COVID-19 metrics in Coconino County mostly continued to fall this week, according to the latest reports from Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS). Meanwhile, local monkeypox vaccine eligibility has changed, while the total number of cases remains the same.
Coconino County still has a reported total of four monkeypox cases as of Oct. 3. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) U.S. map, 26,385 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed across the country as of Thursday. A total of 478 cases have been reported in Arizona.
Last week, 25,613 monkeypox cases had been confirmed nationwide, with 478 in Arizona.
Monkeypox vaccine eligibility in Coconino County changed this week, according to CCHHS. Doses are still prioritized for those at higher risk of infection, though the requirements for these categories has changed.
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People at higher risk for monkeypox, according to CCHHS’s website, include those who have been exposed to someone diagnosed with the disease, who have had multiple sex partners or been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD, which includes acute HIV, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis) in the past year. Those who have had sex at a commercial sex venue or in association with “a large public event in a geographic area where monkeypox transmission is occurring” in the past six months are considered high risk as well.
Those who expect to experience any of these risks and those with sexual partners in a high-risk category are also considered high risk and eligible for the vaccine
Certain categories of healthcare workers are also eligible for the monkeypox vaccine based on their risk, specifically those in settings where daily exposure to the infection is anticipated. This category includes lab workers routinely working with monkeypox specimens and healthcare personnel in sexual health clinics or who primarily serve LGBTQIA+ communities.
“The vaccine is not recommended for the majority of healthcare workers at this time unless they have a known monkeypox exposure,” CCHHS’s website specified. “Only providers who work in settings where exposure to monkeypox infection is anticipated on a daily basis or have had high-risk exposure to an individual diagnosed with monkeypox are eligible for vaccination.”
Those who are in one of the high-risk categories for monkeypox or who are interested in receiving the vaccine can fill out CCHHS’s vaccine interest form (available in English and Spanish) or call 928-679-7300 for assistance.
More information about monkeypox symptoms and prevention can be found at coconino.az.gov/monkeypox. CCHHS advises anyone who believes they have monkeypox or its symptoms to call their healthcare provider or the CCHHS information line (928-679-7300).
COVID metrics were mixed, with most falling, in Coconino County the week ending Oct. 1, according to the latest dashboard data report. The county is still at a low community level, with a 4.2 per 100,000 rate of new COVID admissions and 5.6% of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID patients over the past week.
These community indicator metrics are higher than in last week’s report, however — for the week ending Sept. 24, the county had a 3.5 per 100,000 rate of new COVID admissions with 0.8% of staffed in-patient beds occupied by COVID patients.
The number of new cases continued to fall this week (to 95 or a rate of 66.6 per 100,000 from 111 or 77.7 per 100,000 the week before), as did the rate of positive tests. A total of 8.4% of the 1,071 tests conducted last week had positive results, compared to 9.6% of 1,209 tests last week.
Seven people have been hospitalized with COVID each of the past two weeks (10 the week before) and no COVID deaths have been reported in the county since the week ending Sept. 3. The incidence of visits with COVID-like illness (CLI) to county hospitals fell slightly this week as well (to 3.6% from 4.4% the week before).
Residents aged 25 to 44 and 45 to 64 had the highest case rates for the week (78 and 77 per 100,000, respectively) while those between the ages of 18 and 24 had the highest positivity at 12.2%.
More information about COVID in Coconino County is available at coconino.az.gov/2294/COVID-19-Information.