MCPH Releases COVID-19 Impact Report: A Special Report Complementing the Community Health Needs Assessment

MCPH Releases COVID-19 Impact Report: A Special Report Complementing the Community Health Needs Assessment

Two years after the first COVID-19 case was identified, Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) is releasing a special report, complementing the Community Health Needs Assessment. The COVID-19 Impact Report is dedicated solely to the impacts of COVID-19 in Mesa County.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, case investigators with MCPH tracked case counts, community spread, and deaths due to the virus. Tracking these data, related to direct impacts, is vital to understanding where and how the virus spreads, who is most at risk, and allows the agency to share public health guidance to protect the community and control illness outbreaks. 

As data related to the number of cases was being shared through an online Data Dashboard, the Research and Planning team at MCPH was tracking in-depth and more indirect measures as to how Mesa County was impacted by the pandemic. 

MCPH Releases the COVID-19 Impact Report

The report examines the time period between 2019-2021 and includes information on calls for service by law enforcement, healthcare visits with mental health notes, utilization of local sports programs, unemployment benefit comparisons to wages, and more. Examining these measures provides the most comprehensive look to date at the impacts of the pandemic on our community, with the intent to inform community organizations in their plans for action over the next few years.

Some of the findings include:

  • In 2020, the average age of overdose death dropped by 10 years.
  • Job losses impacted our local economy with a 10% reduction at the start of the pandemic, but unlike the recession of 2008, losses are on track to recover by the end of 2022.
  • Child care and preschool facilities faced workforce challenges. Licensed child care capacity for children ages 0-5 dropped by 6% between 2019 and 2020, and an additional 11% between 2020 and 2021.
  • Alcohol-related causes of death increased during the first year of the pandemic, the data shows a 45% increase over typical (baseline) causes.

The report highlights areas of impact rooted in the Social Determinants of Health. These are conditions in the environments where people live, learn, work, and play, that impact their health. This is the same way data is presented in the Community Health Needs Assessment released last year.


Community Health Needs Assessment

Mesa County is Unique. Our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is, too.

Community Health Needs Assessment

Mesa County is unique in our collaborative approach to the community health needs assessment. Local non-profit hospitals and the public health agency release one comprehensive document every three years to meet the requirements of all agencies. This facilitates a more unified approach to improving health and quality of life in our community

Snapshot of CHNA

In this condensed, Snapshot version you’ll find Key Findings, Recommendations, and Areas for Further Research.

A Community Health Needs Assessment is a critical tool used to understand the health status of a population or community. It presents information and analysis on important data measures and identifies areas where action and intervention can make a difference.
Jeff Kuhr, PhD

Executive Director, Mesa County Public Health

Explore by Section

Community Profiles

Understanding differences within our own community can lead us to opportunities.  Explore our diverse community in these community profiles.

Economic stability provides a context in which Mesa County residents can have good health outcomes. In this section, we consider what economic self-sufficiency looks like in Mesa County, and whether current industries are providing the types of jobs needed to earn at a self-sufficiency level.  Read the entire section here.

Mesa County is a regional health care hub with a variety of providers and specialists. However, it’s important to look beyond the presence of services to see whether residents are actually able to access the care they require. In Mesa County, nine out of ten people are insured and have a regular source of care. Nonetheless, rates of utilization are lower than the state, largely because of cost barriers and lack of access to timely services. Read the entire section here.

This section seeks to measure the relationships in our community (between residents and their friends, family, and co-workers, and with their community through civic engagement). Many of these measures are dependent on survey questions. We’ve included existing data measures to characterize social context and the questions we intend to answer as next steps. Read the entire section here

A solid educational foundation lays the groundwork for resources and resilience to strengthen health outcomes for Mesa County residents. Good educational outcomes—those that provide health literacy as well as economic stability—depend on successful navigation of elementary and secondary education. These years of education are in turn dependent on kindergarten readiness and high quality early childhood education opportunities. Read the entire section here.

Here we examine the built environment and environmental health factors in Mesa County by looking at the capacity of institutions within the county to effectively and efficiently execute their role. We find that in recent years, Mesa County residents have voted to prioritize funding for schools and public safety agencies, which have allowed them to update, expand, and create new facilities. Read the entire section here

Health implications include health behaviors and health outcomes. In this section, we explore the rates and key causes of illness, injury, and death in Mesa County. We find that when compared to Colorado as a whole, Mesa County has similar or worse rates of the majority of health behaviors and outcomes. Some bright spots are found in infectious disease rates, child welfare, adult asthma rates, and youth tobacco use and exposure. Read the entire section here.

Areas of Strength

Some areas of strength point to resources Mesa County can leverage in tackling larger issues. Some indicate areas where intervention has been successful, and continued support has the opportunity to continue improving outcomes.

Areas of Action

By focusing on these actions, we intend to build collective community strength and resilience, leading to a positive impact on our community’s health behaviors, outcomes, and overall quality of life.


Explore More Data

Interactive data with comparison communities detailing graduation rates, demographic enrollment, and more.

Snapshot Key Takeaways

Areas where community action may yield measurable results and recommendations to get there.

Snapshot Areas for Further Research

Areas where learning more about the root causes of issues may lead to intervention opportunities.

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