STPHD pushes COVID clinic, education

MINERAL COUNTY — Silver Thread Public Health District Director Tara Hardy gave a brief COVID-19 update to Mineral County Commissioners during their mid-month meeting on April 20. Hardy stated that case numbers in the county were stable over the past two weeks and were there were zero active cases as of Tuesday’s meeting.

Last week, the State of Colorado shifted responsibility of COVID-19 response and restrictions to local public health departments allowing them to either continue to use or expunge the state’s COVID Dial that helped determine county status throughout the state based on metrics per positivity rate. Hardy stated that she was working with local event planners and organizations, providing best-practice suggestions for the coming summer and the larger events that are typical in the area.

“State Public Health Order 20-38 came out and it does have mandates for large events and indoor events,” Hardy stated. “It doesn’t really help us at this time with our event season because it expires in 30 days. I have been doing some pushes and working with our event planners just kind of giving them best practices as we go into the summer months. I just want to help them keep things safe, what are good practices to help stop any spread of any kind of disease, not just COVID.”

Hardy states that vaccination in the county is going well and that many eligible people have opted to vaccinate and that efforts would continue to increase those numbers. When asked whether the public health district was working with the school to vaccinate eligible students who were 17 and older, Hardy stated that there had not been any interest yet from parents or students, but that education will continue to try and gain interest.

“We are doing well in Mineral County as far as our vaccination numbers but will continue to make that push to get those number up,” Hardy stated. “We are sitting at about 50.6% of our eligible residents that have been fully immunized. We have more clinic happening this week and we will be switching to about every other week and may start consolidating more as we start to dwindle in our numbers as to not waste any doses.”

Hardy also expressed the need to continue best practices, including wearing masks and stated again that the state mask mandate had only been lessened, not removed.

“We need to continue to practice mask wearing in appropriate settings and follow best practices like social distancing,” she stated. “Cases in the state are rising, most of the cases we are seeing throughout the state are variant strains most of them being that B117 variant. Most of the vaccines that have been administered are responsive to that variant strain but there is one that is having more breakthroughs which is the Pfizer vaccine. Our goal is to keep vaccinating more people before it mutates further.”



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