What a slight spike in COVID-19 means for Mesa County’s reopening plan

Local News

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — With COVID-19 cases on the rise in surrounding states and on a steady rise here in Mesa County, local health officials are concerned.

Mesa County Public Health assures residents that despite the rise, the county is still doing a good job controlling the virus — but that doesn’t mean residents should let their guard down.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke said at a coronavirus task force briefing Friday, that the U.S. “surmounted 40,000 new cases in a single day”. That is the highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases the U.S. has seen since the pandemic began.

Locally, Mesa County has seen a spike too. “We’ve had a few days where we’ve had some pretty high numbers”, Jeff Kuhr with Mesa County Public Health says.

Those higher count days haven’t surpassed 6 new cases in a day, and cases are averaging one to two cases a day.

Kuhr says, “it’s not bad, it’s not out of control”, but the subtle spike is clear compared to our nearly two-week absence of cases in May.

“I don’t think people should think we are beyond this thing cause we are seeing that we’re not.” -Jeff Kuhr, Mesa County Public Health

To make sure the virus doesn’t get out of control in Mesa County, Kuhr urges residents to be cautious, and do their part to keep the community open.

“Ya know, if we surpass 150 cases in two weeks, which could happen if we have a big outbreak, the state will come in and move us back a step… and we don’t want that to happen.” – Jeff Kuhr, Mesa County Public Health

With increased cases nation wide, many counties are deciding to roll back opening procedures. In Mesa County, we are still on target with opening phases, but the opening practice wont be as fast, as county officials once thought, due to the subtle spike in cases.

Colorado’s phase three of reopening is supposed to roll out next week. It’s called “Protect our Neighbors“, and it will have multiple tiers.

Mesa County qualifies for the highest tier, or the most open in that phase.

Prior to Mesa County’s rise in cases, county officials intended on filing for another variance, allowing the county to open up more than the highest tier of the new phase allows.

But, for now Kuhr says, “i’m not sure its necessary for us to write another variance.”

KREX 5 will keep you updates on what phase three means for Mesa County as health officials release that information.

For more information about COVID-19 in Mesa County, click here.

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