Chaffee County Public Health recorded 18 positive diagnoses of COVID-19 since last Wednesday.
Andrea Carlstrom, public health director said Monday, “The numbers are certainly concerning.”
Half of those cases are staff members at Buena Vista Correctional Complex, the other half are members of the general population.
So far no new cases have been reported among BVCC inmates by Colorado Department of Corrections.
As a result of the recent influx of cases the county’s positivity rate has increased sharply from 1.72 percent last week to 4.01 percent as of Monday.
Only one of the new cases, a 25-year old female, is currently hospitalized, but is listed as asymptomatic.
All other cases are said to be resting at home.
Colorado has seen an uptick in the number of cases in recent weeks with the total number of cases, since data collection began in March, reaching 86,374 as of Monday and the number of deaths statewide due to COVID-19 hitting 2,051.
As of Monday, the state’s positivity rate stands at 6.24 percent, putting Colorado above the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended 5 percent threshold.
Carlstrom said, locally, we have seen a trend of increased case count due to employer outbreaks and small group settings.
“We have also seen a relation to travel out of the county. Across the state, cases are increasing at a fast pace,” she said.
“What I am hearing is that other counties are having to expedite increased restrictions, including wearing masks outdoors and limiting group size.”
In order for Chaffee County to move to a more restrictive level with the model in place today, there would need to be about 35 new cases in a two week period, percent positivity to climb and hospitalizations on the rise.
“We are not there – yet,” Carlstrom said.
She said, “However, I think it is important to note that CDPHE might not give us a chance to activate our mitigation and suppression plans if we are on the wrong path and might require us to go to a more restrictive level without allowing us to respond.”
“The trends we are seeing in Chaffee County and Colorado are alarming,” Carlstrom stated. The risk of transmission is increasing, and I am concerned that if we do not make thoughtful and proactive decisions now, we might jeopardize the ability to continue in the Level 2 of the Safer at Home order.” Carlstrom said.
CCPH will host a virtual town hall at noon on Facebook Live and Zoom Friday to provide updates and address concerns about current trends of COVID-19.
Several community stakeholders and other experts, will be present including representatives from Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center, Chaffee County Board of County Commissioners, Emergency Medical Services, the school districts and Solvista Healthcare.
The general public can submit questions by 5 p.m. Thursday to Andrea Carlstrom at email@example.com.
To access the town hall via Facebook, go to https://www.facebook.com/COVID19ChaffeeCounty/.
To join by Zoom, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/304209587
Meeting ID: 304 209 587
To call into the Zoom, dial 346-248-7799 and then enter the meeting ID: 304 209 587.
The town hall will be recorded and then shared with the local media, as well as on the COVID-19 Chaffee County Facebook page.
For questions about accessing the town hall, call 719-539-4510.