Routt County COVID-19 case total hits 86 as cases continue to rise across state, country
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Routt County has four new COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total to 86, according to the Department of Public Health.
The newest cases include two men and one woman in their 20s and one man in his 70s. One of the men in his 20s was asymptomatic, and the other three had symptoms.
Last Friday, county officials announced five new cases, which included one staff member at Casey’s Pond who was asymptomatic and wearing a mask. That case was reported July 8 by Casey’s Pond.
On the positive side, Casey’s Pond’s website announced Monday they had received negative results for 85 residents and 156 staff members, with 115 results pending.
The county is now announcing new cases only on Tuesdays and Fridays.
More than half the cases since June 11 — 12 out of 21 or 57% — are people under the age of 30.
A total of 4,563 COVID-19 tests have been administered to date, with 136 results pending.
Cases are rising across the state, with 2,743 new cases reported in Colorado the second week of July, climbing to a level not seen since early May, according to a July 13 article in The Denver Post.
The article states the rise is due in part to increased testing; however, the Colorado Hospital Association reported as of Monday afternoon, 220 people were hospitalized — the highest number of patients needing hospital care since June 4.
“Early data also suggests deaths rose compared to the previous week for the first time since early April,” according to The Denver Post.
On Monday, Eagle County officials reported there have been nearly 100 new cases in Eagle County during the last 15 days.
As of Sunday, there were 10 new cases reported in Grand County within the last two weeks out of a total of 29 cases to date. According to the state’s metrics for evaluating risk, that puts Grand County in the “high disease transmission rate” category.
Across the country, about 100,000 new cases were reported over the weekend.
On Sunday, the Florida Department of Health reported 15,299 cases from Saturday, the highest number of new cases in a single day by any state since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Florida’s positivity rate reach 19.6 as of Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
In terms of antibody testing at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center, as of Monday, 18 out of 585 people who took the test at the hospital and its affiliated clinics showed the presence of antibodies. That equates to 3.1%. It remains unknown to what extent or for how long antibodies provide immunity.
At a meeting Tuesday with the Steamboat Springs Board of Education, Routt County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Harrington said he would have assumed by this point in the pandemic, the testing regime would be running smoothly, but that is not the case.
“It’s taken a step backward in the past couple weeks,” Harrington said.
Harrington was primarily referring to the slowdown in the turnaround time for getting results, which now sometimes takes up to two weeks. UCHealth is the typically the fastest, he said, taking about 48 to 72 hours. He said they are seeing a lot of the reagent — a key ingredient for testing — “getting sucked up by other states.”
In terms of what is known about transmission in looking at the county’s 86 total cases, Harrington said if you were to set aside about 24 at Casey’s Pond and another cluster of eight, that leaves about 12 who did have close contact with another positive case. But for about 40 of the cases, he said, the contact tracing process didn’t reveal another positive within the close contact circle.
That could be a result of inadequate contact tracing or testing, Harrington noted, but he also points to the unknowns of COVID-19.
“We still don’t fully understand the virus and how it is transferred,” Harrington said.
Harrington also noted that more than half of the 21 recent cases in the county involved travel.
“Primarily, our folks traveling and coming back,” he added.
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