Calling All Readers: COVID-19 questions |

Calling All Readers: COVID-19 questions

Moderna COVID-19 vials seen inside the storage container at Moffat County Public Health, located on Pershing Street.
Craig Press file

When the Craig Press ran the story about the county gaining COVID-19 cases faster than anywhere in the country, readers had questions.

The Craig Press likes to answer questions. Here are several of the questions we received with the best information we could gather to answer them.

How many children or students are severely ill related to increases in cases in the schools?

According to Memorial Regional Health, that number is difficult to nail down, given the vagueness of “severely ill.” However, Jennifer Riley, spokesperson for the hospital, said that fewer than a dozen children under age 19 have been in the Emergency Department for COVID-19 or related symptoms.

That said, Riley did say a child under 12 has been transfered to another facility with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

“That child’s illness was serious,” Riley said.

In terms of capacity, what is the current capacity of the COVID unit and what is the current number of hospitalized patients right now?

Obviously the answer to the second question can change every day. But the first answer, the capacity at the COVID unit, is nine patients.

“Currently, we have four (patients),” Riley said Thursday morning. “Three in their 50s and one in their 60s.’

The COVID unit has been full as recently as last week, according to hospital representatives.

Is there any data on patients who are coming in that live in the same home?

Riley reported that data isn’t kept by the hospital.

Is there data on positivity rates among vaccinated vs. unvaccinated people?

Riley said the hospital doesn’t have an easy way of tracking this data point.

“I only access vaccines administered at MRH,” she said. “So, even though I don’t have a record of someone being vaccinated, it doesn’t mean they are not — they could have gotten a vaccine at Walmart, Walgreens, City market, Public Health, etcetera.”

Vaccine breakthroughs are real and not entirely uncommon, as with any vaccine. They are relatively rare, but they are numerous anecdotal examples in Moffat County.

The CDPHE reports that unvaccinated people are 3.5 times more likely to become infected with COVID-19, 8 times more likely to be hospitalized with the virus, and 5.9 times more likely to die of the virus.

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