UK Variant Not in Wastewater; Need to Change Behavior Now!

UK Variant Not in Wastewater; Need to Change Behavior Now!

UK variant not detected in San Miguel County wastewater. Personal behavior change needed in the coming weeks to mitigate growing numbers positive for coronavirus.

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Grace Franklin, County Public Health Director.

After reaching record numbers of COVID-19 infections throughout the month of January, San Miguel County Public Health and the Telluride Wastewater Division sent in a wastewater sample to test for trace amounts of the number B 1.1.7 variant. Test results came back negative for the variant first discovered in the United Kingdom. The data confirms that spread is occurring due to relaxed behaviors and loosened policies across the county.

The first two cases of the B 1.1.7 variant in Colorado were discovered in two members of the Colorado National Guard who had been assisting at a long-term care facility in Simla, Colo., about 50 miles northeast of Colorado Springs. Colorado health officials found the variant of COVID-19 that spreads faster than the common strain. Since then, cases of this variant have remained a small percentage of overall COVID-19 instances across the state.

Wastewater samples will continue to test for the B 1.1.7 variant every other week.

“We cannot attribute our recent rise in cases to a more contagious variant at this time,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “Our behavior must change immediately in order to contain this severe increase in COVID-19 positives. This virus thrives in cold, dry climates and is significantly contagious indoors, especially when face coverings and physical distancing are not employed.”

San Miguel County Public Health mobile testing comes back online today in Norwood on Tuesdays and Telluride and Mountain Village on Wednesdays. A new registration platform can be found on the San Miguel County COVID page under the tab marked “Testing,” or by visiting Registration is required and testing slots will become available seven days in advance in order to ensure availability for close contacts and symptomatic residents.

Public Health has confirmed 28 new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received from January 29 through February 1. Of these cases, 23 are confirmed as residents; all actively contagious cases are currently in isolation.

San Miguel County Public Health has traced 169 resident positives over the last two weeks.

There have been 711 total COVID cases among residents to date with 83 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

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