GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Delta County leads the Western Slope in the number of residents with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and yet cases are still rising.

Two years after COVID-19 first hit Colorado, health care hero’s remain on the front lines, “We’re tired, I think all health care workers are tired at this point,” Jacque Davis, Delta Health Hospital says.

Like the majority of hospitals, especially on the Western Slope, Delta County hospital is struggling with staffing shortages, but that hasn’t stopped its dedicated workers from providing care, “We’ve been from very early on, doing our very best at providing treatment, offering therapeutics like monoclonal antibodies and doing the vaccine distribution to our communities,” Davis says.

But there are challenges, like Delta County’s COVID positivity rate, “We’re only sitting at 18% and to say only 18% sounds ludicrous, that being said between Tuesday (1/25) and Wednesday (1/26) we had 100 new cases,” Darnell Place-Wise, Delta County says.

And of all those new cases, “The majority of those patients are unvaccinated,” Davis says.

Delta County reports 61% of Delta residents received at least one dose of the vaccine, in Mesa County that number drops to 55%.

Delta County is determined to quash popular misconceptions and show vaccines work, “People feel like why do I need to get the vaccine if I am going to get COVID-19 anyway,” Place-Wise says, “Nobody ever said if you got the COVID-19 vaccine that you would absolutely not get it, the purpose of the vaccine is to lessen the severity, to keep you from being hospitalized and worst-case scenario, passing from COVID-19 and that’s the purpose of the vaccine.”

Monoclonal antibody treatment was another defense against COVID-19, until now the FDA, just pulled its authorization for the treatment saying it’s not effective against the Omicron variant.