SM County: One Year in a Pandemic !

SM County: One Year in a Pandemic !

San Miguel County’s Public Health Director and Chief Medical Officer reflect on the year behind and what’s to come.

For corona vaccine info, visit here.

For up-to-date coronavirus information, visit here.

For free coronavirus testing opportunities, visit here.

For all Covid blogs from San Miguel County, go here.

One year ago, the world shifted. Our lives shifted. In reflection, we have all grown and learned so much. The most important realization confirmed one thing in particular: we love our community. The journey we all undertook during the first few weeks was filled with fear, loss, abnormality and a general slowing down. Through all of this, we have emerged one whole year later stronger and more resolute.

We remember the March 16 Board of County Commissioners meeting. We discussed the uncertainty of this virus, the designation of the pandemic, the unknown ability of the virus to spread and the potential for significant mortality. That week in March, we had hospitalized two local adults and two young children with unknown respiratory illnesses. The unknown – was it COVID-19 or was it some other virus?

We are so proud and fortunate to be part of the San Miguel County Department of Public Health. We never thought we would be helping lead the county through the worst pandemic in over 100 years. Overall, we have both grown as leaders and individuals. We have both evolved and become more resilient, as have our colleagues, friends, patients and communities.

Between the medical centers, state and local public health, we have administered 14,742 COVID tests. Our contact tracing team has managed over 20 outbreaks and made more than 10,000 contact tracing calls. We have led cutting-edge wastewater COVID-19 surveillance in a rural community.

The county has made the long passage through the last 12 months of a 100-year pandemic with no loss of life and only 11 hospitalizations. That is a miracle, but it did not come without sacrifice. We truly believe that together, we all delivered the community to safety through our ability as a community to collectively participate in protecting one another. We are in awe of your resilience and have truly seen the support of this community.

Extraordinarily, science has brought about several safe and effective vaccines within just 10 months. With much to look forward to, 3,029 county residents have received at least one dose of a lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine along with an additional 700 Colorado residents who commute to San Miguel County for work.  With the remaining population to be eligible by mid-April, access to this highly effective vaccine continues to increase locally and in partnership with others in our region and retail pharmacies. Over 17 percent of our county residents have been fully vaccinated with well over 80 percent of our residents over age 65 being fully vaccinated.

By our summer season, we should reach a stronger level of protection and immunity, enough of our population is expected to be vaccinated so that our disease burden will approach a manageable caseload for weeks at a time. That will help us return to a more open, safe and free summer season.

The finish line is truly in our sights. Our local governments have worked exceptionally hard to discover how to best help our businesses, our schools have worked hard to keep our children safe and engaged, our medical staff and Public Health teams have helped make effective, fact-based decisions. But there is still a bit of work to be done.

Let’s continue to move forward and be the best we can be. We have seen so much good come from our residents and, although this has been an incredibly difficult year, we have become stronger together. We will continue to persevere.

Thinking of you all,

Public Health Director Grace Franklin
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Grundy

Public Health has confirmed four new positive cases of COVID-19 from test results received from March 12 through 16. Of these cases, two are confirmed as residents and all actively contagious cases are currently in isolation.

As of release time today, there have been 841 total COVID cases among residents to date with 7 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

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.