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From Monday to Tuesday this week, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Chaffee County went from 6.33 percent to 7.59 percent. Anything over 5.0 percent is considered a situation in which community spread is occurring. There is no way to present this as anything but the surge that it is.

The past 14 days have seen 187 new cases among county residents; 87 of them in the past seven days. While the county is seeing some breakthrough cases among those who have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, the vast majority of cases are among the holdout unvaccinated population. Some 28.5 percent of the cases are in kids under age 18, a rate that is significantly higher than at any other time during the pandemic.

The rolling 14-day count isn’t the only rising figure. In Nov. 2021, a month that is not yet over, Chaffee County has already recorded its highest monthly case count of the pandemic: 359 cases and counting – against the previously highest case rate of 258 in Dec. 2020.

The numbers — in a county of just less than 20,000 people — may be the tip of a larger iceberg as the country heads into a long holiday weekend. Chaffee County Public Health issued a Nov. 18 recap of its capacity-building measures. including COVID vaccine booster clinics and testing dates/times to address this latest surge:

As a state, Colorado has an 8.92 percent positivity rate, up .7 percent, reflecting a seven-day rise to 9.26 percent.

Cases nationwide have surged 30 percent in the past month, with the U.S. once again averaging nearly 100,000 new COVID cases a day. Cases in kids nationwide have increased by 32 percent in November. In short, unless you and your family are careful, you may be exposing yourselves to something else along with turkey and dressing this Thanksgiving.