monthly covid count

A 69-year-old unvaccinated man and a 92-year-old woman from the north end of Chaffee County of unknown vaccination status are the two most recent deaths from COVID-19 in the county.

Their deaths bring the county’s pandemic death toll to 26.

An earlier death of a resident of Custer County who died locally was recently removed from the Chaffee County tally.

Chaffee County Public Health announced Wednesday that Chaffee County Coroner Jeff Graf reported 16 COVID-19-related deaths have occurred here since Jan. 1.

Since Oct. 1 there have been eight COVID-19-related deaths; of those eight deaths seven were unvaccinated people. Five of those deaths were due to the virus.

In 2020 Chaffee County had 21 COVID-19-related deaths. With 1½ months left this year, the number of deaths is nearing the same number as the first year of the pandemic.

“These numbers are troubling to me,” Graf said. “My heart goes out to each of these families, many of whom I know personally. I have seen the hurt and devastation these families are going through.

“I have seen the toll these deaths take on myself and my staff along with all the healthcare professionals who deal with this pandemic every day. We now, more than ever, need to be vigilant against this terrible disease.”

The case total for November rose to 321 as of 4 p.m. Thursday, the highest number of cases in one month since the beginning of the pandemic.

Chaffee County Public Health began compiling case data by month in July 2020.

Since then the number of cases by month has risen, fallen and risen again.

At an average of 17 cases per day, the county could see more than 500 cases by the end of the month unless transmission rates lessen.

At Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center, hospitalizations have reached 10 for the month, with two people currently hospitalized with the virus.

The hospital has seen 25 emergency department visits related to COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

The county’s 14-day positivity rate had risen to 6.33 percent as of Monday.

To date 2,184cases have been recorded in Chaffee County since the beginning of the pandemic.

Of those, 214 have been breakthrough cases of those who were previously vaccinated, and 13 have been reinfections.

In recent weeks, approximately 89.6 percent of all cases in the county have been among those who have not received vaccinations.

In most of Colorado, excluding Jackson and Sedgwick counties, the transmission level of COVID-19 is currently considered high by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported a pandemic total of 801,014 cases as of 4 p.m. Thursday, 9,086 of which resulted in death.

The state’s seven-day moving average of cases was 2,902, with a seven-day positivity rate of 9.75 percent.

The Delta variant of the virus continues to be the most prevalent across Colorado and the nation.

It is known for being highly contagious compared to previous variants.

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