Kiowa County Public Health COVID-19 Update – September 1, 2021

PROMO Health - COVID-19 coronavirus - iStock - claffra
Published Thursday, September 2, 2021
by Meagan Hillman

DATA

  • Cases 117
  • Hospitalizations 7 
  • Deaths 4**

*These are cumulative totals as of 08/31/2021 4pm **Deaths in people with a recent positive COVID test.

  • CASES PAST 7 days: 1
  • CASES PAST 14 days: 8

TESTS

Testing percent positivity was 6.25 percent, up from 4.35 percent last week. The goal is to remain below five percent. Please get tested if exposed or if you have symptoms. Community testing is FREE! Call 438-5401 and ask for the lab. If you are having severe symptoms such as significant trouble breathing, etc. call 911.

NEWS

  • VACCINE will be available by appointment at the public health office moving forward. Please call the office at 719-438-5782. All 3 types of vaccine are available.
  • Booster doses for the general public will start on or after September 20th.
  • Pfizer vaccine received full FDA approval! It is no longer under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
  • Kiowa County has 40.5% of eligible persons receiving at least 1 dose of vaccine, up from 40.2% last week.
  • There are treatments called monoclonal antibodies that can be given to greatly reduce your chance of hospitalization. They are offered locally at the hospital. Call your provider for more information.
  • The Delta Variant is now responsible for almost all the infections in Colorado and the US.
  • While we have not had this isolated in Kiowa County, it has been found in our region. It is 50% more transmissible than non-variant COVID-19 viruses. There is significant concern that counties with low vaccine uptake will have significant case surges in the near future. Almost all hospitalizations and deaths are now in those who are unvaccinated. Those numbers are updated at: https://covid19.colorado.gov/data. Look for the variant data by county drop down menu.
  • The most important thing you can do is continue to follow the guidance we have recommended from the beginning! Stay home if not feeling well, cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently or use 60+% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, wear a mask/face covering to contain any respiratory droplets and stay at least 6 feet from others, especially if you are not vaccinated. Minimize gatherings.

From a recent press release: (Aug. 30, 2021): The State Board of Health has approved emergency rules requiring vaccination for staff in licensed healthcare settings. The Board met today to consider a request from Governor Polis to implement rules requiring licensed healthcare facilities to mandate their personnel -- including employees, direct contractors, and support staff-- who interact with individuals seeking medical care to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

At this time, approximately 30% of the healthcare workforce remain unvaccinated. With the rise in the delta variant and increased stress on the healthcare system, ensuring that all workers in licensed healthcare facilities are vaccinated is one of the most effective means the state can take to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the most at-risk Coloradans and end this ongoing pandemic.

The vaccine requirement is limited to only those health care facilities that are listed in Colorado Revised Statute 25-1.5-103(1)(a)(1). The department does not have authority over individual health care practitioners or staff, nor does it oversee other settings where patients seek medical care including primary care offices and urgent care locations.

The Board of Health will convene again in October to consider the rule in a regular session.

Additionally, the state of Colorado is requiring the COVID-19 vaccine for employees working in state-run 24/7 health care facilities and interacting with vulnerable patients. The state has also implemented a policy requiring all state employees to verify their vaccination status by September 20 or submit to twice-weekly testing. The Department of Public Health, Department of Corrections and Department of Human Services have announced that agency staff members that interact with vulnerable populations and those living in congregate living settings will be required to get vaccinated

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The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.