COVID-19 claims 31st victim in San Juan County
A man in his 80s from the Monticello area recently passed away, marking the 31st victim of the COVID-19 virus in San Juan County.
The pandemic first arrived in San Juan County eight months ago, in March, 2020.
Since that time, more than 1,000 San Juan County residents have tested positive for the virus, representing nearly seven percent of the total population.
Of the total, 110 local residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 symptoms. The local hospitalization rate of 11.1 percent far exceeds the state and national hospitalization rates.
In addition, it is assumed that there are a number of local residents who have had the virus, but who were not tested and are not counted in the totals.
The virus seems to be spreading widely, with the number of active cases increasing throughout the county, region, and state.
The numbers 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.
The mostly recent figures from San Juan Public Health show 1,013 total cases in San Juan County since March, representing 69 new cases in one week.
At the current time, there are 156 active cases in San Juan County, which is an increase of 26 active cases over a one-week period.
The number of active cases continues to grow in several areas, including increasing from 37 to 41 in the Blanding area, and from 49 to 57 in the Montezuma Creek / Aneth area.
The number of active cases doubled in the Monument Valley / Navajo Mountain area, from 13 to 26.
After being a hot spot for the virus in October, the number of active cases in the Monticello area has stayed steady, with 17 active cases both this week and in the past week. The number of cases in Monticello peaked at 57 in late October.