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The last week has seen an uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases identified in Chaffee County from recent weeks.

Chaffee County Public Health reported 23 new cases in the last seven days compared to 15 new cases reported last week.

The recent case count includes cases associated with Salida School district.

David Blackburn, superintendent of Salida School District R-32-J, said 12 students in the district had been identified as having COVID-19 in the last week.

As a result about 100 students across the district are in quarantine.

Academic plans at some schools were canceled or amended in response to the new cases and those under quarantine.

Blackburn said in the sixth grade, the number of students staying home made it more practical to hold classes remotely.

However, he said, no one is significantly ill.

The uptick in cases among youth does not mean an uptick in risk for the community as it might have a year ago.

Blackburn said he thought the cause of the increase in cases among students might be attributable to the community maybe becoming a little lax and less diligent regarding COVID-19 protocols.

A breakdown of cases reported in the last week in Chaffee County show an age distribution of:

Younger than 18 13

18-29 3

30-39 2

40-49 2

50-59 2

60-69 0

70 and older 2


Males 10

Females 13


North end 6

South end 16

Unknown 1

A 44-year-old woman is currently hospitalized with the virus.

Centers for Disease Control and prevention data shows Colorado has the seventh highest number of cases per 100,000 people in the country in the past 7 days.

Colorado surpassed the half million mark for total number of cases throughout the pandemic earlier in the week.

The current pandemic total of COVID-19 cases for the state was 590,194 as of Thursday.

To date 6,443 people have lost their lives to the virus in Colorado.

Colorado’s 7-day moving average of new cases was 1,564 with a 7-day positivity rate of 6.04 percent.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 50.9 percent of the population of Chaffee County had been fully immunized as of Thursday, the ninth highest county percentage in the state.

The CDC has stated between 70-85 percent of the population would need to be fully vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

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