El Paso County sees ‘modest uptick’ in coronavirus cases after Labor Day; doctors prepare for possible fall surge

A staff member collects a sample for a COVID-19 test at a site in El Paso County.
A staff member collects a sample for a COVID-19 test at a site in El Paso County.(KKTV)
Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 8:11 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - As Colorado heads into fall and flu season, we can’t let up in the fight against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the El Paso County Health Department said Monday.

According to data from El Paso County Public Health, there are 6,714 recorded cases of COVID-19 in the county since the start of the pandemic months ago. The number of new infections had started to decline since August but began creeping upward after the Labor Day holiday. The county described that increase as a “modest uptick.”

“I think that it looks to be plateauing, and that’s very encouraging,” said Dr. Robin Johnson.

Johnson, medical director of El Paso County Public Health, says spikes will occur as more people socialize. She is hopeful that the recent uptick will stay at levels much lower than what the county recorded after the Fourth of July holiday.

“We are just kind of in the third week after that incubation [period],” said Dr. Johnson. “We still have some virus time to kind of monitor.”

The U.S. is inching closer to another grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic: 200,000 coronavirus deaths. Some health experts warn the pandemic is far from over. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told “Face The Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan to prepare for at least one more cycle with the coronavirus heading into fall and winter.

“If you look at what’s happening around the country right now, there’s an unmistakable spike in new infections," said Gottlieb.

The El Paso County Health Department says people in Colorado are learning to lean on preventative measures, like wearing masks and social distancing, and it’s working for now. Data from the state health department shows 482 new cases were reported Monday in Colorado. Other states are seeing thousands of new cases each day.

Johnson credits Colorado’s mask mandate for helping to keep the virus’s impact manageable. She says many factors, like good hygiene practices and avoiding large groups, all work together to stop COVID-19 from spreading in our community.

Copyright 2020 KKTV. All rights reserved.

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