Mesa County Public Health this week will allow more flexibility to get a COVID-19 vaccine in an effort to test expanded hours at the county vaccination site.

The Grand Junction Convention Center is currently open for vaccines weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. but this week will have vaccines open late today as well as on Saturday, according to a press release from Mesa County Public Health. Today, vaccines will be available until 7 p.m. and on Saturday, the vaccine site will be open with 500 vaccine appointments available.

“The Wednesday and Saturday expanded appointments are being treated as a special event- MCPH is interested in seeing how many of the appointments get filled,” the release said. “If the expansion is popular and demand is high, MCPH will look into making evening and Saturday appointments more regularly available by the end of the month.”

On the vaccination front, Mesa County reported Tuesday that 72,080 doses have now been administered and nearly 26,000 residents have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

For the week ending April 10, the county reported administering 6,851 vaccines, the highest total in a month. Of those, nearly 4,000 were second doses. Vaccines are now available to all residents 16 and older.

At the same time, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Mesa County has climbed. The one-week positivity rate surpassed 2% for the first time in weeks, reaching 2.2%

Forty-three cases have been reported since Sunday In the past two weeks, 177 new cases have been reported. Seven are hospitalized in Mesa County.