Elbert County COVID cases rise

Public health director stresses effectiveness of vaccines in disease fight

Chancy J. Gatlin-Anderson
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 8/14/21

With the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant, Elbert County is seeing an increase in cases among residents. A “Public Health COVID-19 Situation Update” was released on Aug. 9 by Elbert County …

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Elbert County COVID cases rise

Public health director stresses effectiveness of vaccines in disease fight

Posted

With the rise of the COVID-19 delta variant, Elbert County is seeing an increase in cases among residents.

A “Public Health COVID-19 Situation Update” was released on Aug. 9 by Elbert County Public Health Director Dwayne Smith. In the update, Smith outlined the standing of COVID-19 in the county since July 29.

During that span, there were 40 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the majority occurring in the 80107, 80138 and 80117 ZIP codes. The 80107 zone includes Elizabeth, 80138 is the area east of Parker and 80117 includes Kiowa.

According to the report, “ages for the cases range from 12 to 73 years; a majority of those infected are in their 40s and 50s. A total of 475 tests have been added since the last update. There are six new hospitalizations to report, including three males in their 60s, two females in their 50s, and a male in his 30s. There is one new fatality to report, a male in his 60s.”

The Aug. 9 update continued: “Elbert County’s two-week cumulative incidence rate has been steadily rising, and is currently 164.88 cases per 100,000 population, or 44 cases in the past two weeks. Our one-week cumulative incidence rate is now 63.70, or 17 cases in the past week.

“Since the inception of the pandemic, 1,975 residents have been identified with a confirmed infection from COVID-19. Our two-week average positivity is 8.81%, while our one-week average positivity is 7.98%. As of (the morning of Aug. 9), 46.9% of eligible county residents have been immunized with one or more doses of any COVID-19 vaccine.”

Smith encourages all eligible residents to get vaccinated, especially to reduce the spread of the delta variant in schools.

The Aug. 9 report noted data showing that the delta variant is about twice as contagious as the initial COVID-19 strain, with a significantly greater viral load and still-to-be-determined effect on children.

“As COVID-19 cases rise across the state, pediatric cases are rising alongside adult cases,” the Aug. 9 report said. “As students return to in-person learning, the goal is to keep students safe and present in school.”

The report cited data indicating that COVID vaccines are highly effective in protecting fully vaccinated people from both the initial strain and the delta variant. It also noted data showing that a small number of vaccinated people can catch and possibly spread the delta variant, but said “these cases represent a very small amount of transmission occurring around the country.”

The report emphasized this passage with bold type: “The best way to reduce the spread of the delta variant in schools and communities is for all eligible adolescents and adults to get vaccinated, while following COVID-19 prevention and mitigation strategies informed by local trends.”

For more information on Elbert County Public Health Department’s COVID-19 efforts including information on nearby vaccination sites, visit tinyurl.com/ElbertCovid.

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