County: Regional Medical/Emergency Services Strained!

COVID-19 continues to surge across the state created ICU limitations and long-term threat.

For up-to-date coronavirus information visit here.

For more information surrounding the state’s COVID-19 dial, visit here.

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

The Uncompahgre and Telluride Medical Centers capacities are both strained while continuing to adapt to COVID and staffing needs. As a result, each medical center is prioritizing telehealth technology to maximize staffing capabilities. Additionally, regional medical and emergency providers are finding the rapid increase in COVID hospitalizations is putting severe limitations on ICU capacity.

The risk for COVID-19 has changed across Colorado in the last two weeks. Fifty of sixty-four counties in Colorado are moving to Level Red: Severe Risk. Community spread and a high transmission rate are the driving forces of recent increases across the state of Colorado. As of this morning, San Miguel County remains in Level Orange: High Risk.

“The increases in our positivity and incidence rates in a matter of 19 days is scary,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “The data is trending towards steeper regulations. The spread is significant and there is increased concern for asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. Our highest priority has been and will continue to be keeping our kids in school, keeping our economy afloat and keeping our communities healthy. The only way that can happen is through true commitment to the five commitments.”

Over 6,000 new COVID cases were reported yesterday in Colorado. These trends project that 1 in 398 residents are currently infected with COVID in West Central Colorado, which includes surrounding towns such as Grand Junction, Montrose, Ridgway, Delta, Crested Butte and Telluride.

Dr. Sharon Grundy

“This is not the same virus we saw this summer. What worked in the summer is not working in the winter. This virus thrives in cold, dry climates which increase the amount of time it stays in the air,” said Doctor Sharon Grundy. “We have to change how we socialize, how we work, how we travel. We can keep implementing regulations at the county or state levels but in the end, the trajectory depends on individual behavior.”

COVID-19 risks continue to increase across the state with no signs of slowing, dramatic shifts in behavior must occur on a personal level in order to keep communities open. If major change does not occur, already stressed medical and emergency services will continue to put routine critical cases, such as heart attack or stroke, at greater risk of becoming untreated.

San Miguel County Public Health has confirmed nine new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received between November 17 and 19. These positive cases include six residents and three non-residents. At this time, all positive cases have been contacted and are currently in isolation. There have been 171 total COVID cases among residents to date with 22 active cases. These cases were results of household, community or workplace spread. To learn more about the County’s current COVID-19 metrics, please visit the County COVID-19 dashboard.

The positive cases between November 17 and 19 include:

74-year-old male, nonresident, symptomatic, hospitalized, household
70-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
67-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, community
62-year-old female, nonresident, symptomatic, household
56-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, workplace
48-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
38-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
28-year-old male, nonresident, asymptomatic, workplace
17-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
San Miguel County will continue posting caseload updates at least twice a week. The next update will be published on Tuesday, November 24.

Five Commitments of Containment:

Wear a mask
Maintain six feet of physical distance
Minimize group size
Wash hands frequently
Stay home when sick and get tested

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