COVID cases declining after September surge: a look at the numbers

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by Meg Soyars
Grand County recorded one new death due to the coronavirus this past week and one new death of someone who passed testing positive for the virus. Grand experienced an alarming rise in cases in recent months, including 4 total deaths due to COVID-19 in September, and 1 in October.

Case Rates
Despite the two deaths this week, case rates are declining, according to data from Grand County Public Health. Over the past week, 33 new positive cases were recorded in Grand. Of those 33 new cases, 24% were children under 18 (please note there is a 48-hour delay in case updates).

Last week, an average of 8 new cases were recorded each day. This is an improvement over Grand County’s condition at the height of September’s surge, where an average of 17 new cases was recorded each day. The 1-week case rate is now 190.86 (positive cases per 100k residents), down from 375.37 last week.

Infection Rates
The county’s infection rate is also falling from its high levels in September. According to the website covidactnow.org, each Grand County resident who carries COVID-19 infects on average 0.59 other people. Because each person is infecting fewer than one other person, the total number of current cases is shrinking, the website states. There are six current hospitalizations in Grand, up from five the previous week.

COVID-19 Deaths
Since the pandemic began, 7 people in Grand County have died because of COVID-19, and five people have died testing positive for COVID. This means that Grand County’s mortality rate is roughly .03% for those who have contracted the virus. Globally, the mortality rate is higher than Grand’s, at 2.04%, according to the WHO dashboard. Recorded deaths are from primarily unvaccinated individuals.

ICU Beds Availability
The availability of ICU and critical care beds has been a concern in rural areas such as Grand County since the pandemic began. The availability of beds has improved slightly over the past week. Currently, 13% of ICU beds (35 beds), and 10% of acute care beds (107 beds) are available. Grand is served by the Foothills RETAC
(Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council), along with Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Jefferson counties.

Vaccination Status
The number of vaccinated residents in Grand is improving. According to data from Grand County Public Health, 71.2% of the population has received at least one dose and 63.7% are fully vaccinated. If 80% of the eligible population becomes vaccinated, herd immunity is believed to be achieved. Currently, Grand’s “Estimated Community Immunity” is 73.7%, calculated by combining vaccinated individuals with individuals who have immunity through infection with COVID-19.

Residents can stay updated on the most recent COVID-19 numbers by visiting the county’s dashboard at https://www.co.grand.co.us/covid19.

Resources
https://www.co.grand. co.us/covid19 https://covid19.who.int https://covidactnow.org