Colorado COVID-19 cases reach record high

Saguache County has highest COVID-19 positivity rate in state

SAN LUIS VALLEY – Nov. 5, Conejos County Public Health reported the County’s first COVID-19 related death and Rio Grande County recently reported an additional death bringing the SLV death toll to 16.

Beginning the week of Sept. 14 COVID-19 positive cases spiraled upward with a slight decline the past two weeks. However,  Colorado and the SLV are at record numbers of positive cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Since Wednesday, Nov. 4, active known COVID-19 cases rose from 135 to 158 on Nov. 9. There were 158 known active cases in the SLV Nov. 9. “Active cases” means that the cases are confirmed positive for COVID-19 and are currently being supported by Public Health during their isolation period. Cases by county were as follows:
Alamosa: 68
Conejos: 28
Costilla: 10
Mineral: 0
Rio Grande: 30
Saguache: 22

The two-week positivity rate ending Nov. 9 for the SLV rose from 7.6% to 8.54% over the past week. According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center on Nov. 10, Colorado had a seven-day positivity moving average test rate of 10.0% - an increase of 2.3% from a week ago. According to the Colorado State COVID-19 “dashboard,” Nov. 10, Saguache County had the highest two-week positivity rate in the state with 23.6% of tests coming back positive.  Alamosa County had the third highest positive test rate in the state with 16.7%– an increase of .5%. Rio Grande County’s two-week positivity rate for Nov. 10 was 2.3% but it is not felt that these state numbers have been updated as there has been an increase of seven active cases in the past week in Rio Grande County.  Conjeos County had its positivity rate drop from 11.1% to 9.8% while Costilla County’s rate increased from 7.5% to 12.3%. The Colorado and World Health Organization two-week positivity goal is 5% or lower.

For Colorado’s neighboring states the seven-day positivity rates continue to be higher than Colorado. On Nov. 10 Kansas was at 41.3%, Wyoming 34.5%, Utah 18.0%, Arizona 12.8%, Nebraska 13.8% and Oklahoma 14.7%.

Colorado’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen to record levels. Last week, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the State Epidemiologist, warned that if things continue in this direction, we may exceed hospital ICU capacity in Colorado by the end of the year. Hospitalizations for COVID are up in the San Luis Valley as well, with 20 local COVID hospitalizations in the past month.

Monday, Nov. 9, Governor Polis asked people to cancel social plans for the next few weeks and limit close social contacts to your own household members. Continue with mask wearing and social distancing. If you live alone, select a small number of other people to be your “bubble”. He emphasized that this goes hand-in-hand with economic recovery. “We have the tools to fight the virus, but in the end, it is up to you,” he said.

He also strongly suggested that if you planned to have family gatherings from outside of your household that you should self-isolate for 10-14 days before visiting family members for the holiday – especially if some of the family members are among the high risk groups



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