PUEBLO, Colo. — The COVID-19 strain that is believed to be more contagious and cause more severe infection has been detected in Pueblo County.
The Pueblo County Health Department announced nine cases found in the county, though the picture of how widespread the variant is, is likely incomplete.
The nine cases came from a testing window from May 25 to June 12, Pueblo County Public Health Director Randy Evetts said Monday. CDPHE reported the data from that window all at once on Monday.
The cases were detected from sequencing 13-14 percent of all positive COVID-19 tests from the county in that time, meaning there are likely more than just the nine cases at this time.
“If we start to see it rising rapidly, we would of course respond,” Evetts said.
Right now, Evetts says there are no additional public health restrictions that will be implemented. Still, the department has reached out to long-term care facilities to recommend additional levels of disease control.
The Delta variant is beginning to crowd out the other strains of COVID-19 in Colorado, according to Evetts takeaways from briefings from CDPHE. In those, he says, the Delta variant made up 20-percent of cases at the beginning of June, 40-percent a couple of weeks later, and 75-percent of cases last week.
“Anybody who is unvaccinated is at a higher risk,” said Dr. Christopher Urbina, the medical director for PCPH.
While Evetts and Urbina agree that vaccinations are the best way to control the Delta variant, the pandemic situation is relatively calm in Pueblo, as case incidence and hospitalized patients remain low.
“From our perspective, it’s great those numbers are low, but it makes it difficult to track the level of infection in the community,” Evetts says.
The Pueblo Mall continues to be the site where testing and vaccinations for the community are being offered.
Pueblo County Public Health says it’s too soon to see if the variant will cause any changes to be made to the Colorado State Fair, hosted in Pueblo.
The Health Department says they are also continuing to work closely with schools on ventilation to ensure a smooth return to school in the fall.