SM County Public Health: Home For The Holidays!

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The holiday season has arrived and it is more important than ever to think about the best ways to celebrate safely. The protocol implemented in Level Red is revealing slight decline from the significant peak at the beginning of the month in positive cases across San Miguel County. However, there is notable strain on the healthcare systems.

“Over the past few days, we have had several patients needing hospitalization that we had difficulty finding regional beds due to all regional hospital beds including ICU, COVID, medical and surgical beds being full,” said Diana E. Koelliker, MD, Director of Trauma and Emergency Services at Telluride Regional Medical Center. “This is a worrisome trend, particularly as we expect our local population to swell with tourism throughout the holidays.”

Dr. Diana Koelliker

As these hospital trends began to arise across the state in early December, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) urged Coloradans to only interact in-person with members from their immediate household throughout the holidays.

As San Miguel County will remain in Level Red – Severe Risk for the duration of the holiday season, the Board of Health called on residents last week to consider their behavior in the interest of friends, family, neighbors and local businesses alike.

“The protocol set in place through Level Red is showing signs of working, though slowly. Our numbers are decreasing slightly but remain up significantly higher than the manageable range we saw throughout the summer,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “Now is the time to reimagine how we celebrate the holidays, stick with your household this year so we can gather again sooner than later.”

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

The most important ways to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 is by heeding the following mandates under Level Red – Severe Risk:

•  Only interact in-person with people from your household. Remember, a household is defined as those who normally live and sleep under the same roof. Cancel family visits to your homes this year.

• Do not travel. Non-essential travel outside of the county puts you and your household at risk. Celebrate with family and friends virtually this year.

• Order to-go. Shop locally to support small businesses. Online, phone order and delivery has ramped up throughout San Miguel County allowing residents to avoid crowded stores while supporting local businesses.

• Quarantine after essential travel. Members of immediate households may be returning from boarding school or college, quarantine together for at least 10 days per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and monitor health closely. If possible, get tested no less than five days after last potential exposure.

Public Health has confirmed 47 new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received from December 18 through 22. Of these cases, 40 are residents and all actively contagious cases are currently in isolation. There have been 398 total COVID cases among residents to date with 40 active cases.

To learn more about the County’s current COVID-19 metrics, please visit the County COVID-19 dashboard.

• 71-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 67-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 67-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 65-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 63-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 61-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, workplace
• 58-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 58-year-old male, nonresident, symptomatic, travel
• 57-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, workplace
• 52-year-old female, nonresident, symptomatic, household
• 47-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 45-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 45-year-old female, resident, symptoms and exposure unknown at this time
• 43-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, workplace
• 40-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, social
• 32-year-old male, nonresident, symptomatic, travel
• 32-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 30-year-old male, nonresident, symptomatic, household
• 29-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 28-year-old female, nonresident, symptomatic, travel
• 28-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 28-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 27-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, social
• 27-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 27-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, workplace
• 27-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, household
• 27-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 27-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 26-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, workplace
• 26-year-old male, nonresident, symptoms and exposure unknown at this time
• 24-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, community
• 23-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, household
• 23-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 23-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 22-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 22-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, community
• 21-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 21-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, community
• 18-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, travel
• 18-year-old female, resident, asymptomatic, household
• 18-year-old male, nonresident, symptoms and exposure unknown at this time
• 16-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, household
• 16-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, household
• 15-year-old male, resident, asymptomatic, household
• 12-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household
• 9-year-old female, resident, symptomatic, community
• 7-year-old male, resident, symptomatic, household

San Miguel County will continue posting caseload updates twice a week. The next update will be published on Friday, December 25.

Five Commitments of Containment:

Wear a mask
Maintain six feet of physical distance
Minimize group size
Wash hands frequently
Stay home when sick and get tested

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