Local news- Press Release
San Miguel County Colorado - Cases Rise as Natural Immunity from Winter Omicron Surge Wanes 27 May 2022 ( news )
San Miguel County , state Colorado ( By Press Release office)
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( May 27 , 2022 ) – After a record spike in COVID - 19 cases throughout the county early in the year , residents have experienced a mild respite from high incidence rates and rapid spread due to immunity from infection and vaccination .
However , according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) , now that hundreds of county residents are more than 90 days out from their initial infection during the Omicron surge , natural immunity has likely decreased significantly .
San Miguel County has seen COVID cases among residents roughly double in the last week , from 6 to 13 active local cases . Since the BA . 4 and BA . 5 Omicron variants were detected in county wastewater testing , measured levels the COVID virus has also slowly crept upward . These trends indicate that the Omicron subvariants are likely spreading quickly , following country - wide spread .
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment ( CDPHE ) noted in a news conference that case counts and hospitalizations across the state , while still relatively low , are increasing steadily due to transmission of Omicron subvariants . The CDC is estimating that 40% of cases in Colorado can be attributed to the omicron BA . 2 . 12 . 1 subvariant which is estimated to be 25% more transmissible than the original omicron strain . Additionally , data indicates that the BA . 4 and BA . 5 subvariants , could be even more transmissible and more evasive of natural and vaccinated immunity than previous subvariants .
“For many of us , time has run out for reliance on natural immunity , ” said Contact Tracing Supervisor Hannah Max . “With the busy summer season kicking off this weekend and the observed increase in local cases and wastewater indicators , it’s a great time to assess risk with your family and physician to make personal health decisions accordingly . We know that testing frequently before or after potential exposures can help to quickly identify infection to decrease the risk of continued transmission . ”
While projections do not indicate a significant surge like the Omicron wave observed this past winter , they do imply that at - risk individuals should consider taking additional precautions in the coming weeks . Also , tracking with historic surges , the state healthcare system could experience some stress as treatment and testing demand , hospitalizations , and worker absenteeism due to illness increase .
Public Health encourages residents to stock their homes with free at - home tests through the federal at - home testing program ( www . covid . gov/tests ) , which opened a third round of ordering through the US Postal Service ( USPS ) on Monday , May 16 . Additionally , residents and visitors are encouraged to utilize free community testing through Public Health on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 11 am MDT . In June , SMCPH community testing will move to the Butcher Creek turnout at Telluride High School ( bit . ly/smccovidtest ) .
The CDPHE vaccine bus will return to administer all vaccine types in Carhenge this Saturday , May 28 from 10 am to 4 pm MDT . SMCPH will also continue to offer vaccine clinics with access to both Pfizer and Moderna doses every other Tuesday in Telluride with upcoming clinics on Tuesday , June 7 and Tuesday , June 21 . Registration is available on the county COVID Webpage , bit . ly/smcvaccine for English and bit . ly/smcvacuna for Spanish . Walk - ins are also welcome without an appointment . Vaccines are completely free and do not require proof of identity .
“We are in a much better place than we’ve ever been with more access to vaccines , treatments and rapid tests , ” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin . “However , we cannot become complacent . When planning for upcoming activities or travel , consider who you’ll be interacting with , stay up to date on your vaccines , utilize masks , and test often to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe and healthy . ”
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