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The good news? COVID-19 cases in Lake County are trending downward and those 70 and older, along with front-line essential workers and first responders, continue to receive their vaccines in Phase 1 of distribution.

Lisa Zwerdlinger, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for St. Vincent’s Health and healthcare advisor for Lake County Public Health, said that in general, “Colorado continues to look stellar… compared to the rest of the country; Colorado looks great.” She said case numbers are getting smaller and positivity rates are improving. While Lake County is still trending higher than the rest of the state, it is improving as well, she said in her weekly update.

In the most recent statistics for the week of Jan. 17, Lake County’s positivity rate was 11.7 percent compared to the state average of 5.41. Lake County is now at a total of 492 positives with 17 active cases currently being monitored. Eight cases were reported between Jan. 15 and 21.

Zwerdlinger said vaccination remains vital to attaining the 70 percent statistic needed for herd immunity. She said that under the current program, there should be herd immunity by summer 2021. Looking at the overall positivity rate of 9.9 percent since March, she said it would take three to four years to attain natural herd immunity without people getting vaccinated.

While the vaccine rolls out, it remains extremely important to consistently follow precautions, including masking up while in public and maintaining a six-foot distance.