(June 21, 2020) – San Miguel County, CO --- Public County Health Officials announced seven new COVID-19 cases today from tests that were performed on June 18 and 19. Four of these cases are related to two of the five cases announced earlier in the week. Individuals have been notified by Public Health and are in isolation, and contact tracing is in progress. Additional tests from June 18 and 19 are pending and will be announced as results come in. Since Friday, 120 test results have been received and the State Health Department has been contacting negative results to assist with the influx.

The positive individuals include a 16 year-old male, three 19 year-old males, a 37 year-old male, a 37 year-old female and a 46 year-old female. The three 19-year old males were traveling through San Miguel County on a road trip. They felt sick and got tested at the Telluride Medical Center, which was the responsible thing to do. After getting tested, the three friends maintained isolation. All cases are considered active, however no individuals have required advanced care or hospitalization. These additional cases bring the total county cases to 34, with 12 active cases and 22 recovered. 

Individuals who have been exposed to a known positive must quarantine for 14 days to protect the community, and get tested if symptoms are present. Due to low viral shedding (when a virus replicates inside the body and is released into the environment), it is optimal to test seven days after exposure, with the possibility of inaccurate results if tested sooner. Individuals who received negative test results should continue to quarantine 14 days from exposure, as PCR tests have a 20-30 percent false negative rate. 

“It is crucial that all individuals who were exposed to a positive case behave as if they have the virus and quarantine for 14 days to keep our community healthy,” said County Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Grundy. “Testing is most important for those who have developed symptoms, and they should contact the Medical Center for an evaluation. People who have been exposed and are asymptomatic should allow seven days post-exposure before considering testing.”

With an uptick in cases over the past week, Public Health urges the community not to lose focus on prioritizing best practices by wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding large groups, washing hands frequently, and staying home and getting tested when sick. 

“For the health of our community, we must be vigilant about following safety protocols,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “The recent cases reported over the past week should remind us that the virus is still present, and that we must take necessary steps to reduce the spread.” 

At this time, tightening measures is not necessary as additional metrics used in determining risk remain strong:

  • Ample testing is available at the county medical centers, which was bolstered by Telluride Regional Medical Center’s tremendous expansion of testing offered in response to recent cases. 
  • Contact tracing is being handled in a quick, effective manner by the Public Health team. 
  • Hospital capacity in the region is adequate and ICU beds are available.

“Due to our current metrics, there is no need to tighten measures at this point,” said Franklin, “but compliance is critical, as we do not want to take a step back as we begin to reopen the economy.” 

For up to date coronavirus information visit: https://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/coronavirus

Posted by Steve Cieciuch (Chet-chu) on


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