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Another surge in Chaffee County COVID-19 cases is indicated in the latest post-holiday tally on the Chaffee County Public Health Department (CCPH) case dashboard, with at least 29 cases listed on Nov. 28 thus far. That brought the ever-increasing case count since Nov. 1 to 175 thus far.

Local cases since the pandemic started are officially listed at 624 cases, not counting 57 cases listed as out-of-county.

Not including the latest cases, the two-week positivity rate is inching up; CCPH lists the two-week positivity rate at 4.74 percent, between Nov. 8 and 23.

Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center lists one COVID-19 patient being hospitalized, while the CCPH dashboard  report lists two people hospitalized, a 98-year-old woman and now a 63-year old man, both from the south end of the county. The hospital reports it is at 52 percent of capacity.

State and national health officials warned against big family gatherings and travel for the Thanksgiving holiday period, fearing the kinds of surge in infections, hospitalizations and deaths that have followed every holiday this year. Increases in cases are a lagging indicator, usually showing up in the statistics within about two weeks after a holiday.

Statewide, more than 225,000 cases have been reported, and nearly 3,000 people infected have died. 13,369 people were hospitalized at last report, and some facilities are reporting staff and bed shortages.

Nationally, the toll of daily new cases has skyrocketed from more than 50,000 about six weeks ago to nearly 163,000 per day, with more than 13 million cases to date while U.S. deaths have topped 266,000.