Routt County records just 19 new COVID cases in past week |

Routt County records just 19 new COVID cases in past week

Routt County logged 19 cases of COVID-19 in the past week, the lowest rate of infection the county has seen since this summer and less than half the number of cases seen in the previous week.

This low number of cases doesn’t appear to be a fluke, as Routt County Epidemiologist Nicole Harty said the decline in cases comes as the local positivity rate has also decreased.

“Current data available from (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) suggests COVID risk in Routt County is lower than in many other parts of the state, particularly the Front Range and northwest region as a whole,” Harty said in an email.

Still, about 40% of the 73 cases found in the past two weeks have been attributed to community spread, meaning the public health department wasn’t able to identify how the person contracted the virus — potentially an indication that public health is not detecting all the cases locally.

“Since October 2020, about 27% of our cases have been attributed to community spread,” Harty said. “The increase in community spread in the last two weeks suggests that, in comparison to prior weeks and months, a relatively larger portion of cases are going undetected by public health.”

One reason for this could be more people using at home COVID-19 tests, which are not reported to public health unless an individual chooses to do it themselves at

At a glance

COVID-19 in Routt County:

Total COVID-19 cases: 3,895

Total COVID-19 hospitalizations: 65

Total COVID-19 deaths: 24

Residents with first vaccine dose: 21,747 or 85% of the county

Residents fully vaccinated: 18,721 or 73% of the county

Harty isn’t anticipating any change in the local case rate, but there are many variables at play. She said she wouldn’t be surprised if there were an increase in cases as the holidays approach because they tend to bring together a wider variety of people.

She stressed caution and said that gathering with people who are vaccinated and boosted is safer than with those who are not.

Smaller groups are better than larger ones, and outdoor gatherings are better than indoors, if possible. Harty also said people should be tested five to seven days after an exposure to COVID, even if vaccinated.

“We are not through this pandemic yet,” Harty said. “If you are traveling over the holidays, it is a good idea to have a testing, quarantine and isolation plan should you develop symptoms, test positive or have an exposure while traveling.”

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