Considerably extra COVID-19 testing and get in touch with tracing are wanted regionally because the county, state and nation proceed to expertise an uptick in instances, members of the Pitkin County Board of Well being mentioned Thursday throughout their twice-monthly assembly.
Josh Vance, an epidemiologist on the county’s COVID-19 response workforce, offered regarding knowledge Thursday, together with the truth that neighborhood unfold elevated from 10% on Oct. 1 to 31% as of Oct. 14.
“Once we communicate with somebody and so they say, ‘I do not know the place I acquired COVID from,’ we rely these as neighborhood unfold,” Vance mentioned. “It’s an vital indicator for us to contemplate as a result of when we’ve excessive ranges of neighborhood unfold that tells us that there are most likely instances out locally that we’re not conscious of and so it tells us that there’s most likely extra an infection than we find out about.”
Vance mentioned the county was working towards bringing that neighborhood unfold proportion all the way down to 10% to fifteen%.
As of Thursday afternoon, the county was investigating 5 separate outbreaks, which is probably the most at anyone time but, a spokesperson mentioned. In accordance with the information offered on the assembly, 1,219 exams had been performed on Pitkin County residents between Sept. 14 and Oct. 13.
Gearing up for winter
In accordance with Pitkin County Appearing Public Well being Director Suzuho Shimasaki, to be able to meet the Colorado Division of Public Well being’s stage 3 “Shield Our Neighbors” part, the county would want 22,000 COVID-19 exams yearly. Much less stringent than the state’s stage 1 “Keep at House” part and its stage two “Safer at House” tips, the state’s “Shield Our Neighbors” designation requires 150 exams for each 100,000 people.
“It’s our native Pitkin County resident inhabitants plus our common or anticipated quantity of vacationers coming in,” Shimasaki defined throughout a media briefing. “In addition to native or regional commuters coming out and in of Pitkin County and second owners.” The county’s inhabitants is slightly below 18,000, however throughout the winter season these resident numbers balloon.
“We all know that that’s not a good illustration of the inhabitants that’s right here every day,” mentioned Pitkin County Supervisor Jon Peacock. “We mapped out, actually by month, what we thought these populations can be and what number of exams by month we have to … get to that 150 per 100,000 inhabitants.”
On Wednesday, the Pitkin Board of County Commissioners handed an emergency decision authorizing the county to rent further public well being personnel, particularly a testing and vaccine analyst together with a case investigator, or contact tracer. That was adopted by an announcement yesterday throughout the well being board assembly that one other testing website will open quickly in Basalt and it will provide drive-up testing exterior the power. It wasn’t instantly clear when this new website would open.