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

Related Resources: Updated Isolation and Quarantine Guidance [English] [Spanish]