EL PASO COUNTY — There is some encouraging news as El Paso County works to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic. "We're definitely in the decline,” said El Paso County Public Health, Epidemiologist, Fadi Youkhana. Hospitalizations are way down and for the first time since the early days of November there are a couple of days with no reports of COVID-19 related deaths.
The data for the last week of January shows relief for burdened El Paso County Hospitals. The daily 14 day average for admissions is down to six a day. The lowest admission days showed just three people going to the hospital.
Even more important, within the last seven days there were a couple of days with just three people going to the hospital.
Even more important, for the first time since November 3rd, for two of the last seven days there were no reports of COVID-19 related deaths in El Paso Count. The 14 day average is at two a day. Any deaths are considered too hight.
While the downward trends are positive, Youkhana warns to not lose sight of how fast numbers can spike up like they did in November and December. "We cannot let our guard down, just because the trends are going down. We should protect them."
Protecting the trend means sticking with prevention measures like wearing masks and social distancing. And now a new layer of protection is ramping up vaccinations.
The plan is immunizing as many people as quickly as possible. Initiating the expedited mass vaccination process comes with some issues. One of the early barriers has been with Coloradans over the age of 70 who are among the first to qualify for the vaccine. "A lot of seniors are really excited about it," said Melissa Marts with the Pikes Peak Area Agency on Aging. Some senior citizens are frustrated trying to figure out the system of wait lists and appointments.
In the past week most providers have added phone options. The challenge now is publicizing those numbers. Health providers, senior citizen advocacy grouprs, and calling 2-1-1 are all information resources for vaccine call line numbers. “What they will do is they will give our older adult community members or a family member the number so they can call." Marts says family members, friends or neighbors may want to check with neighbors who may think they are bothering others by asking for some assistance.
El Paso County Vaccine Providers can be found by clicking here.
For information about COVID-19 vaccinations in Pueblo County click here.
For Fremont County COVID-19 information click here.