Wait And See . . A Spike in Cases
Efforts Rise Along with Cases
A recent survey in Colorado found that many people who took a “wait and see” attitude about COVID-19 vaccines have now decided they want to receive it.
“This is great news because higher vaccination rates will reduce risk in our community,” stated Linda Smith, SLV EPR Coordinator for San Luis Valley Public Health Partnership in a press release distributed to media outlets on April 12, 2021.
There are currently 74 active COVID-19 cases in the San Luis Valley, which is a drastic increase from the 19 cases reported one week ago today. Although Dial levels have not officially changed from green for the region (due in part to the speed of our case increase), the current numbers now place the overall risk at the equivalent of Level Blue, verging on Level Yellow. Individuals, families, and businesses are strongly encouraged to take preventative measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing, as well as vaccination.
There are upcoming clinics for all San Luis Valley residents to take advantage of and all adults are now eligible to receive the vaccine. Here is some additional information released by local public health officials:
- Teens ages 16-17 are also now eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The only vaccine approved so far for this age group is Pfizer. The Pfizer vaccine has complex storage and transport requirements that have posed a challenge for many rural areas. We expect to receive some Pfizer vaccine on April 20th that will need to be used within 7 days. To sign up for one of these doses, please call your local public agency to schedule an appointment. (See the provider list at the end of this article.) Public health agencies in Archuleta, Chaffee, Gunnison, and Huerfano counties may be able to provide vaccines to Valley 16-17 yr olds whose parents are willing to travel and would like to have their teens vaccinated sooner.
- Rising COVID-19 cases in the San Luis Valley mirror the state of Colorado as a whole. Data shows that vaccines are doing well at protecting our most vulnerable community members. Earlier in the pandemic, most hospitalizations were in older people. Now the majority of new hospitalizations in Colorado are people under the age of 50.
- Factors that contribute to vaccination rates include residents’ level of desire to receive the vaccine and easy access to vaccine providers. Demographics also play a role. For example, a county with a high percentage of residents over the age of 65 is likely to have a higher percentage of its population vaccinated at this point than a county with a younger population.
“Vaccines remain our best tool to end the pandemic, even as new variants increase in Colorado,” explained Smith. “We have not yet identified any variant cases in the San Luis Valley based on a sampling of positive tests that are checked for variant strains of the virus. It is likely though that variant strains will be identified in our region soon based on the trends we are seeing across the state.”
Readers can find answers to some of the questions about county-level vaccination data published on CDPHE’s web page HERE.
SLV Healthcare Resources
Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
SLV Health Respiratory Clinic 719-589-3000 ext. 9
Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 4 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)
List of Vaccine Providers
- Valley-Wide Health Systems (719) 587-9610
- Rio Grande Hospital (719) 657-2418
- SLV Health (719) 587-1355
- Alamosa County Public Health (719) 589-6639
- Conejos County Public Health (719) 274-4307
- Costilla County Public Health (719) 672-3332
- Silver Thread Public Health (719) 658-2416
- Rio Grande County Public Health (719) 657-3352
- Saguache County Public Health (719) 655-2533
- City Market Pharmacy – www.citymarket.com/rx/guest/get-vaccinated
- Safeway Pharmacy – www.mhealthappointments.com/covidappt
- Walgreens Pharmacy – www.walgreens.com
- Walmart Pharmacy – www.walmart.com/COVIDvaccine