COVID rates improve in Grand

County sees drop in new cases following September surge

After a September spike in COVID-19 cases, with two-week numbers outlined in brown and one-week numbers outlined in green, COVID-19 rates have seen a decrease over the past seven days in Grand County. The public health director is still urging vigilance, as the regional availability of hospital beds remains low.
Grand County COVID-19 Dashboard/Courtesy photo

After an alarming rise in cases throughout September, Grand County’s COVID rates looked better last week — but the public health director is still emphasizing caution.

As of Sunday, Grand County had recorded 59 new COVID-19 cases in the past week with 36% of those cases being in children under the age of 18. That gives Grand a case rate of 375 per 100,000 people, which is still considered high but markedly better than case rates were the week before.

“We have seen an improvement in the last week, which I’m really happy to hear,” Grand County Public Health Director Abbie Baker said to commissioners on Tuesday.

Six Grand County residents have died due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with four of those deaths in the last month.

Five residents are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19. Hospitalizations are what most concerns Baker at the moment. Grand is part of the Foothills RETAC region where only 7% of ICU beds — equal to 20 beds — are currently available. Statewide, 11% of ICU beds are available.

Baker compared this lack of availability to a congested road. Just as a driver would be alert on a road with more traffic, she asked the public to do the same with COVID.

“COVID traffic is heavy, so please be cautious,” she said.

Of the five residents hospitalized in Grand, three are unvaccinated. Statewide, 77% of those currently hospitalized are unvaccinated.

Baker encouraged residents to speak with a trusted health care provider about the pros and cons of the vaccines to make the best decision for themselves.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article contained an inaccurate statement related to mortality rate.

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