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Public Health Alerts

29 Alerts
July 22, 2021 6:44 PM

COVID-19 Spreads Rapidly Increasing Call for Precautionary Measures

(July 22, 2021) – Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise throughout the United States with lifted restrictions and declining vaccine uptake.

As the highly transmissible Delta variant makes up 83% of sequenced samples, unvaccinated populations make up 97% of new cases and 99.5% of COVID-related deaths daily according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In the previous...

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July 15, 2021 4:49 PM

Colorado Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile

(July 15, 2021) – Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes in Weld County in Northern Colorado.

This is the first detection of the summer season in the state which has had cases of West Nile virus every year since 2002. The state detected the virus during routine seasonal testing performed to inform preventative measures.

As of July 5, no human...

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July 9, 2021 1:30 PM

Second Domestic Cat in San Miguel County Tests Positive for the Plague

(July 9, 2021) – Yesterday, a second domestic cat tested positive for the plague at a different local veterinarian hospital in San Miguel County. The cat was hospitalized, tested, and treated and is recovering well.

No fleas were found during treatment and those who handled the cat did not experience high risk exposures though will monitor for symptoms for the next week. This week, there was also one possible human plague death that is currently under investigation...

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July 9, 2021 1:11 PM

San Miguel County Ranked 6th in Healthiest Communities Rankings 2021

(July 8, 2021) – Last week, the US News and World Report, in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation, released the fourth annual Healthiest Communities rankings. San Miguel County ranked sixth out of nearly 3,000 counties across the United States.

The annual report measures a population’s health and wellness on the county level using 84 metrics. The rankings are scored based on ten categories that contribute to community health on a scale of zero to 100. The categories include population health,...

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July 1, 2021 6:24 PM

Masks Remain a Useful Tool in Preventing COVID-19 Transmission

(July 1, 2021) – San Miguel County, CO --- In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established that fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks indoors unless state, local or business rules required face coverings.

However, for those at-risk individuals – immunocompromised or unvaccinated – and those partially vaccinated or in high exposure situations, face coverings remain an essential tool in protecting oneself and others from COVID transmission.

“We understand...

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June 24, 2021 4:13 PM

A Letter from County Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Grundy

(June 24, 2021) – Shaken by the first COVID-related death in our community, now more than ever, we want to remind all residents and visitors alike of the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States.

Colorado is among the top ten states with ongoing transmission of COVID-19. While San Miguel County has a very high vaccination rate, in analyzing the entirety of our region, the collective remains below 50% fully immunized. The presence of the Delta...

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June 17, 2021 4:58 PM

Breakthrough COVID Cases Have Surfaced, Here’s What We Know

(June 17, 2021) When it comes to COVID, a vaccine breakthrough infection is defined at the detection of the COVID virus in a test sample collected from a person 14 days or more after they have been fully vaccinated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some vaccine breakthrough cases are expected. COVID-19 vaccines are effective in reducing the severity of symptoms and are a critical tool in getting the pandemic under control.

June 16, 2021 6:09 PM

San Miguel County Residents Test Positive for Delta Variant

(June 16, 2021) – San Miguel County Public Health has confirmed three county residents have been infected with the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) of the COVID-19 virus, which originated in India.

Two of the three residents have recovered, all known close contacts were informed at the time of contact tracing several weeks ago. The third case of the Delta variant resulted from a test sample taken from the resident who passed away on Monday, June 14.

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June 14, 2021 3:13 PM

San Miguel County Mourns the Loss of a Resident Due to COVID-19

(June 14, 2021) San Miguel County Public Health regretfully confirms its first COVID-related death the morning of Monday, June 14, 2021.

The woman in her late 70s was admitted to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction on Sunday, June 6 to be treated for COVID-related health concerns. The resident was unvaccinated and involved in an outbreak associated with a gathering.

“We are deeply...

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June 10, 2021 4:24 PM

Increasing Ventilation and COVID Safety

(June 10, 2021) Entering the second summer season of the COVID-19 pandemic, San Miguel County Public Health encourages businesses to increase ventilation indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

June 3, 2021 5:17 PM

West End COVID Cases Increase Amidst Loosening Restrictions

(June 3, 2021) San Miguel County Public Health has identified a recent surge in COVID positives in the county’s west end over the last two weeks.

Since May 19, eighteen residents have tested positive for the virus, fifteen of whom reside in the west end of the county. Through contact tracing, Public Health has discovered that these positives are connected to two specific events.

May 27, 2021 4:12 PM

A Letter to The School Year’s Heroes

(May 27, 2021) As we look back at the school year, there remains no doubt that COVID has affected those in education profoundly. From students to teachers, administrators to parents, these unsung heroes were a beacon of perseverance throughout.

More than anything, we wish to say thank you. Thank you to our students who remained flexible, engaged and patient while balancing virtual, hybrid and limited in-person learning. You were dealt a very difficult hand this year from school,...

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May 22, 2021 1:35 PM

Public Health Identifies Administration Error at Vaccine Clinic

(May 22, 2021) San Miguel County Public Health recognized an error in vaccine administration for two recipients between the ages of 12 and 17 during yesterday’s vaccine clinic in Telluride.

The two recipients were registered to receive a Pfizer vaccine but mistakenly received a dose of Moderna. The recipients were notified immediately by Public Health and precautionary measures have been discussed. Processes were immediately adjusted to...

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May 21, 2021 9:32 AM

Face Coverings for Those Fully, Partially or Not Vaccinated

(May 21, 2021) San Miguel County updated its public health order Thursday, May 20 to align with the State of Colorado. This order lifted all capacity restrictions and removed face covering requirements in most settings.

The state and county have aligned with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance regarding face coverings. When it comes to families in the county, some additional guidance could be helpful.

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May 19, 2021 3:13 PM

Updated Public Health Order to Align & Observe

(May 19, 2021) Effective at 1 am MST on Thursday, May 20, San Miguel County will move into a new phase of COVID-19 pandemic response, removing capacity and distancing requirements and relaxing mask mandates in nearly all settings.

The updated directive will align the county with the state’s public health order, which went into effect on Friday, May 14, and will place the county in a 60-day period of observation regarding COVID metrics. This announcement comes as a result of the...

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May 13, 2021 2:45 PM

5-Star Certification Program Continues This Summer

(May 13, 2021) San Miguel County launched the state’s 5-Star Certification Program in March.

5-Star certified businesses have proven their robust COVID safety measures demonstrating adjustments like high levels of ventilation and COVID reporting capabilities to create the safest environment possible for their staff and patrons.

May 12, 2021 9:55 AM

FDA Authorizes Pfizer Vaccine for Ages 12 and Older

(May 12, 2021) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advisory committee is expected to meet tomorrow and is likely to approve this authorization, allowing for the added age group to begin receiving the vaccine.

May 7, 2021 9:54 AM

Vaccine Pre-registration Open for Residents Ages 12 and Older

(May 7, 2021) San Miguel County has opened pre-registration for those interested in the Pfizer vaccine for their children ages 12 and older (

Last month, Pfizer applied for an amendment to the Food and Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization to include children 12 years of age and older and a decision is expected in the coming days.

May 6, 2021 12:09 PM

San Miguel County to Move to Level Green

(May 6, 2021) Effective at 1 am MST on Friday, May 7, San Miguel County will move into Level Green on the locally adopted COVID Dial.

April 30, 2021 2:52 PM

San Miguel County Updates Public Health Order

(April 30, 2021) San Miguel County has updated the county’s Public Health Order to maintain the CDPHE’s dial framework, basing capacity restrictions on familiar COVID-19 metrics including hospitalizations, incidence rate and positivity rate.

The updated Public Health Order will go into effect tomorrow, May 1 at 1 am MST at which time the county will remain in Level Blue.

April 27, 2021 4:43 PM

CDC Releases New Mask Guidelines for Activities Outdoors

(April 27, 2021) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced new guidance for face coverings in the outdoors.

Specifically, if running, walking, hiking or biking alone, with members of their household or in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends, fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people do not have to wear face coverings.

April 24, 2021 4:35 PM

Colorado Reinstates Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Administration

(April 24, 2021) Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced their findings surrounding review of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, confirming that the vaccine is safe to return to distribution.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Joint Vaccine Task Force have aligned with the findings and authorized the vaccine to return to clinics effective immediately.

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April 23, 2021 4:42 PM

Public Health Announces Pfizer Vaccine Clinics for Ages 16 and Over

(April 23, 2021) San Miguel County will be hosting Pfizer vaccine clinics for ages 16 and older in Norwood on Thursday, April 29, and in Telluride on Friday, April 30.

At this time, the Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine authorized for use for people ages 16 and older to prevent COVID-19. The vaccine is administered in two doses, three weeks apart, injected into the arm muscle. Public Health highly recommends this...

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April 20, 2021 3:04 PM

The Importance of Testing as Spring Break Travel Concludes, Off-Season Continues

(April 20, 2021) Since March 2020, travel has resulted in 59 residents contracting COVID-19 in San Miguel County.

As off-season and spring break travel continue, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released guidelines for testing and quarantine for those fully vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated.

April 16, 2021 2:20 PM

Dial 3.0 Passed to Local Governance

(April 16, 2021) Late last night, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued a revised state public health order that determined the regulation of Dial 3.0 will be transitioned to county oversight, effective immediately.

April 13, 2021 2:25 PM

Colorado Temporarily Pauses Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine

(April 13, 2021) A joint statement from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends pausing the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine out of an abundance of caution.

San Miguel County Public Health is actively responding by shifting existing Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine clinics to offer the Moderna vaccine at this time.

April 9, 2021 4:49 PM

Herd Immunity: What is it? What will it take?

(April 9, 2021) According to a recent NPR/Marist poll, one in four Americans said they would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine outright if offered. Another 5% are "undecided" about whether they would get a vaccine.

As cases begin to rise again and the prevalence of variants increases across the United States, vaccine rollout has become increasingly critical to avoid another wave of outbreaks. This week, President Joe Biden ordered all states to expand eligibility to...

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April 6, 2021 4:55 PM

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics: What to Expect

(April 6, 2021) The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment expanded vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 years of age and older on Friday, April 2.

With adequate supply to proceed with this phase of vaccination, San Miguel County Public Health encourages all residents interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine to pre-register on the county COVID website:

April 2, 2021 3:35 PM

San Miguel County to Reduce Restrictions for Personal Gatherings, Bars, Lodging

(April 2, 2021) Effective at 1:00 am, on Monday, April 5, San Miguel County Public Health will amend the Level Blue order to align with the state’s capacity restrictions as it pertains to personal gatherings and bars.