Elbert County Public Health Director Dwayne Smith released a COVID-19 Situation Update on Jan. 17 noting that Elbert County had surpassed 4,000 known test-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March 2020, around 15% of the county’s population.
By Jan. 26, nine days later, the total number of individuals in the county with confirmed infections since the start of the pandemic had risen to 4,290, and nearly 1,100 of those cases had occurred since the start of 2022.
The actual number of infections is likely to be much higher than the reported number, since the reported number does not take into account those who have tested positive for the virus with at-home tests and chose not to report, and also does not count people who had the virus but were unaware they had it.
In an email correspondence from Jan. 26, Smith stressesd the severity of the situation in Elbert County, starting with the tally just since the start of the new year.
“Thus far in 2022, more than 1 out of every 26 Elbert County residents have been identified with a confirmed infection of COVID-19, and we are still averaging one hospitalization per day,” said Smith. “Hundreds of additional cases identified through self-administered over-the-counter tests have gone unreported to state databases.”
A Jan. 26 Facebook post by the county’s public health department showed a statewide decline in COVID case rates in the few days preceding that, and Dr. Jon Samet, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, said in a Jan. 25 Denver Post article that the situation was showing improvement following the apparent peak of the statewide surge of the omicron variant.
Though cases of COVID-19 were trending downward, Elbert County still has higher-than-average numbers compared to the state as a whole. As of Jan. 25, the statewide one-week average positivity was 24.45%, while the corresponding figure in Elbert County is slightly higher at 27.96%.
Dwayne Smith continues to caution Elbert County residents and urges people to take multiple levels of precaution moving forward.
“While our metrics continue to decline, they are doing so in a gradual fashion, and remain four times higher than we experienced during the wave of delta variant infections this past fall,” Smith explained. “Elbert County Public Health therefore recommends all residents continue practicing multiple layers of protection, including vaccination, to mitigate further community transmission of COVID-19.”
If you would like to receive your free COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot, a mobile vaccine clinic will be visiting the Elizabeth Walmart from 2 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 17, March 10 and March 31.
To schedule an appointment for your free COVID-19 vaccine or booster with one Denver Metro’s mobile vaccine clinics, visit https://www.mobilevax.us/denver-metro.
If you think you might have COVID-19, free drive-through testing is available at the Sky Ridge Medical Center near I-25 in Lone Tree. For more information and to pre-register, please visit tinyurl.com/SRMCTesting.