Active San Juan County COVID-19 cases continue to decrease

As the one year anniversary nears for the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic to San Juan County, the number of COVID cases continues to drop.

The most recent report from San Juan Public Health states there were 36 active cases in the county.  That marks a precipitous drop in recent weeks.  Less than one month ago, there were 296 active cases in the county.

The drop is attributed to a number of possible factors, including the widespread availability of vaccines for county residents, increased social distancing and mask wearing, and the “herd immunity” that could develop as a larger portion of the population develops immunity due to prior exposure or the vaccine.

Public health agencies are cooperating in the distribution of the vaccine throughout the county.  Utah Navajo Health System (UNHS), San Juan Public Health, and the San Juan Health District have coordinated efforts and held clinics in communities across the sprawling county.

UNHS has four drive-thru clinics planned. They will probably be the last mass drive-thru days as they’ve noticed lines getting shorter each week.

UNHS will host clinics on Thursday, February 25 at Montezuma Creek; Friday, February 26 in Monument Valley; Saturday, February 27 in Montezuma Creek; and Monday, March 1 at the Blanding City Park. The weekday clinics will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. with the Saturday clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The drive-thru vaccine clinic will be open to any adult in or out of the UNHS service area or state, as well as those aged 16 and 17 who have an adult present to give permission to receive the vaccine.

UNHS will likely move to appointment-based vaccinations at clinics after the upcoming clinics are held, meaning UNHS patients can schedule to receive their shot at their convenience. Additional remote mobile clinics may be held.

The effort has resulted in nearly one-third of the population receiving at least the first of the two-dose vaccine.

In fact, San Juan County has by far the highest vaccination rate in the State of Utah, with rates twice as high as in many other public health districts.

The 36 active cases in San Juan County include ten in the Monticello area and eight each in the Blanding and Monument Valley areas.

Many areas of the county have just about eliminated the number of active cases. The Mexican Hat, Bluff, Montezuma Creek, and northern county areas (including La Sal and Spanish Valley) have just ten active cases between them.

Public health officials are pleased at the developments, including the drop in active cases and the high vaccination rates.

They remind residents to exercise caution and continue to be socially distant and wear masks when it is appropriate.

San Juan Record

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