Headlines December 31, 2020
State Revises Vaccination Plan
Colorado is revising its vaccination plan to accelerate giving shots to more people over 70.
In a press conference Wednesday, Governor Jared Polis explained that expanding early vaccination of older Coloradoans should have a big impact on the COVID death rate and lower hospitalizations.
In addition to increased early vaccination of people in their 70s, the state is also prioritizing more health care staff, teachers, grocery store employees, and other essential workers. These folks are now part of what the state calls “Phase 1B” of the vaccination program. Phase 1A included health care workers who have direct contact with COVID patients as well as high-risk individuals.
It’s not clear when all these people in Phase 1B will be vaccinated.
Boulder County Develops Its Vaccination Plan
There were 99 new cases and 2 deaths reported in Boulder County on Wednesday.
The Daily Camera reports that Boulder County Public Health said that there will be more information about the county’s vaccination plan next week. They will have to take into consideration that there are an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people in Boulder County 70 years old or older.
The county’s five hospitals are nearly finished distributing the phase 1 vaccine doses to high-risk staff members.
In the discussion of opening up schools full time, the county will take into consideration that data shows there’s little risk of students 10 and under transmitting the virus to adults, but those same children are at high risk of decreased learning while learning remotely. For secondary students the risk is higher of transmitting the virus, the health department continues to recommend a hybrid of online and in-person classes to reduce class sizes and allow for more social distancing.
Residents can follow the health department for updates by signing up for news releases at Bouldercounty.org.
Colorado Relaxes Some COVID-19 Restrictions
The state also announced relaxed rules for some counties that were at Red level restrictions. In a social media post on Wednesday, Governor Polis said he asked the Colorado Dept of Public Health and the Environment to move counties that are in the Red zone back into the Orange zone starting next Monday. Polis cited the decline in COVID cases over the past two weeks. Orange level restrictions include allowing gatherings of up to ten people from two different households and in-person dining at restaurants up to 25% capacity.
But Polis emphasized that the looser restrictions do not go into effect until after the New Year’s holiday and he again encouraged people to stay home tonight.
State Lawmakers Seek to Cap Price of Insulin
Colorado lawmakers will look at capping the price of insulin when the state legislature convenes next month. The Denver Post reports that a bill will be introduced allowing state residents to buy insulin at the price that the state pays for its employees. If approved, Colorado would be the first state in the nation to set a cap on the price of this critical medication.