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Chaffee County has seen 46 new COVID-19 infections in the last week, 97 in the past two weeks and 73 since Jan. 1, according to the latest report from Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH).

The latest totals Monday, Jan 11 include four more Department of Corrections employees in the county since the first of the year. There are currently 66 active cases among inmates at the Buena Vista Correctional Complex, where one inmate previously died from suspected COVID-19. There have been 25 deaths among inmates who were infected with the virus.

The numbers bring the county totals to 736 cases in-county overall, with 111 cases recorded as out-of-county on the CCPH dashboard, Chaffee County has had 23 deaths among residents infected, 16 of them directly linked to the virus.

Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center reports a single case of COVID-19 being treated currently, and the 25-bed critical access hospital in operating at 48 percent of capacity.

Statewide, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports more than 1,500 new cases reported Monday and a 6.40 percent positivity rate, both declines from previous reports, but the hospitalizations were up by 64 to 141 Monday. More than 5,000 deaths have occurred among COVID-19 patients in Colorado.

Nationwide, the news is still not good, with more than 208,000 new cases reported on Jan. 10, and a daily average of nearly 255,000 over the past week, a 38 percent increase, with 1,777 death reported Jan. 10, a 47 percent increase over the two week average. Overall, more than 375,000 Americans have died from the virus.

CCPH Information on vaccinations:

  • Last week CCPH launched a new online scheduler for COVID-19 vaccine clinics.
  • Due to an overwhelming demand for the COVID-19 vaccine within phases 1A and the beginning of Phase 1B (for 70 and older), the schedule is full until Tuesday, Feb. 2.
  • Once they are assured they will be receiving enough vaccine supplies, they will offer appointment slots beyond Feb. 2.
  • Clinics are for Chaffee County residents only.
  • CCPH clinics are drive-through clinics held on Mondays and Tuesdays from 1:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Phase 2 is estimated to begin later this winter, and it is hopeful that with additional vaccination provider support, that Phase 3 might be able to begin as early as spring (If CDPHE permits and if there is a steady stream of vaccine and supplies.). However, the current state phasing is anticipating a summer rollout for Phase 3.
  • CCPH says they hope to soon have a multitude of vaccination opportunities beyond the current vaccine clinic.

Tips for Registering and Other Helpful Efforts

CCPH says that it recognizes that not everyone in the county, including those 70 and older, has access and ability to utilize the online scheduling system. They encourage family, friends, service providers, and other support systems to help those who do not have the means to register themselves. If someone truly doesn’t have the ability to register online, they are welcome to call 719-539-4510 and leave a message.

They continue to pursue a phone registration option, which will most likely involve a phone bank. CCPH is working with CDPHE to coordinate special weekend clinics as well.

It is encouraging Chaffee residents to check in with the older adults and others that might not have access to internet, computers, technology in case they might be needing help registering.  CCPH will be updating its voicemail system to be more user friendly and will be adding staff to meet the inquiry demand.  They are working with local agencies that serve older adults to assist with scheduling as well.  Patience is greatly appreciated.

Plans are underway to collaborate with the Chaffee County Shuttle for transportation alternatives and with other service providers to offer those who are homebound with vaccination services.

CCPH is aware that its scheduler is full through February 2nd.  They say they will be adding more appointment dates early this week and as vaccine inventory is available.  If you go online, and the scheduler is full, you are asked to be patient and check back frequently.  From Noon last Thursday through Noon last Friday, they were able to schedule about 1,400 first and second doses.

In order to receive a vaccine through CCPH, you must have an appointment.  While CCPH expects to get an increased and regular supply of vaccine, they must use the online scheduler to plan for the right amount of doses per clinic.  It is also important to schedule a second dose through the scheduler using the date on the white CDC card received at the first appointment.  The appointment does not replace the online scheduler.  There are specific dates and slots set aside for those who received the first dose to receive second doses.