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Due to an apparent superspreader event, Lake County is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, including a 20-case, single-day record. The cases caused its positivity rate to jump to 13.3 percent. The county has seen 593 cases since the pandemic began last March and 150 new cases since Jan. 1.

Courtesy Lake County

This came as Colorado revised its COVID-19 dial framework Feb. 5, allowing many eligible counties to ease into a lower alert level. Dial 2.0 is a tool that allows Colorado to balance the need to contain the virus with the need for local guidance. But due to recent activity that has health officials imploring people to stop socializing, Lake County remains in Level Orange: High Risk.

Lake County saw 60 new cases between Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, according to the most recent report issued by the Lake County Public Health Agency (LCPHA). While most of Colorado is seeing a decline in case numbers and an overall positivity rate of 4.31 percent as of Feb. 8, Lake County was at 13.3 percent as of Feb. 3. That reflects 59 positives out of 442 tests. Ark Valley Voice will update numbers as they become available.

In comparison, Chaffee County was reporting a 6.35 percent positivity rate as of Feb. 8. The World Health Organization recommends a level of 5 percent or lower to contain spread of the virus.

LCPHA continues to investigate the gathering at a faith-based organization that has tipped the scales in the community.

“We’ve had quite the ruckus happen over the past seven days,” said Lisa Zwerdlinger, MD, public health officer for LCPHA. “We have seen more positive cases in one day than we have ever seen before.”

In her weekly online update, Zwerdlinger said people need to stop socializing if COVID-19 numbers are going to get back under control.

“A group of folks decided to hang out together and then there was no containment, and then those families hung out with other families and unfortunately, we have had an enormous number of positive cases here in Lake County.”

“Our curve here is unfortunately no longer flattening,” she added.

Colleen Nielsen, director of LCPHA, issued a stern reminder that the community needs to re-commit to containing the spread of COVID-19. Aside from the basics – wearing face coverings, avoiding group gatherings, washing hands frequently and staying home when sick – she said there’s also the matter of individual responsibility.

“The community needs to understand that their personal actions and lack of commitment could put our County into a more restrictive level, which would impact our local businesses and economy,” she said.