Despite local virus spread slightly decreasing, ‘the virus is still here’ |

Despite local virus spread slightly decreasing, ‘the virus is still here’

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — With five new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 reported last week in Routt County and six the week prior, local virus spread has been moved from high moderate to moderate, according to Routt County Public Health.

The slight downturn in positive cases mirrors what is being seen in the state overall, according to Dr. Brian Harrington, Routt County Public Health medical officer.

Harrington, alongside Interim Routt County Public Health Director Roberta Smith, addressed the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday to update them on the local status of COVID-19.

Of the 11 cases in the past two weeks, five cases were in the 10 to 19 age range, two cases were in the 20 to 29 range, three cases in the 30 to 39 range and one case in the 50 to 59 range.  

“This predominance of positive cases in younger individuals is another data area that parallels state and national findings,” Harrington said.

It was also noted that two of the key metrics used to measure cases, test positivity rate and new cases per 100,000, were both lower for Routt County.

The test positivity rate was 1.23 two weeks ago and 1.18 last week. New case, per 100,000 people, was 3.34 two weeks ago and 2.78 last week. Per the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s two-week cumulative incidence rate metric, Routt County had 43 cases per 100,000 people, which drops local virus spread from high moderate, 50 to 100 cases, to moderate, 10 to 50 cases.

Because some test results still face a lag of about a week, it is possible there are additional positive cases from last week that have not yet been reported.

Quick result COVID-19 tests, such as point-of-care antigen clinical testing, and home tests for COVID-19 are coming but are not here yet to a meaningful degree, Harrington said. Though, the turnaround on testing is improving, he indicated.

With school starting for the Steamboat Springs School District next week, followed by the Labor Day holiday, Smith indicated the potential for increased cases. She noted that personal gatherings are still limited to 10 people and masks, social distancing and washing hands are important for these gatherings.

“I have noticed that people are becoming more comfortable with meeting in person again,” Commissioner Tim Corrigan said. “We encourage people to still work remotely if they can to keep the virus spread low, especially as we go more and more indoors. The virus is still here.”

The public health department will continue to provide community testing and is exploring ways to form a more robust partnership on testing with UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center.

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email

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