COVID-19 continues to impact life in county

by Bill Boyle

San Juan Record Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to impact life in San Juan County. Students and faculty in six of the 12 public schools in San Juan County are attending school under a mask mandate.

The numbers continue to grow of local residents infected with COVID-19 virus. As of August 31, San Juan Public Health reports there are 83 active cases of the virus. The active case count nearly tripled in the month of August. On August 3, just four weeks earlier, there were 28 active cases.

The new numbers include 33 active cases in the Blanding area, 21 cases in the Montezuma Creek area, 13 cases in the Monticello area, and eight cases in the Monument Valley/Navajo Mountain area.

Despite the increased protection for those who have been vaccinated against the virus, the number of breakthrough cases is also beginning to grow. These are patients who contract the virus despite having a vaccine.

Of the 675 cases of COVID-19 in San Juan County in 2021, 96 percent are among patients who were not vaccinated. That figure has dropped in recent months, with 79 percent of cases among unvaccinated patients in July (23 of 31 active cases) and 83 percent of cases among unvaccinated patients in August (63 of 79 active cases).

There have been 29 breakthrough cases of the virus in San Juan County of the 2,110 total cases. San Juan Public Health reports that of the 29 breakthrough cases, 27 received a Pfizer vaccine, two received the Moderna vaccine, and zero received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Despite the increase in active cases, the number of hospitalizations and deaths has not changed as dramatically. The most recent reported death of a county resident due to COVID passed away in March 2021.

An additional fatality with COVID was reported in the past week, but no details have been released. It was a death from 2020 that was recently reclassified as COVID-related.

The week earlier, the December 2020 death of a woman in her 60s from the Montezuma Creek area was also reclassified as COVID-related.

The number of county residents who have been vaccinated continues to rise. San Juan Public Health reports that 6,136 county residents are fully vaccinated. This represents 41 percent of the population. The number has increased by 856 residents since June 1 and 303 residents in the month of August.

In addition, a total of 9,167 residents have been vaccinated but are not fully vaccinated.

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