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As Chaffee County loads with Labor Day visitors for the last major summer long weekend, the county continues to see COVID-19 cases rise; all of them due to the Delta variant, and more than 95 percent in unvaccinated individuals.

With a 6.19 positivity rate, Chaffee remains in the “High” risk category based on rates of community transmission. Anything over five percent is considered a spreading situation.

There have been 28 cases of COVID reported in the past seven days, and 61 cases in the past 14 days. Some 97 percent are symptomatic and the youngest reported age is 27.

Asked to comment about the overall morale of the state’s county public health departments, Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) Director Andrea Carlstrom said the state’s public health personnel are “a combination of sheer exasperation and exhaustion and this week coupled with feeling like frustration and anger. It would just take people getting vaccinated to stop all this. Yes, this is an unprecedented time. There are so many unknowns. We’re all doing the best we can and I can assure this county that we are ready for what comes.” She added, “The new cases are in adults from mild to severe, mostly with varying vaccination status”.

At 56 percent, the majority of transmission cases continue to be person-to-person. But a concerning 29.3 percent is community spread; meaning the person has no idea who could have given them COVID and knows no one who is sick.

Most concerning is the county age breakdown that shows transmission across all age groups:

Age                      %

18 and under   14.2

19-30                 15.1

31-40                 18.9

41-50                16.0

51-60                11.3

61-70                17.0

70+                    7.5

In total since March 2020, Chaffee County has had 1,468 local cases, 266 from out-of-county, 18 deaths due directly to COVID-19, and 28 deaths where COVID was a contributing factor. The full county COVID dashboard is available here.

In keeping with our local public health order and CDC guidelines, masking within indoor public places is recommended for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.

The state has issued an updated Public Health Order, effective Sept. 1 and extended through Oct. 1; a summary of the changes is available here.

The last day to take the Chaffee County COVID Survey is Monday, Sept. 6 and this is the link to the survey:

CCPH will not be conducting its regular testing clinic on Monday, Sept. 6 due to the Labor Day Holiday.

Testing will resume on Sept 8: