COVID-19 infections continue to rise locally as Mesa County Public Health reported Saturday that the two-week infection rate was closing in on 550.
Sixty-six new cases were announced Saturday after 97 new cases that were reported Friday. In the past four days, 192 new cases have been logged, bumping the one-week positivity rate to 4.5%, according to data from Mesa County Public Health.
There have now been 14,681 positive cases recorded since the beginning of the pandemic and 161 deaths. Hospitalizations did dip slightly, down to 19 as of Saturday’s count.
Coinciding with the rise in cases this week was the announcement from the county health department that a new variant, first discovered in India, had been identified in Mesa County. Five women who were not known to each other were found to be infected with the new variant.
Meanwhile, vaccination rates have slowed in the county. For the week ending May 1, only 532
new first doses were administered, the lowest one-week total this year.
The county announced in a news release last week that about 36% of eligible residents are now fully vaccinated, having received either both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
A mobile vaccine clinic arrived in Grand Junction last week to help improve access to rural areas. The vaccine bus is still in the county with stops in De Beque, Collbran, Gateway and Clifton on the schedule for next week. The vaccine is free and no photo ID is required. Appointments are encouraged, but not required and can be done online at mobilevax.us.
Vaccines are also still available at the community vaccination site in the Grand Junction Convention Center, 159 Main St.
On May 19, the site will relocate to the Public Health building at 510 29½ Road. Sign up at health.mesacounty.us/covid19/vaccine/ or by calling 970-248-6900. Spanish-language speakers can call 970-255-3700.