RBC second highest COVID infection rate behind Moffat

RBC | Rio Blanco County now has the second highest rate of COVID cases per population in the state of Colorado, just behind Moffat County. Eighteen new cases were reported between June 14-20, with three new hospitalizations during that time. Currently, 20% of all reported cases are requiring hospitalization. As of Monday, two were hospitalized and 16 cases were still active.

The increase in cases is suspected to be due to a combination of factors: the higher transmission rate of the Delta variant of the virus and a low rate of vaccinations, with less than 40% of the eligible population receiving at least one dose. Because the Delta variant has a higher rate of transmission from person to person, unvaccinated people are especially vulnerable. Also of concern is the higher rate of severe illness with the Delta variant.

Percent new cases per 100,000 compared to percent vaccinated by county.

Cases per 100,000 population in the U.S.A.

A June 17 press release from Memorial Regional Health in Craig said conditions are concerning for the entire region, as Mesa County hospitals are full and not accepting transfers.

“While our current levels of COVID-19 admissions and discharges are certainly manageable, we are concerned again about our ability to transfer patients from MRH to higher levels of care. We have been notified that the Delta Variant of COVID-19 is now testing positive in over 70% of the cases being admitted in Mesa County. Both SCL Health/St. Mary’s and Community Hospital are ‘full’ and not accepting transfers from rural Colorado.”

The vaccine is now available to the general public ages 12 and up in Rio Blanco County by appointment. Please call to schedule a first dose or booster in Meeker (970-878-9520) or Rangely (970-878-9525).

Pfizer will be used for those under the age of 18. Please scan the QR code to complete a Pfizer vaccine interest form, or navigate to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdfUHaVIX8noWLsMGWjKPYgJXp3sUe-kmCck9ssKRAg0Nt9Ew/viewform?usp=sf_link.

Pioneers Medical Center is offering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for a limited time. Please call 970-878-4014 to schedule an appointment.

Please be advised that testing for COVID-19 is recommended for all symptomatic individuals (please see CDC website for list of symptoms), and all individuals who are exposed to a known case. If you have no symptoms, but have been exposed, it is advised to test 5-7 days after your last known exposure, or as soon as possible after you begin to develop symptoms.

In Rio Blanco County, free antigen and/or molecular testing is available by appointment for all citizens at both Meeker and Rangely Public Health. Travel and pre-surgical testing is also available by appointment.

By NIKI TURNER – editor@ht1885.com