Moffat County now up to 672 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 24 deaths |

Moffat County now up to 672 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 24 deaths

Moffat County has administered 7,396 cases and has 26 active cases in the community

Moffat County is currently seeing a downward trend in COVID-19 cases as the community has seen 34 new cases dating back to Tuesday, Dec. 29, according to Public Health.

In total, Moffat County has 672 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community, with 26 of those cases currently active.

Moffat County Coroner Jesse Arthurs confirmed that two more Moffat County residents – two men in their 70s – have died due to COVID-19. One death occurred last week, and one death occurred this week. Both individuals were transferred from Memorial Regional Health to other facilities due to the severity of their illnesses.

“When you take precautions to avoid contracting or transmitting this virus, you can save a life. That life could be your own, or someone who means a lot to you,” said Kari Ladrow, Moffat County’s Public Health Director.

Of the 24 deaths, 11 died at Sandrock Ridge Care and Rehab, while seven died at Memorial Regional Health. Four others died at outside hospitals.

Twenty-two of the 24 deaths were due to COVID, while the two other deaths were people who tested positive for COVID-19 at at the time of death.

“I would like to respond to the community’s speculations regarding the number of COVID-19 deaths that have been reported by Moffat County Public Health. To begin, all deaths in Moffat County are reported to the Moffat County Coroner’s Office. When our office has been notified by medical staff, whether at a hospital or assisted living center, that a patient has died of COVID-19, the coroner’s office confirms that the patient did in fact have a positive COVID-19 laboratory test. In some situations, when COVID is suspected but a test was not administered prior to death, a post-mortem COVID-19 test is conducted. In addition to the positive laboratory test, a patient’s symptoms are also taken into account in determining cause of death. This consideration is taken by physicians as well as the coroner’s office. One of the main duties of the coroner’s office is to ensure the accuracy of the information that is reported on a death certificate, meaning, The Moffat County Coroner’s Office ensures that any cause of death listed is backed by laboratory tests as well as the patient’s medical records,” Arthurs said in a statement.

“All of the COVID deaths that the Moffat County Coroner’s office has documented have been diligently researched and accurately reported. I would like the community to know that there must be strong epidemiological evidence of COVID-19 to be listed as the primary cause of death. In addition, it is also common practice for a physician or coroner to list other significant conditions such as heart disease, COPD, diabetes, hypertension etc. as “contributing factors” to the cause of death. A contributing factor is an ailment or illness that a person had been diagnosed with, but was not a direct link to the primary cause of death.

“In conclusion, after consulting with physicians, assessing medical records, clarifying positive COVID-19 test results and reviewing the death certificate for accuracy, the Moffat County Coroner’s Office can confirm that 24 patients have died due to COVID-19. The Coroner’s office can also confirm that 2 additional decedents tested positive for COVID-19, however their deaths were not classified as COVID- 19 because the patient was asymptomatic at time of death.

“This disease is real and we should not confuse COVID as another strain of the flu. While coronaviruses and influenza viruses both present themselves as respiratory illnesses, they are two different viruses.

“Many lives have been affected by COVID-19 and I would encourage all of you to do your part to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”

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