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Chaffee County Public Health reported on Monday another local death related to COVID-19.

An unvaccinated 80-year-old man from the north end of the county was reported to have died, although Chaffee County Public Health Director Andrea Carlstrom said it has yet to be determined whether the man died as a result of the virus or had COVID-19 in addition to another cause of death.

The number of hospitalizations related to COVID-19 for the month of September was 14, the most for any given month since the pandemic began.

The number of cases by month in the county has been showing a steady increase since June.

Total community cases by month over the summer months were:

June47
July64
August118
September162

In the first four days of October, 10 cases have been reported.

As to the increases in hospitalizations and cases, Carlstrom said, “I think it is the perfect storm. We have a large number of people unvaccinated, especially adults who are eligible, people living their lives as normal (mobility data is showing that people are as mobile as pre-pandemic times), Delta variant, and we are in the midst of an early and what is looking like long respiratory illness season.”

Carlstrom said Chaffee County Public Health will continue to promote boosters heavily and stress that adults continue to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We are in the race between vaccines and variants, and the Delta variant is definitely winning, which means that more lives will be taken away from us even though the answer is available – vaccine,” Carlstrom said.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports that 68.8 percent of those eligible are fully vaccinated in Chaffee County. That number does not include those receiving the Comirnaty (Pfizer) booster.

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