September 17, 2021 Pueblo, CO – Pueblo County’s COVID-19 incidence and test positivity rate more than tripled in August 2021 compared to August 2020, according to data reported by public health. Pueblo County’s COVID-19 incidence and test positivity rate also nearly tripled from July 2021 to August 2021.

There were 945 confirmed and probable cases reported in Pueblo County for the month of August compared to 264 cases in August 2020.  In July 2021, there were 257 confirmed and probable cases reported in Pueblo County. Through September 16, 2021 there have been 896 confirmed and probable cases, compared to 303 for the month in September 2020.

August 2020 August 2021

Total confirmed and probable reported COVID-19 cases
264 945
Age Range 5 months to 92 years 2 months to 96 years
Average Age 36 38
Hospitalizations 18 107
Deaths 0 13
Death age range n/a 31-88
Business Outbreaks* 5 4
School Outbreaks* 0 3
Outbreaks in Long-term Care & Congregate Setting 1 2
*Change in definition from 2020 two case was an outbreak, and 2021 five unrelated cases where transmission is identified is an outbreak.

 

“Things are different now than they were a year ago. Last year, there were statewide mandates in place which limited gatherings and events, encouraged universal masking and social distancing, and restricted other activities. Schools were operating remotely. People to people interactions were much more limited,” explained Randy Evetts public health director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Evetts added, “Furthermore, we were dealing with a less transmissible strain of the virus. Today, most restrictions have been lifted and we now have the Delta variant spreading more easily in our community.”

Already this year, school data for August 2021 showed five schools in Pueblo County have been placed in outbreak status by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment is working with 23 schools who have confirmed COVID cases among staff or students. Currently, more than 1,200 staff or students have been placed on quarantine or symptom watch because of their potential exposure. Schools are reporting a reduction in the number of students quarantined and the length of quarantine for students due to the layered mitigation strategies such as increased ventilation, promotion of good hygiene, student cohorts, and universal masking in schools required by the public health order.

Public health investigations conducted in August determined celebrations, weddings, gatherings, schools, workplaces, and events contributed to the rising number of cases.

In addition, the local hospitals are reporting an increase in their daily census of COVID patients.

“Hospital capacity is a concern that we are monitoring very closely,” reported Evetts. “We want to avoid a place where we are rationing care based on who has the best chance of survival or a place where other healthcare needs cannot be addressed due to high volumes of COVID patients.”

“The COVID-19 vaccine remains the most powerful tool to reduce the spread of this virus, and we need every eligible individual to come together and do what is necessary to protect our community and economy,” said Evetts. Evetts explained, “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, it’s effective, and I urge anyone who has delayed getting vaccinated to wait no longer. The vaccine is readily available in our community and it is fast and easy to get it. There are very few contraindications for getting the vaccine. If people are concerned, they should consult with their physician or healthcare provider to determine if the vaccine is appropriate for them.”

Evetts stated, “Although some vaccinated people are becoming ill from the virus (a situation known as “breakthrough cases”), in most cases their illnesses are much less severe and they are far less likely to be hospitalized, require a ventilator, or die from the virus.”

 

Pueblo County vaccine data through Tuesday, August 31:

People vaccinated with one dose:                     58.9%

People fully vaccinated:                                      53%

To access the latest vaccine numbers and COVID data for Pueblo County, see theCOVID-19 data dashboard.

 

Community COVID-19 Testing

Community COVID-19 testing is offered near the Pueblo Mall, open Monday through Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To view testing options in the community, visit this website www.pueblohealth.org.

 

Community Vaccination

Community vaccination site near the Pueblo Mall is open Thursday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Additional vaccination sites, including local pharmacies may be find at www.pueblohealth.org/vaccines or calling 719-583-4444.

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