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(August 26, 2021) – In May, San Miguel County Public Health lifted the county’s public health order to align with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
This phase of “Align and Observe” came with the stipulation that Public Health would consider adding additional restrictions if the county reached Level Orange metrics. Over the last week, Public Health has evaluated the current disease burden, hospitalization, and caseload data in the area and determined that, while disease is prevalent in the community, the threshold for additional restrictions had not yet been met. This threshold requires that two of the three COVID metrics, including positivity, incidence, and hospitalization rates, reside in Level Orange for a sustained period of time. The metrics measured are as follows:Incidence: How much the virus is circulating in a county based on per capita of the population.Positivity: Whether there is sufficient COVID-19 testing to capture the level of virus transmission based on testing demand and the number of positive test results. Hospitalization: Whether hospitalizations are increasing, stable, or declining. “When any one of these metrics are high, data suggests that more caution should be taken. We must avoid being needlessly reckless in our behaviors as we proactively get transmission under control. Each of us has the tools to help contain the spread,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin.In response to the recent spike in COVID cases county-wide, many businesses and entities have implemented mask mandates including Telluride School District. Many others are requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of attendance. Public Health strongly encourages residents and visitors to stay informed surrounding regulations imposed by festivals, restaurants, bars, retail establishments and all other businesses and entities throughout the county.“Everybody has to go back to the things that protected us before vaccinations in order to prevent breakthrough cases and unnecessary transmission throughout our communities,” said Diana Koelliker, M.D., Medical Director of Emergency & Trauma Services at TRMC. “And it’s not that vaccinations don’t work - it’s that the Delta variant is a very strong strain of the virus. Unvaccinated hospitalizations are occurring in younger populations than we’ve seen with other strains. Now is the time to get vaccinated if you haven’t already.”