Delta County reported two additional COVID-19 deaths this past week bringing the total to 77. The deceased individuals were a male age older than 85 and a female age 55-64. To date, the county remains in the High Level for community transmission according to the CDC.

The county’s one week positivity percentage rose from 4.26% last week to 8.23% this week. The county’s one week positive count is 51 persons with the one week case rate at 163.6 per 100,000 persons.

According to the COVID-19 Dashboard the county has 30 new cases, 67 active cases and two hospitalizations. (Please see the dashboard for how new cases and active cases are calculated.)

To date Delta County has reported 3,330 total positive cases with 3,186 recovered. Total testing encounters are 52,412 with 668 tests administered during the past week.

Delta County School District 50J reported a total of nine COVID-19 cases among students and staff from Sept. 3 through Sept. 10. Cedaredge Schools (1); Delta Schools (3); Hotchkiss and Crawford Schools (4) and Paonia Schools (1). The school district’s COVID-19 Dashboard on its website is updated every Friday at 4 p.m.

On the vaccination front, Delta County reported (as of Sept. 13) a total of 25,080 vaccinations administered. The total number of individuals receiving one dose is 12,623. Individuals receiving two doses is 11,441 and 850 individuals received the Janssen vaccine.

Citizens are reminded that the count of Delta County doses, including doses administered in another county, may contain duplicates due to errors from data entry into CIIS (Colorado Immunization Information System). There is a seven -10 day lag in reporting from all providers to CIIS.

The county is slowly gaining ground on the percentage of residents getting the COVID-19 vaccine. To date 45.6% are fully vaccinated, 5% have received one dose while 49.4% remain unvaccinated. Doses administered by sex show females out pacing males at 54% compared to 45.5% with 5% unknown.

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccine requirements will take place at Delta Health hospital and its clinics moving forward.

“The organization is currently in the process of crafting policies and procedures in response to the State Board of Health emergency ruling. We are carefully and thoughtfully looking into all options and will be completed soon. All employees who wish to be vaccinated have had and will continue to have access to the Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines through multiple vaccine clinics, employee health and Delta Health primary care clinics,” stated Jacqueline Davis, Delta Health public relations manager, in a recent email.

In a previous interview, Delta Health CEO Matt Heyn said the hospital will comply with the mandate while providing opt-out options.

“We have to follow the mandate, so we’re putting in policies and procedures in order to get as many of our staff vaccinated as we can. Of course we have religious and medical exemptions that our staff can rely on if they truly do have exemptions to getting the vaccine,” Heyn said, adding, “Just like every other hospital in the state of Colorado we’re working towards a higher vaccination rate.”

Healthcare workers across the state must either opt out or receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 30 and be fully vaccinated no later than Oct. 31.The Colorado Board of Health used prior emergency regulation rules mandating flu vaccinations as its justification for the COVID-19 vaccine requirements. They cited a rise in the delta variant as reason to mandate the vaccine.

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