Grand’s COVID transmission rate on cusp of substantial

Grand County’s COVID case rates are close to meeting new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control that people, including those with the vaccine, wear masks indoors in areas of high transmission.

Last week, the CDC issued guidance that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people would wear masks indoors in counties with high and substantial transmission rates because of the recent uptick in cases from the delta variant.

According to the CDC, the delta variant can spread even among vaccinated people. Vaccinated people who test positive for the delta variant have shown similar amounts of the virus in their system as unvaccinated people who have the delta variant.

CDC also recommends indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Grand County’s current seven and 14 day trends are at a rate of 50 cases per 100,000 people, meeting the state’s second lowest level on the COVID dial, though the county’s data is 48 hours delayed, according to Grand County Public Health Director Abbie Baker.

Data cited on the CDC website for case rates from July 26 to Sunday shows Grand County on the cusp of moderate to substantial.

On Tuesday, eight new cases had been confirmed in the past week and 15 cases were confirmed in the past two weeks. There are currently no hospitalizations.

A majority of Colorado counties are in the substantial to high transmission rate. The state’s overall case rate is trending up, with 570 new cases confirmed over the last seven days as of July 22. Baker said about 90% of new cases in Colorado are the delta variant.

In Colorado, about 70% of the eligible population has received at least one doe of the vaccine. As of July 13, between 59% and 62% of Grand’s eligible population had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Baker said one case of the delta variant has been confirmed in Grand County, though others are still undergoing testing. Most cases are being confirmed in areas with low vaccination rates.

“It is becoming more evident that in areas where vaccination rates are lower, there are correlating higher case rates and vice versa,” Baker said.

There have also been breakthrough cases that Baker is working to quantify in a case report.

“The ones we have already investigated have reported mild to no symptoms and no complications,” she added.

Vaccines remain available through Grand County Public Health, Middle Park Health, Safeway and City Market.

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