COVID-19 cases grow in some areas of county
A man in his 90s from the Montezuma Creek/Aneth area recently passed away, marking the 32nd victim of the COVID-19 virus in San Juan County.
The mostly recent figures from San Juan Public Health show 1,062 total cases in San Juan County since March, representing 49 new cases in one week and making up about seven percent of the county population.
At the current time, there are 180 active cases in San Juan County, which is an increase of 24 active cases over a one-week period.
The number of active cases continues to grow in several areas, including increasing from 57 to 72 in the Montezuma Creek / Aneth area. From 26 to 37 in the Monument Valley / Navajo Mountain area. Bluff has 11 active cases.
Cases rates remained the same in the Blanding area at 41. Monticello saw a decrease of two moving from 17 to 15 active cases.
One-hundred-twelve local residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 symptoms throughout the pandemic. The local hospitalization rate of 11.1 percent far exceeds the state and national hospitalization rates.
The numbers of COVID-19 cases are growing even as it appears as if a vaccine may be available soon.
Several drug companies are seeking approval to distribute the vaccines. They are likely to be distributed first to front-line and at-risk residents, with some people possibly receiving the vaccine as early as December. Once a vaccine is approved, it may take months before it is available to the entire population.
With the continued spread of the virus, local public health and government officials ask residents to exercise caution during holiday gatherings.
Initially, state guidelines restricted holiday gatherings to groups of ten people or less.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert recently extended a series of emergency orders through December 8, while eliminating the earlier restrictions regarding holiday gathering of more than ten people.