County: High Daily Positive Rates Return As Holiday Spike Arrives!

San Miguel County reports case numbers return to an alarmingly high level after the holidays following a two-week decline.

For more information surrounding COVID resources, testing and the concern form, visit here.

For more information surrounding the state’s COVID-19 dial, visit here.

Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

San Miguel County Public Health is seeing a sharp increase in coronavirus cases across the county. On January 4, Governor Jared Polis moved all counties in Level Red to Level Orange, increasing indoor capacity for most businesses.

“While San Miguel County has moved to Level Orange, case numbers continue to climb, putting at risk our county’s current capacities at risk,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “The holiday spike is clearly here and limiting your risk of exposure has become increasingly important. I encourage you to think about risks with every decision and interaction you make.”

Trends consistently reveal that spikes are seen after the holidays even with restrictions in place.

The only way to stop the spread is to utilize the essential tools at hand including the five commitments, contact tracing and adherence to the state’s dial framework.

Each individual is in control of their own exposure. By wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distance and limiting gatherings, residents can limit their risk of contracting COVID-19. Another way residents can help slow the spread of the virus is by working with Public Health if called regarding contact tracing. Quick containment of exposed or potentially exposed residents is key to success in the Public Health response. If you receive a call from a San Miguel County contact tracer, please answer and work with them.

“The goal of the contact tracing team is to provide support and direction to exposed residents and non-residents while curbing the spread of COVID-19,” said Contact Tracing Supervisor Amanda Baltzley. “In the last year, our team has learned a great deal about the virus, its spread and the dangers associated. By sharing information confidentially, residents play an important role in the efficacy of restrictions, prevention of outbreaks, our ability to communicate and our ability to inform our proper level on the dial.”

Contact tracing plays an important role in informing other tools such as Public Health’s use of the dial framework. In identifying potential exposures, Public Health can determine the risk of certain activities such as indoor and outdoor sports, retail shopping, indoor dining and other gathering spaces with indoor qualities such as yurts, igloos and gondola cabins.

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout the county, San Miguel County Public Health has partnered with MicroGen to expand access to free testing for the foreseeable future. Free public testing will take place on Mondays and Tuesdays from 7 am MST to 2 pm MST beginning January 18th in the Intercept Lot in Lawson Hill. Registration is required and can be found online at http://bit.ly/smcovidtesting.

Public Health’s free mobile testing will continue in Norwood on Tuesdays for the coming months, while Wednesday testing in Telluride and Mountain Village will remain through the end of January.

Public Health has confirmed 41 new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received from January 9 through 12. Of these cases, 28 are residents and all actively contagious cases are currently in isolation. There have been 496 total COVID cases among residents to date with 53 active cases.

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

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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