MINERAL COUNTY — Silver Thread Public Health Director Tara Hardy provided a COVID-19 update to Mineral County Commissioners on Monday, Oct. 4. She also answered questions from the board or the public about the vaccine mandate.
Commissioners welcomed Hardy and jumped into the discussion about COVID numbers in the County.
“Colorado is trending downward in COVID, however, there are pockets of places in Colorado that aren’t, and the San Luis Valley is one. Without reporting Alamosa’s numbers, as of this morning, Monday, Oct. 2 we are sitting at 172 active cases. Again, though that is without reporting Alamosa’s numbers because we haven’t received them yet this morning. Last week, it was well over 200 and that was the first time in quite a while that the Valley has been up that high,” Hardy said.
Hardy said that Mineral County was sitting at nine active cases as of Monday morning, Oct. 4 and that the local public health is completing a lot of testing in recent weeks.
“Last month Hinsdale was up in numbers and Mineral was down and now it is opposite with Mineral up and Hinsdale down with testing,” Hardy said.
Hardy said that the department is still doing COVID vaccinations and that they received their flu vaccinations for the coming season.
“We did publicize that the third dose booster for immune-compromised individuals are in, and we did those," Hardy said. "The difference between the third doses and the booster shots is that third doses are for immune-compromised individuals and the boosters are for anyone who received Pfizer vaccine. Since the beginning of our clinics, we had mostly Moderna, so we are not doing a lot of booster shots. The few that trickle in that got the Pfizer vaccine elsewhere, we do capture those.”
Hardy said that the child vaccines will be available for 5-to-11-year-olds in the coming weeks, possibly by November and more information about those vaccination clinics would be announced soon.
“The Monoclonal antibody treatment is available in the Valley which is if you get COVID and you qualify you can receive the treatment, but it is in short supply. Durango and Pagosa Springs are the closest places people can go to get those treatments outside of the Valley if they qualify," Hardy said.
Mineral County Attorney Randy Nicholson, on behalf of EMT member Don Dustin, asked whether or not Hardy had heard anything about the vaccination mandate affecting people who worked for ambulance services since 50% to 60% of ambulance runs are paid by Medicare or Medicaid.
Hardy said that the information being provided is still unclear as to how and who would fall under the vaccination mandate and that until more information was released, there would be no beneficial recommendations to be made other than talking to private attorneys.
Like other public health districts around the country, Silver Thread Public Health is continuing to await more direction from OSHA regarding how the vaccine mandate will be handled. More information will be released as it becomes available.