Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The situation is better — somewhat. Which is a discouraging thing to say as we enter our third winter of COVID. But for those reading this, you’re alive, and that is certainly better than the alternative faced by so many families.

We have lost 28 residents of this county directly due to COVID, and another 39 residents have died with COVID as a contributing factor.

In Chaffee County the COVID-19 positivity rate is coming down and so are the case numbers. The infections are all the Delta variant. The county has yet to deal with what might come with Omicron.

Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) is strongly advising that everyone who had received their initial two COVID-19 vaccine shots get their booster shots. The county and local pharmacies have a vaccine supply and getting vaccinated is free of charge. The county is also vaccinating kids ages five and up.

According to the Chaffee County COVID Dashboard, local cases have stopped rising and begun to fall — a little. The county reported 43 cases in the past seven days, and 102 in the past 14 days, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 2,346.

At 20.3 percent, the largest percentage of cases are kids, ages 18 and under.

Statewide, 81 percent of the people currently hospitalized for COVID across Colorado are unvaccinated.

Chaffee County is still categorized as “High Level of Community Transmission” through the CDC’s monitoring system, viewable at

For the week prior to Dec. 8, the CDC statistics (which do lag our local numbers) reported:

Current cases                                                          41
Case Rate per 100,000                                        201.41
Percent Positivity                                                3.68 percent
Deaths                                                                     <10
Pct. of pop. ≥ 12 years of age fully vaccinated    66.4 percent
New Hospital Admissions                                      0

All that sounds better, but as we all know, give it a week or two, and this could all change again.

Amended Colorado Public Health Order

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued an updated Public Health Order on November 14, Ninth Amended Public Health Order 20-38. Limited COVID-19 Restrictions. The full order is available here and the summary of changes are here. The state is now strongly recommending vaccination requirements for indoor public and private events.

Chaffee County amended its county public health order on Nov. 30:  Public Health Order # 2020-08 – Amendment 26. This order aligns with the current state order and federal recommendations.

As of October 15, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidelines recommending that both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission rates. The local Chaffee County Public Health Order now includes these recommendations.

The following are strong recommendations from CCPH as we move into the holiday season: 

● Fully vaccinated activities are optimal. If this isn’t possible, a combination of vaccination and aggressive testing strategies is preferred. Consider moving to a virtual or hybrid model when meetings and events must take place indoors. Outdoors is strongly recommended. There is still a 75 percent capacity limit for indoor events in the local public health order.

● Continue to wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status, especially when vaccination status is unknown.

● Avoid crowds, regardless of vaccination status, especially when vaccination status is unknown.

● Get vaccinated. Get boosted.

● Stay home when sick.