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The latest report on the number of new COVID-19 virus cases in Chaffee County lists just two in the past five days. But health officials say there are some 50-plus test results yet to be received. In fact, according to the Chaffee County Public Health (CCPH) COVID dashboard report, as of Friday, Oct. 16, 67 test results were still pending.

Information posted on the CCPH dashboard sometimes is revised during the day regarding infections and accompanying data. CCPH director Andrea Carlstrom told Ark Valley Voice the updates are fluid. “It is true that the dashboard is dependent on the test and case information that we get in and plug into our spreadsheets, so the dashboard is likely to change throughout the day each day.”

In a prior CCPH report, a 77-year-old man was reported hospitalized with the virus at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (HRRMC) in Salida. Two hospital employees also recently tested positive for the virus. Some elective procedures were halted for a short time, and visitors were not allowed in the facility; only patients.

As of Friday, Oct. 16, Heart of the Rockies Marketing and Public Relations Director Allison Gergley said things were looking better.

“We tested a total of 46 employees associated with the new positive employee cases, and all results came back negative,” she commented. “That said, we have lifted our visitor restrictions back to our policy prior to this occurrence: One visitor, per patient, per day.”

“Over the course of the pandemic and as of yesterday, we have tested 181 employees total, with seven positives, five of whom have recovered,” she added.

Gergley also said the two, recent positive employees are quarantined for 10 days from the day of their positive test. At the end of that quarantine period, they are tested again and need to receive two separate negative test results in a 48-hour period before being cleared to return to work.

Gergley said the complex situation is being addressed by the HRRMC Infection Prevention and Employee Health team. “They continuously impress me with their attention to detail, abilities to make accurate, level-headed decisions under extreme pressure, and their positive attitudes,” she commented.

HRRMC in Salida is at 32 percent of capacity, including the one 77-year-old COVID-19 patient.

Statewide, the virus statistics are more concerning.

Colorado has seen more than 81,800 coronavirus cases, with 1,142 new cases reported on Thursday – a single-day record for new cases in the state, according to Johns Hopkins University. The City of Denver on Friday initiated more stringent restrictions, given their surging cases, with Mayor Michael Hancock requiring the wearing of masks outdoors as well as indoors, under certain situations.

The Denver Post reports hospitalizations are up 68 percent in the past month in Colorado. There have been a total of 83,230 cases in the state, resulting in 2,172 deaths, 2,042 directly from COVID-19.