Pueblo County officials reported in a press release Wednesday am, April 1, 2020, that COVID-19 positives has now spread among multiple age groups. Health officials strongly urge community members from children to the elderly to strictly adhere by the Stay-at-Home orders and social distancing mandates as more confirmed COVID-19 positive cases are being reported in Pueblo County.
As of March 31, there were 21 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases among Pueblo County residents, with individuals ranging in age from 19 to 82, indicating the virus is affecting multiple age groups locally.
“This is why it is so important to stay at home, practice social distancing and isolate yourself if you are sick,” explained Randy Evetts, public health director at Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
Evetts added, “the number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases locally have increased significantly in the past week from three to 21. This is a result of testing completed approximately a week ago. We also know that those tested are typically those who are the most ill. There are likely many others in our community who are experiencing mild symptoms but who are still contagious. Social distancing is critical.”
Of the 21 positive cases in Pueblo County, nearly half (10) are age 70-and-older and the two deaths reported in the county were of an 81-year-old woman and an 80-year-old male. People age 60 and older and people with severe chronic medical conditions – like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The next highest number of confirmed positive cases in Pueblo County is among individuals under the age of 40. Currently, 33 percent of the confirmed positive cases fall within that age group with four people in their 30s, two in their 20s and one aged 19.
Across the state and the nation, public health is seeing younger, healthier people with no underlying health conditions, hospitalized due to COVID-19.“We can’t stress enough that this virus can affect anybody, regardless of age or health status,” said Evetts.The four other confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Pueblo County are of two individuals in their 40s and two in their 50s. At this time, there have been no reported positive cases of residents in their 60s or of anyone under the age of 19.
“These are everyday people like you and me and they go to everyday places like you and me,” said Evetts. “That’s why it is so important we all do our part and stay at home and if you must go out practice social distancing, wash your hands often and protect yourself.”
While the elderly and chronically ill are considered at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms due to COVID-19, most people who get the novel coronavirus have mild to moderate symptoms.
Public health officials remind individuals to remain vigilant in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Currently there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 so the best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Everybody has a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable in Pueblo by:
Minimize social activities and being physically close to other people
Isolate yourself if you feel symptoms of shortness of breath, cough, temperature of 100.4 or higher call your medical provider before visiting them.
Do not go to the emergency room unless medically necessary.
Wash your hands with soap regularly.
Cough or sneeze into elbow or tissue.Stay home when you’re sick.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.Avoid close contact with sick people.
Clean surfaces frequently touched.
For information on COVID-19:www.puebloemergency.infoPueblo’s COVID-19 Hotline 719-583-4444