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December 22, 2021 4:03 PM

Public Health Advisory: COVID-19 Surge in San Miguel County

(December 22, 2021) – San Miguel County Department of Public Health and Environment is issuing a public health advisory in response to a rapid increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the county.

The county is reporting over 100 new cases from clinical test results received since Saturday, December 17. Public Health recognizes that this does not capture all current cases as there are several hundred test results currently pending.

Based on current data, the county incidence rate has exceeded 1,000 cases per 100,000 people and projects over 100 new cases to occur weekly. For reference, the Level Red base metric for incidence rate on the CDPHE COVID Dial is 500 cases per 100,000 people. This rapid increase suggests that the highly contagious omicron variant is present resulting in increased risk of exposure and very high community spread.

Public Health encourages an urgent change of individual behavior given the stark increased risk of infection, continued strain on regional hospitals and increase in COVID-related deaths. To slow the current rapid rate of infection, Public Health urges residents and visitors to:

- Stay home if you are symptomatic or a close contact of a known positive, no matter your vaccination status, and quarantine for 10 days from the onset of symptoms.

- Wear a mask in all public settings, no matter your vaccination status.

- Consider canceling large holiday gatherings and holiday travel.

- Be patient with Public Health’s contact tracing team as the team works through over a hundred new cases. If you received a positive test result, isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or 10 days from a positive result if asymptomatic.

- Testing capacity is full currently. Please refer to the county COVID testing page for opportunities that will be available next week and stay home if symptomatic.

- Remember that the regional medical centers are overwhelmed with demand for testing as well as ongoing medical needs and often require provider care resulting in standard fees:

- Telluride Regional Medical Center does not provide testing for asymptomatic patients. Symptomatic testing at TRMC requires a provider evaluation which results in an office visit fee.
- Uncompahgre Medical Center provides testing by appointment only and requires provider evaluation for symptomatic testing which will result in an office visit fee.

Further information is outlined below regarding the San Miguel County Public Health (SMCPH) advisory including recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All residents and visitors should take necessary precautions to protect themselves, and those most vulnerable in our community, against COVID-19. We all have a critical role to play in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

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