COVID kills two more residents |

COVID kills two more residents

Cases increase as omicron variant is detected in Grand

Another two Grand County residents have died due to COVID-19, bringing the total number of county deaths to 14.

Thirteen of those deaths have occurred this year, along with four deaths with COVID since the beginning of the pandemic. A death with COVID is considered a person who tested positive for COVID around the time of their death but the disease was not considered a contributing factor in their death.

During a shortened commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday, which included an update from Grand County Public Health Director Abbie Baker, the additional two deaths were not mentioned. Baker did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the deaths or with updated information about the vaccination status of those who have died due to or with COVID in the county.

According to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard, there are 11 residents currently hospitalized due to COVID-19. Two of those hospitalizations have occurred in the last two weeks. Of those hospitalizations, nine people are unvaccinated and the vaccination status of the remaining two is unknown.

Grand County, like surrounding resort communities, is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. There have been 60 resident cases in the last seven days, including 16 reported on Sunday alone.

Baker added during her update Tuesday that the county has confirmed that the omicron variant has been detected in Grand. Nationwide, an estimated 75% of new COVID cases are believed to be the omicron variant.

Baker warned that with Grand seeing visitors coming to the community from all over the world, the county would need to continue to be attentive to this new variant.

On Monday night, the state released new guidance for isolation and quarantine related to COVID-19. The updated guidance recommended time in isolation for those in the general population with COVID-19 to reduce from 10 to five days if the individual is asymptomatic on day five, followed by an additional five days wearing a mask when around others.

For those who have been exposed to COVID-19, it is now recommended that individuals quarantine for five days followed by mask use for an additional five days for people who are unvaccinated or are beyond the recommended time between their initial vaccine and booster dose.

For people who cannot feasibly quarantine for five days, wearing a well-fitting mask around others for ten days is acceptable.

As for regional hospital capacity, the Foothills RETAC region that Grand is a part of has seen a significant decrease in capacity since last week. There are just nine ICU beds and 42 acute care beds available in the foothills region.

Statewide, 10% of ICU beds are available and 8% of acute care beds. Of the 1,018 people hospitalized statewide due to COVID-19, 80% are unvaccinated.

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