Case Number Update & Testing Priorities

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Mesa County Public Health officials addressed questions about testing and provided an update on the COVID-19 case count in Mesa County on Friday.

There haven’t been any new cases of COVID-19 in Mesa County this week and the Health Department said it doesn’t expect to see a spike, even though we’re still waiting for results on 280 tests.

The number of cases in the county dropped from 35 to 34 because one of the positive cases was an individual who resides in Garfield County but also has a residence in Mesa County.

“Our case count remains at 34, the recovered cases are 30,” said Mesa County Public Health Director Dr. Jeff Kuhr.

If the date of onset was not within the last two weeks, then the Health Department is considering it to be a recovered case.

So far, only six Mesa County residents have been hospitalized.

“Three of those have recovered so we still have three hospitalized,” said Dr. Kuhr.

Dr. Kuhr said the hospitalizations are a strong indicator of COVID’s presence in the community.

“We most closely monitor hospitalizations for influenza, so if we’re not seeing a spike in hospitalizations in Mesa County, then we can assume that our positive tests are running in line with that,” said Dr. Kuhr.

Testing continues to be a priority at Mesa County Public Health.

“Testing for novel infectious diseases like COVID-19 is critical because it helps health officials like me effectively prepare for and respond to a community outbreak,” said Heidi Dragoo, an Epidemiologist at Mesa County Public Health.

Right now, the Health Department is interested in testing anyone who has respiratory symptoms and fits into a risk group.

“Our focus is to really make testing available to people who are at the greatest risk of becoming really sick or also in settings were COVID-19 has the ability to spread quickly,” said Dragoo.

Over 800 people have been tested in Mesa County and this week numbers have leveled off.

President Trump recently announced guidelines for governors, and now Mesa County is looking at options.

“We’re pulling together all that information to develop our own Mesa County plan that we assume will go in phases, just like what we’ve seen,” said Dr. Kuhr.

Despite the good news, the Health Department continues to encourage community members to wash your hands, practice social distancing and wear your masks.

Here is a full list of the risk groups that the Health Department is considering for testing:

-Adults who are 65 years or older
-Children and teens who are less than 19 years old
-Anyone who lives in a nursing home
-Frontline healthcare workers
-First responders
-Anyone with an underlying medical condition
-People who have been in close contact with a known COVID-19 case
-Anyone who is currently homeless
-Anybody who works with at-risk populations
-Anyone who works at a business that is still open

If you’d like to be screened to be tested, you can either contact your primary healthcare provider or call the Mesa County Public Health COVID-19 hotline at (970) 683-2300.

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