Telluride Medical Center: Dr. Grundy Has Delta Variant On Her Mind!

Telluride Medical Center: Dr. Grundy Has Delta Variant On Her Mind!

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The following is a message from Dr. Sharon Grundy to Med Center patients: about the Delta variant.

Hi friends,

Everyone wants to know about the delta variant. I’m no different — I reached out to a friend in one of the nation’s new COVID-19 hot spots (outside of Colorado).

Here’s what I learned:

The hospital my friend works for has reopened all of the COVID wards and have even gone so far as to open a rehab facility to add patient beds. Both ICU departments in her region are at capacity.

The new trend, according to my friend, is that the patients she’s now seeing is the hospital reflect a higher percentage of young and otherwise healthy people, most of whom are non-vaccinated.

Here in Telluride, cases are rising, but our vaccination rates are also well above the national average. That’s good news. What’s more, we have a great public health direction (recognizing I’m biased as I do serve as the county’s Public Health Officer), but we also have incredible local support for mandates, guidance and general COVID safe behavior.

And still, here’s what I need our patients to understand:

• When regional hospital systems become strained by increased numbers of hospitalized patients, we are impacted in our ability to escalate care for critically sick or injured patients to our regional partners.

• The delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has become the dominant strain.

• The delta variant is significantly more infectious that the original alpha variant we saw last year. We are seeing more people getting infected after a shorter exposure.

• Vaccines remain very effective, however no vaccine is 100 percent effective and breakthrough cases are more likely as the virus circulates throughout the population.

It’s important for me to disclose to you that my behavior is starting to shift — as are many of my peers in the science and health communities. Whereas a few months ago I was thrilled to walk about without a mask and to rejoin my yoga class, I’m now once again wearing a mask indoors in public places where the vaccination status of the population is unknown.

What can you do?

• Start bringing your own awareness back to the science and the data. Things are changing quickly.

• Continue to be vigilant in monitoring yourself and your family (especially children) for symptoms and continue to stay home and keep kids home when we are symptomatic.

• Keep up the hand sanitation.

• Wear a mask and maintain social distancing when you are in public or among unvaccinated populations.

• Get a vaccine if you haven’t already

As always, we’ll continue to share with you information and ideas.

We’re still — always — in this together!

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