Health officials in Larimer County held a virtual meeting on Friday to update the community on the latest developments in the county regarding Covid-19. The county was recently placed in the medium-risk category due to an increased number of confirmed cases.
As of Tuesday, Larimer County had 254.8 new cases per 100,000 people, with 2 positive hospitalizations from Covid-19. The 7-day test positivity rate, which is another indicator of community prevalence, rose to 11.1% this week. The lowest number of reported cases per 100,000 population was recorded back in March, when the number dropped to 53.2.
During Friday’s meeting, Larimer County population epidemiologist Jared Olson said an estimated one in every 108 to 150 Colorado residents is currently infectious, stating, “You should know it’s time to step up your precautions a little.” Olson also commented that the current estimates are somewhat “unstable” because the testing landscape has changed as the potential of people testing positive at home and not sharing the information with health officials has increased.
Health officials have used model estimates along with county sewage tests showing viral loads similar to elevated rates seen during the delta wave of the pandemic.
Health officials said the wider availability of treatments for COVID-19, such as Paxlovid, remdesivir and other drugs that can reduce the risk of serious infection when given immediately after symptoms start, means there is less risk even if people test positive for the virus, but only if they act quickly after they start showing symptoms.
Larimer County Medical Director Dr. Paul Mayer, during the meeting, noted that residents do not need a positive PCR test to receive Covid-19 treatments like Paxlovid, which can reduce the risk of hospitalizations by nearly 90 percent. Mayer said if you test positive at home with classic symptoms, see your GP to arrange therapeutic treatments. Mayer also mentioned those at increased risk of severe Covid-19, estimated at around 75% of the population, including obesity, over 65s, physical inactivity, and even those who have ADHD and depression are included in this category.
Mayer commented on the importance of vaccination: “There is a lot of protection with your four shots,” but that the protection is not complete: “Vaccinations are not perfect, people can still get pretty sick, so we really want about these therapeutics.” to speak.”
Tom Gonzales, director of public health for Larimer County, said everyone in the county should have a plan in place that prioritizes storing test kits, talking to their primary care physicians, and being ready to seek treatment once symptoms arise Significance is serious illnesses and hospital stays.
Health officials confirmed that with the combination of vaccinations and previous infections, the virus changes less severely and looks very different than the deadly delta wave.