PUEBLO COUNTY — New data from the Pueblo County Public Health Department show COVID-19 rates more than tripled in August 2021 compared to the same time last year. Additionally, the data shows Pueblo County’s COVID-19 rate nearly tripled in just one month, 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 of September 2020.
“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. “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.”
Public health investigations also determined summer celebrations, weddings, gatherings, schools, workplaces, and events contributed to the rising number of cases.
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.
In addition, local hospitals are reporting an increase in COVID patients. In August 2020 there were only 18 hospitalizations in Pueblo County, this year there were 107 in August. Many health leaders are urging more people to get vaccinated in order to prevent overwhelming local hospitals. As of Friday, September 17, nearly 60 percent of the eligible population has received at least one dose.
“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," said Evetts
Community COVID-19 Testing: Community COVID-19 testing is offered near the Pueblo Mall, open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To view testing options in the community, visit this website www.pueblohealth.org [pueblohealth.org].
Community Vaccination: The 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 found at www.pueblohealth.org/vaccines [pueblohealth.org] or calling 719-583-4444.