There have been 650 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the past week in the San Luis Valley. Our positivity rate is now above 22%. Transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is higher in our community right now than it has been at any previous point since the pandemic began.
San Luis Valley data for December 2021 showed twice as many cases among unvaccinated people compared to vaccinated people. Those who are fully vaccinated are 8.5 times less likely to be hospitalized than unvaccinated people, per current state data. The effectiveness of the vaccines gradually wanes over time, and boosters bring antibody protection backup to a higher level. Boosters are recommended for those aged 12 and up.
Some have wondered how Omicron compares to Delta in the Valley. During the months of September, October, and November 2021, when Delta was at its peak in the Valley, we averaged 203 new cases and 19 hospital admissions with COVID-19 weekly.
In contrast, with Omicron we are averaging 500 new cases and 16 hospital admissions weekly with COVID-19 so far in January. Decreased levels of severe illness are due to the lower virulence of the Omicron variant as well as the increased number of people immunized due to vaccines and/or previous infection.
Free COVID-19 testing is now available on Tuesdays, 3:00-6:00pm at Blanca Fort Garland Community Center. Other mobile testing sites continue to be available around the San Luis Valley. See www.slvphp.com or call 719-480-8719 for more information.
Mobile vaccine bus clinics offer both flu and COVID-19 vaccines to anyone age 5 and up. Upcoming mobile vaccine clinics are scheduled as follows:
Wed, 1/26, 10am-6pm at Tierra del Nueva apartment complex in Center
Thurs, 1/28, 8am-5pm at Heart of Saguache/Lazy KV, 210 5th St in Saguache
Sat-Sun, Jan 29-30, 9am-5pm at ASU Nielsen Library in Alamosa
Tues, 2/1, 9am-6pm at the City of Alamosa Public Library
Wed, February 2nd, 10am-6pm at Friday Health Plans, 700 Main St in Alamosa
Friday February 4th, 10am-6pm at Simple Foods in Del Norte