Garfield County tops 100 COVID-19 cases; weekly trend holding steady |

Garfield County tops 100 COVID-19 cases; weekly trend holding steady

Valley View COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 5/5/2020
  • Specimens collected thru Valley View: 834
  • Positive results: 45
  • Pending results: 84
  • Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 16
  • Patients discharged: 13
Grand River COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 5/5/2020
  • Specimens collected thru Grand River Health: 553
  • Positive results: 20
  • Pending results: 12
  • Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 2
  • Patients transferred: 2
  • Patients discharged: 0

Garfield County has surpassed the 100 mark for the total number of COVID-19 cases — the fifth-highest among Colorado’s Western Slope counties — though health officials say there’s nothing alarming in the trend of new weekly cases.

Garfield County had 101 total cases reported through Sunday, but many of the newer cases were the result of a backlog in testing results dating back to mid-April, Garfield County Public Health Director Yvonne Long reported to county commissioners on Monday.

The trend in new weekly cases remains about the same, as Garfield County began slowly allowing retail and personal service businesses to reopen on Monday, with social distancing and other health precautions this place to keep the spread of the new coronavirus in check.

“If we start to see a doubling of that (trend), we may have to look at backing off of that,” she said.

Garfield County now ranks fifth among Western Slope counties in the number of COVID-19 cases, behind Eagle (547), Gunnison (168), Summit (151) and Montrose (107).

Those numbers are based on the latest statewide report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The state report lags a day or so behind the county-level reports, and as of its Tuesday report had Garfield County at 99 cases.

The number of COVID-19 deaths in Garfield County remains at two; unchanged since April 9.

Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs on Tuesday did report one new hospitalization related to a confirmed COVID-19 case. The hospital has also been collecting more specimens for testing, and, as of Tuesday had 84 pending results. Grand River Hospital in Rifle had 12 pending results, according to its bi-weekly statistical report.

Garfield County and CDPHE both count “confirmed” positives (those confirmed through lab testing), and “probable” cases (where a person has had exposure and is symptomatic), said Carrie Godes, public health specialist for the county.

The county has recently seen a decrease of symptom onset — the period when a person is the most contagious — which is good news, she said.

“We also have seen more person to person transmission versus community transmission,” meaning a person can identify the source of their COVID-19 exposure, Godes said. 

“The fact that we are seeing person to person transmission serves to emphasizes the importance of social distancing and the impact that it is making on reducing the spread of the virus in Garfield County,” she said.

Valley View is also gradually resuming in-person patient care and services under Gov. Jared Polis’s new “Safer at Home” phase guidelines.

“This is an important change, as we do not want members of our community to neglect their health,” Valley View said in its Tuesday press release.

Grand River has also resumed elective and walk-in services with the loosening of the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

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