COVID cases remain high in San Juan

Area COVID-19 cases are impacting hospital capacity regionally. Hospitals in Grand Junction are reporting 94 percent of hospital beds utilized with 96 percent ICU beds being utilized and 82 percent of ventilators being utilized.

Intermountain Healthcare in Utah is also reporting its ICU units and acute care units are either at or near full capacity. 

The number of active COVID cases remains high in San Juan County with 231 on November 16. The 14-day case rate per 100,000 is 1,058.3 in the county. The seven-day case rate is 555.3 per 100,000.

Two local agencies have handled about the same number of total cases since the pandemic arrived: 1,316 for San Juan Public Health and 1,323 for Utah Navajo Health System (UNHS). 

That was not always the case. Through the first six months of the pandemic, UNHS handled nearly 60 percent of the COVID cases. Since July, it has flipped, with San Juan Public Health handling nearly 70 percent of the COVID cases since then.

UNHS has administered roughly five times as many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as San Juan County, a count of 15,321 to 3,446.

This fall the county has also seen the arrival of breakthrough cases. Breakthrough cases occur when vaccinated individuals test positive for COVID.

The county has reported 158 breakthrough cases, which makes up seven percent of the total cases. 

The county has also reported five breakthrough hospitalizations with 98 percent of hospitalizations among the unvaccinated and two reported breakthrough deaths, which makes up five percent of the 41 deaths in the county.

The Blanding area had 86 active cases in the latest count, with 47 cases in the Montezuma Creek / Aneth area, 43 cases in the Monticello area, and 27 cases in the Bluff area.

The Spanish Valley and La Sal area has 13 reported cases with 13 reported cases in Monument Valley and Navajo Mountain.

The virus is also impacting the school system with eight active cases in the Blanding schools, two active cases in the La Sal school, and one active case each in the Bluff, Montezuma Creek, and Monument Valley schools.

Vaccines were recently authorized for children beginning at age five. Boosters have been authorized for high-risk adults who were previously vaccinated.

UNHS and the San Juan School District are partnering with clinics in area communities to provide vaccines over the coming weeks for children ages five to 11. A legal guardian must be present for the vaccination.

San Juan Record

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