health website and fill out our vaccine interest form. A link to our self-scheduling system is sent directly to individuals on that list, sometimes within a few days.

While continuing to prioritize older adults, on March 5, 2021, Colorado will move into Phase 1B.3 of vaccine distribution.  This phase was updated on February 26 and now includes:

  • People age 60 or older
  • Frontline essential agricultural and grocery store workers
  • People age 16-59 with two or more high-risk conditions; defined as patients who are currently receiving treatment or have received treatment within the last month for cancer), chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes mellitus (types 1 and 2), Down syndrome, specific heart conditions (heart failure, cardiomyopathies or coronary heart disease, and severe valvular/congenital heart disease), obesity (BMI ≥ 30kg/m^2), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, solid organ transplant, individuals with disabilities who require direct care in their home, and people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks. Individuals who qualify should indicate this as their reason on their interest form; documentation of conditions is not required.

In addition to Mesa County Public Health, other providers in our community are offering appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations. Local provider information is updated periodically on the provider information page of our website. 

If you are unable to complete the interest form online call 970-248-6900. Press Option 7, and leave a callback number. Individuals who are more comfortable communicating in Spanish should call the Mesa County Public Health Spanish-language line at 970-255-3700.

Stay up to date by visiting health.mesacounty.us.

MCPH COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form Tutorial

MCPH COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form Tutorial

Do you qualify to get the COVID-19 vaccine under Colorado’s current vaccine distribution phase, but are unsure what to do next? We’ve got you covered- check out our step-by-step tutorial video on how to fill out the vaccine interest form on our website.

Keep in mind, this form does not allow you to set up a vaccination appointment- its purpose is to inform us you are interested in receiving the vaccine. Once you fill out the form, you will receive a confirmation email/call, and a Mesa County Public Health representative will contact you for vaccine appointment scheduling.

If this tutorial does not answer your question, please email us at healthinfo@mesacounty.us or call us at 970-248-6900.

 

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Public Health Emerging Issues

February 24, 2021

COVID-19 VACCINATION UPDATE:

  • The United States surpasses 500,000 deaths due to COVID-19, 5,990 of those deaths occurring in Colorado residents. The grim milestone supports public health priority of getting Americans vaccinated in accordance with the phased distribution plan. 
  • Vaccine advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet Friday, February 26, to discuss whether to recommend Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization.
    • Clinical trials show Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine reduces severe illness by approximately 85% even with a lower overall efficacy (66%) than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. 
  • As of the week ending February 20, 19,962 first doses and 6,789 second doses have been administered in Mesa County for a total of 26,751 doses. A Vaccine Dashboard is updated weekly on the Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) website.
  • Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) continues operating a Point of Distribution (POD) mass vaccination site by appointment only at the Grand Junction Convention Center, located at 159 Main Street. 
  • Last week’s wintry weather in some parts of the country has delayed vaccine shipments.
    • MCPH received the bulk of its vaccine on Monday, February 22 with some vaccine still arriving Tuesday, February 23. These shipments are arriving about one week later than usual. 
    • Due to the delay in vaccine delivery, MCPH was not able to plan vaccine appointments with as much advance planning as usual. Typically, MCPH plans vaccine appointments mid-late week for the next 5-7 days. Due to the shipping delays patients were contacted 3-4 days in advance.
    • The delay in shipment has not impacted previously scheduled vaccine appointments. 
    • MCPH does not schedule appointments without having the vaccine on hand to ensure we can follow through with all appointments scheduled. 
    • No appointments were canceled due to delays in vaccine delivery.
  • MCPH’s mass vaccination site plans to administer 700-800 doses per day for the remainder of the current week with a goal to return to 1,000 first and second doses per day next week.
  • A vaccine interest form is available on the MCPH website. The interest form can be used for individuals 65 years and older as well as those with two or more severe health conditions.
  • If you do not have regular access to a computer call 970-248-6900. Press Option 7, and leave a callback number. 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).
  • Colorado is currently in phase 1B.2 of vaccine distribution. Providers can offer vaccine to all previously eligible groups as well as:
    • Individuals age 65-69.
    • Childcare workers in licensed child care programs, teachers (full-time and substitutes), and other school support positions (bus, food, counselors, administrative, safety, and additional support services offered inside the school).
    • Members of the Executive and Judicial branches of state government
  • Phase 1B.3 is estimated to begin in March after the state of Colorado reaches the goal of vaccinating 70% of Coloradans over the age of 70 statewide.
  • Phase 2 is scheduled to begin this spring.
  • Phase 3 is on track to begin this summer, if not sooner, based on vaccine availability.
Mesa County Moves to Level Yellow: Concern

Mesa County Moves to Level Yellow: Concern

Mesa County continues to experience a decline in cases of COVID-19 and will transition to Level Yellow: Concern, effective February 17. Under the new level, most industries are allowed 50% capacity with social distancing measures in place. Personal gatherings under the State of Colorado’s Dial framework are considered a high-risk activity and remain limited to up to 10 people from no more than two households. 

Private and personal gatherings continue to be a frequent source of transmission in Mesa County, accounting for approximately 9% of recent cases. Transmission from a family member remains the largest source of exposure with approximately 63% of known cases coming from a family member, according to case investigation data.

In early January, the State revised the Dial system, moving to one-week measures and changing the metrics to qualify for each level. Capacity restrictions at each level did not change.

In order to qualify for Level Yellow: Concern, Mesa County has demonstrated sustained declines to meet the thresholds in three key areas:

     • Between 100 and 300 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in one week; 

     • Rate of positive tests is no more than 7.5%; 

     • Stable or declining hospitalizations.

The level shift comes six weeks after illness levels allowed a shift from Severe Risk: Red to High Risk: Orange.

To track case counts and other data related to disease levels in our community, visit the Mesa County Public Health COVID-19 data dashboard here.

View the differences in each level hereFull guidance by industry can be found on the Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) website.  


En Español

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

EL CONDADO DE MESA SE MUEVE A NIVEL COLOR AMARILLO (PREOCUPACIÓN) EN FEB. 17

El condado de Mesa continúa experimentando una disminución en los casos de COVID-19 y pasará al Nivel de color Amarillo: Preocupación, a partir del 17 de febrero. Bajo el nuevo nivel, la mayoría de las industrias (negocios) tienen una capacidad del 50% con medidas de distanciamiento social implementadas. Las reuniones personales bajo el marco Dial del Estado de Colorado se consideran una actividad de alto riesgo y se limitan a hasta 10 personas de no más de dos hogares.

Las reuniones privadas y personales siguen siendo una fuente frecuente de transmisión en el condado de Mesa y representan aproximadamente el 9% de los casos recientes. La transmisión de un miembro de la familia sigue siendo la mayor fuente de exposición con aproximadamente el 63% de los casos conocidos que provienen de un miembro de la familia, según los datos del equipo de investigación de casos.

A principios de enero, el Estado revisó el sistema Dial, pasando a medidas de una semana y cambiando el criterio para calificar para cada nivel. Las restricciones de capacidad en cada nivel no cambiaron.

Para calificar para el Nivel Amarillo: Preocupación, el condado de Mesa ha demostrado disminuciones sostenidas para cumplir con el principio en tres áreas clave:

  • Entre 100 y 300 casos de COVID-19 por 100.000 personas en una semana;
  • El número de pruebas positivas no supera el 7,5%;
  • Hospitalizaciones estables o en disminución.

El cambio de nivel se produce seis semanas después de que los niveles de enfermedad permitieran un cambio de Riesgo Severo: Rojo a Riesgo Alto: Naranja.

Para realizar un seguimiento de los recuentos de casos y otros datos relacionados con los niveles de enfermedad en nuestra comunidad, visite el panel de datos COVID-19 de Salud Pública del Condado de Mesa aquí.

Puede encontrar una guía completa por industria / negocio en el sitio web de Salud Pública del Condado de Mesa.

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Public Health Emerging Issues: COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Public Health Emerging Issues

February 17, 2020

COVID-19 VACCINATION UPDATE:

  • Colorado has expanded eligibility and is currently in phase 1B.2 of vaccine distribution.
  • Providers can offer vaccine to all previously eligible groups as well as:
    • Individuals age 65-69.
    • Childcare workers in licensed child care programs, teachers (full-time and substitutes), and other school support positions (bus, food, counselors, administrative, safety, and additional support services offered inside the school).
    • Members of the Executive and Judicial branches of state government
  • Mesa County Public Health is operating a Point of Distribution (POD) mass vaccination site by appointment only at the Grand Junction Convention Center (159 Main St.). 
  • The amount of vaccine administered at the MCPH mass vaccination site has increased to 1,000 (first and second) doses per day.
  • Mesa County Public Health has 3,926 vaccine appointments scheduled between Feb. 16-21. 
  • As of the week ending February 13, 12,878 first doses and 5,338 second doses have been administered in Mesa County for a total of 18,216 doses. 
  • Vaccine data is published weekly on the MCPH Vaccine Dashboard
  • A vaccine interest form is available on the Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) website.
    • 16,146 individuals over the age of 70 have filled out the form and provided an email address for scheduling.
    • 582 people indicated they did not have an email address and requested phone-only contact. 
    • 3,873 individuals between the ages of 65-69 have filled out the form (opened on Feb. 8).
  • The interest form can be used for individuals 65 years and older as well as those with two or more severe health conditions. 
  • MCPH is working with employers in essential services and other industries open for vaccination scheduling.
  • MCPH sends a scheduling link to individuals and employers who have filled out the interest form or contacted us. This is to ensure the correct number of appointments, based on available vaccine are scheduled.
  • MCPH has contacted all individuals over the age of 70 in Phase 1B.1 who filled out the interest form, as well as medical providers with less direct patient access at least once for scheduling. We will make one additional attempt to contact individuals, those efforts are currently underway.
  • If you do not have regular access to a computer call 970-248-6900. Press Option 7, and leave a call back number. 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).
  • Phase 1B.3 is estimated to begin in March after the state of Colorado reaches the goal of vaccinating 70% of Coloradans over the age of 70 statewide.
  • Phase 2 is scheduled to begin this spring.
  • Phase 3 continues to be on track to begin this summer, if not sooner, based on vaccine availability.
Increased Supply Accelerates COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

Increased Supply Accelerates COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

With increased vaccine supply, Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) and our local hospital partners have significantly increased the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered each week in our community.

The mass vaccination site at the Grand Junction Convention Center has increased operations. In the past two weeks, the number of appointments grew from an average of 500 appointments per day to 800 per day. Next week, we expect up to 1,000 individuals will be vaccinated each day (Tuesday-Friday) by appointment; this includes both first and second doses.

“With vaccine shipments now coming more consistently, we’ve been able to really gain ground on our waitlist,” said Jeff Kuhr, Executive Director of Mesa County Public Health. “We are on track to reach our community goal of vaccinating individuals age 70 and older by the end of February.  A short time ago, I was concerned that wasn’t going to happen,” added Kuhr.

The mass vaccination site at the Grand Junction Convention Center, serving mainly individuals, is running in tandem with clinics at area hospitals, focusing on employer groups such as educators. On February 8, PreK-12 grade educators became eligible to receive vaccine.

Offering vaccine to this critical workforce is essential to ensure in-person learning is protected. Hospital partners stepped up and scheduled vaccine clinics for educators. As of Friday, February 12, all School District 51 educators and eligible staff will have been offered an appointment.

Wait times to be contacted have been dramatically reduced; we are currently contacting individuals who filled out the form approximately two weeks ago. A new feature on our website allows people to check the status of their submission

With the increased supply, MCPH estimates eligible individuals age 65-69 who signed up when their phase became eligible (February 8) will begin receiving appointment scheduling information within the next three weeks.

Additional providers, including pharmacies and community health clinics, are also receiving shipments of vaccine.  A list of providers can be found on our website with contact information.