COVID-19 Finally Comes For Mesa County

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis.

As the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports:

Another two COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized in Mesa County for a total of 36 county residents…

Positive COVID-19 tests jumped another 183 cases, according to the county health department. In the past two weeks alone, Mesa County has recorded 1,594 positive cases. That figure accounts for more than half of the county’s total positive case count since the pandemic began, 3,097.

Mesa County’s two-week positivity rate, a key indicator health officials use for tracking the prevalence in an area, was recorded at 10.28%.

This weekend, new restrictions went into effect in Mesa County as officials struggle with the surge of cases and a long, dark winter has not yet even begun:

As COVID-19 cases surge, the Mesa County Board of Public Health has approved a new Public Health Order to exert all efforts to keep businesses operating, students in classrooms, and avoid closures. Indoor events, outdoor events, and public gatherings are not allowed, and restaurants and bars that serve food may not offer live music or other live performances.

“We urge residents not to ignore our responsibility as individuals and as a community to keep our families, friends, and employees healthy and our economy running,” said Scott McInnis, Chairman of the Board of Mesa County Commissioners.

The new orders this weekend significantly increase restrictions over two weeks ago, when public gatherings were subject to capacity limits instead of being completely banned.

As readers know, the current surge in positive COVID-19 cases in Mesa County comes after the area’s Republican political leadership spent the spring and summer resisting public health measures to combat the spread of the virus. Mesa County was specifically cited by Colorado Senate Republican leaders in their angry letter to Gov. Jared Polis back in March as an example of “overreach.”

Is Mesa County the only place in Colorado with elected leaders who should be eating their words about COVID-19 today? Of course not. The politicization of what should never have been a political issue has resulted in elected leaders from the President on down making decisions completely at odds with their responsibility to protect the public. In turn, the public treats the pandemic seriously based on their own political affiliation instead of what’s needed to remain safe. The political divide over responding to the pandemic has severely compromised the effectiveness of prevention efforts, in addition to forcing well-intentioned leaders like Gov. Polis to make unscientific concessions–and even hesitate to act in the pandemic’s successive waves.

From the White House to the Colorado Senate to the Mesa County Board of Commissioners, the emerging hard reality is that we could have beat this pandemic if it hadn’t become a political football in the spring. We could have controlled the spread before it became uncontrollable, and shortened the pain of restrictions that must now go on indefinitely until a vaccine becomes available.

But we did not, and now the price will be paid without political distinction.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Duke Cox says:

    Many readers will recall the manipulation of the numbers was noticed at about the same time by your humble servant and a couple of local reporters.

    Very early on, as my Cat and I watched local Grand Junction TV, the COVID-19 numbers got screwy. All the less populated counties around Mesa county reported bigger, ever increasing numbers, while Mesa Counties' numbers barely moved. Knowing our commissioners, as I do, we smelled a rat.

    It turns out, so did a local reporter, I forget who. Once exposed, they seemed to begin to face reality. Now they simply cannot ignore the damage done by their subterfuge.

    • gertie97 says:

      Interestingly, the lord high commissioners issued a press release Friday ''encouraging'' residents to wear masks. It was their first acknowledgement of reality.

      I thought it was newsworthy. This far, none of what passes for news media in Grand Junction has reported it.

      And the beat goes on…

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    Musings on Disease

  3. Genghis says:

    It's all on local government at this point. Gov. Polis went full lolbertarian at his Friday presser. Stay-home orders are a "blunt tool," we're better able to treat patients now, we know more than we did before, people should exercise personal responsibility, etc. A principal tenet of the lolbertarian religion is that people respond favorably to reasoned, well-presented arguments. Reality gives that tenet multiple Jean Claude van Damme 360-degree spin kicks to the crotch on a daily basis, yet it persists.

    Meanwhile, every state in the nation (except Vermont, last time I looked) are experiencing uncontrolled COVID-19 spread. Gonna get much, much worse before it gets any better at all.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      I read on Friday that 57 of the 64 Colorado counties were exceeding guidelines and should be at least at the next higher level of shutdown. 

      No enforcement efforts by Polis & co.  No specific list of the counties which are ignoring the "guidance."

      But good news … there are additional facilities:

      St. Mary Corwin has 25 beds that could scale up to 240; St. Anthony North has 25 beds that could scale up to 78 and the Convention Center would open with 80 beds but could expand to 2,000 in a month. They would be non-ICU beds, designed for patients who do not have Covid-19, so the hospitals could convert their non-ICU beds to handle ICU capabilities.

  4. The realist says:

    An interesting thread on Twitter that relates directly to the impact of partisan politicization on the spread of this dangerous, highly-contagious disease.

    Be sure to click on “Show this thread” when you scroll down.

  5. bullshit! says:

    Holy shit people! Scott McInnis is standing right in front of prepositioned Antifa projectiles!

  6. Mr. L. Prosser says:

    Mesa County Public Health and the local CofC began promoting "5 Star" rated businesses which went above and beyond the minimum precautions to provide safety for their customers. These businesses were allowed to remain open with some leeway in customer numbers, etc.  As of now MCPH is still giving them some slack but I imagine that will change thanks to covidiots and their enablers.

  7. spaceman65 says:

    Human hubris is no match for a virus that doesn't care about your economy, your politics, or, at bottom, your species (other than as wonderful host for viral replication and transmission).  

  8. The realist says:

    Pueblo County's numbers may be even worse. If Polis isn't careful his response to COVID will start looking as "effective" as Trump's. 

  9. ParkHill says:

    I've had reason to visit Grand Junction several times over the past 6 months. 

    Over that time front range residents moved from minimal to mostly to pretty much universal masking – indoors at least. In GJC there has been particular resistance to masking since day 1.

    This is deep Trump country. I'm aware that a lot of GJC nurses with Christian and MAGA views bought into the anti-masking cos-play. I heard that many patients were falsely responding to the COVID pre-screening questions, thereby bringing the virus into some health organizations. Apparently parents wanted their kids in Fall sports so they also lied about exposure to COVID,

    • gertie97 says:

      Of course they lie. Their freedumb is at stake.

      We’ve given up going inside any business that doesn’t rigorously enforce the mask mandate. That eliminates most, but not all, business establishments in Grand Junction. We support our local restaurants with take-out.

      The last time I was in Walmart was to pick up a prescription for my husband, who was on a business deadline. At least one-third of the shoppers took their masks off as soon as they walked beyond sight of the door. I had to ask people to please back off in the pharmacy line.

      I saw a manager on my way out and laid into him. He said there was nothing he could do because there was no law enforcement support if he reported trespassers. Wally World has seen the last of me.



      • The realist says:

        Awful. The Walmart in a certain far-right-wing south central Colorado community is doing a little better than what you describe. Many weeks ago you were lucky if you saw 10% of shoppers wearing masks. It has gradually gotten better – it's probably closer to 85-90% now. I'm guessing store management is responsible for the improvement but I've seen shoppers challenge store employees and/or security at the door, refusing to wear a mask. The largest problem now are the strange beings who insist on hanging their noses outside their masks. 

    • kwtree says:

      A certain Jeffco high school football player had been exposed to COVID, knew he was exposed, but didn’t want to be benched or quarantined. So he exposed his entire team, his elderly coach, all his teachers and classmates, necessitating a quarantine of over 100 people, and spreading 20+ cases of COVID ( that we know of).  

      He is a kid, but his parents certainly knew better.

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