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Chaffee County Public Health reported 56 cases of COVID-19 identified in the past week.

The county’s two-week total is 86 cases with a positivity rate of 4.11 percent.

Earlier in the week a 76-year-old woman from the south end of the county died of a pulmonary embolism connected to COVID-19, bringing the toll to 22 in Chaffee County.

Salida School District reissued a masking mandate for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade and adult staff in the district following what was described as a cluster of cases that affected the high school, middle school and Longfellow Elementary School.

So far, no connection with Salida Early Childhood Center, Horizons Exploratory Academy and Crest Academy has been reported.

A letter home to families stated the district’s goal is to keep kids at school for in-person learning as much as possible:

“The ability to keep kids in school is important for their growth, learning, development and social interactions, but it also supports our families and community.

“Remote learning impacts parents and their ability to go to work, which in turn causes additional workforce challenges for our community being able to operate their businesses and provide the services we need.”

The precaution was presented as an extra layer of protection as the schools continue to negotiate the impacts of COVID-19.

Statewide the seven-day moving average has risen to 1,945 with a positivity rate of 7.24 percent.

The pandemic total of cases for Colorado is 717,774 as of Wednesday. Of those, 8,256 cases have resulted in death across the state.

The full vaccination rate in Chaffee County is approaching the 70 percent mark. To date 69.9 percent of the eligible population in the county has been fully vaccinated.

Since the Food and Drug Administration gave the OK for the Pfizer/Comirnaty booster, the local Public Health Department has run four booster clinics Oct. 5-6 and 18-19. Chaffee County Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom said during the four days 1,162 booster doses were administered.

As the weather starts getting colder and people start spending more time indoors, Carlstrom reminds people to follow the “Code of Conduct.”

“Over the past few months, we have observed and learned about activities and events that have led toward transmission when mask wearing, distancing and honesty about symptoms are just not happening,” Carlstrom said.

“I really hope that people choose to wear a mask when they are indoors, even if they are vaccinated, when distancing is not possible or when vaccination status is unknown.”

Carlstrom advised taking precautions now “so that we can all have a safe and healthy holiday season.”

Ample vaccination and testing options are available throughout the community, she said.

“We have come this far. Other counties and states are issuing mandates and greater restrictions. We don’t want our county to have to go there, but it is going to take each and every one of us to adopt greater mitigation measures over the colder weather season that tends to bring us indoors,” Carlstrom said.

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