Grand reports high rate of COVID-19 cases

Grand County continues to see an uptick of COVID-19 with 101 local cases reported in the past week, equal to a rate of 642.58 cases per 100,000.

Grand County Public Health Director Abbie Baker emphasized in a Tuesday update to county commissioners that this is an extremely high case rate.

Six residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the past two weeks, equal to 4.17% of total cases, in the last 14 days.

Grand County is part of the Foothills RETAC region for ICU bed use. Only 15% of ICU beds in the region are available, equal to 45 beds. Statewide, only 12% of ICU beds are available.

“We are seeing a national shortage in first-responders, EMTs and nursing staff the likes of which we’ve never seen in the past decade,“ said Dr. Darcy Selenke, Grand County’s assistant medical director.

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment has found that 83% of people in Colorado currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 are unvaccianted.

Baker added that the health department is starting to put a higher emphasis on pediatric cases. She said 48 residents under 18 have caught COVID-19 since August, more than Grand County saw for most of the previous year.

Baker said the county is not seeing a huge influx of pediatric hospitalizations, though that could change with the delta variant. The state reported last week that about 2% of COVID hospitalizations are of children under 18.

Grand County now has four active COVID-19 outbreaks. Baker said there have been outbreaks connected to both East and West Grand school districts along with the ongoing outbreak at the Grand County Jail.

With the federal government poised to require serial COVID-19 testing for certain unvaccinated employees through OSHA, Baker said that the local health department cannot provide that service to Grand County employers at this time.

She explained that Grand County Public Health does not have the capacity for this additional serial testing, though she would be open to a conversation about increasing the health department’s capacity.

The health department continues to provide free vaccines, along with health care providers across Grand. Find vaccine offerings at

Baker said there has been a slight increase of people getting COVID-19 vaccinations over the last month with just under 70% of residents at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

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