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Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise in Lake County, Chaffee County, and across Colorado, and the nation. Hospitalizations have also increased. Hospitals serving metro Denver (which Lake County depends on for transferring patients) are full or nearing capacity due to COVID-19, non-COVID-19 emergencies, and other routine visits. Less than 10 percent of staffed beds are available – a trend not seen at any other point in the pandemic.

The Lake County Public Health Agency put out an advisory today, advising that taking COVID-19 precautions now such as wearing masks in public places, washing your hands, or attending events virtually can not only prevent additional COVID-19 hospitalizations but will help ease the state’s strained hospital capacity and emergency medical services. Unfortunately, during this spike in COVID-19 cases, every Coloradan who may experience a health emergency or have routine health care needs is at risk due to a lack of room in our hospitals.

Lake County Public Health Agency urges the following steps are urged  to prevent COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations:

  • Downtown Leadville. Image courtesy of

    All eligible individuals ages 5 and up should get vaccinated, including completing both doses of vaccine, if vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and boosted as eligible. Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations. Vaccinations are free (no insurance coverage or documentation is required).

  • Colorado’s prevalence of COVID-19 makes the state a high-risk area to live and work. Anyone who is 18+ who would like a booster and is 6 months past their initial series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 2 months past a J&J vaccine should get a booster dose. Boosters are also free.
  • Persons at high risk for COVID (those who are not fully vaccinated and persons with conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID) should consider staying out of public indoor spaces until the case rate has declined.
  • Wear a mask when in crowded public indoor spaces whether vaccinated or not, even in locations where the county does not already require it. This is especially important when frequenting restaurants, bars, gyms, and other crowded places that do not require proof of vaccination for staff and patrons.
  • Move public and private gatherings and events outdoors whenever possible to increase ventilation.
  • Get tested if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and stay home if you are sick or waiting for test results.
  • Flu season has begun so get a flu shot, which can be given at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine.

The county’s health department is reminding those who live and work in Leadville and Lake County that they “have a long and proud tradition of coming together as a community to overcome any challenge presented. As we enter the holiday season let us all tap that unyielding spirit and sense of community pride and defeat this virus.”

That said, the county has not had a public health order related to CVOID-19 since June 1, 2021. The last time it did a community briefing report was Oct. 6.

Lake County’s one-week cumulative incidence is 471.9 for a positivity rate of 15.7 percent. It had five new cases of COVID today, and has 22 active cases as of Nov. 19. (By comparison, Chaffee County’s two-week cumulative incidence rate is 1.096.6, indicating a higher rate of surge.)

In other words – COVID is surging in Colorado, regardless of the size of the county. Taking the precautions advised by county public health agencies is a wise strategy.

For information about COVID-19: