Coronavirus in Colorado – Latest News

As coronavirus spreads in Colorado, KGNU is committed to keeping you informed about the virus and connected to local resources.

Boulder County is currently at Level Yellow: Concern  

According to the CDPHE, 479,590 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Colorado with 6,157 deaths among cases (6,303 due to COVID-19)


De acuerdo al CDPHE, se han reportado 479,590 casos positivos de COVID-19 en Colorado con 6,157 muertes entre los casos (6,303 a causa de COVID-19)

*The CDPHE has changed the way it reports deaths from COVID-19. The state now includes a tally of total deaths among people who had COVID-19, but the disease was not listed as the cause of death on the death certificate. That is the higher number. The lower number reflects people who had COVID-19 listed as the cause of the death.

*El CDPHE ha cambiado la forma en que informa de las muertes por COVID-19. El estado ahora incluye un recuento de muertes totales entre las personas que tenían COVID-19, pero la enfermedad no figuraba como causa de la muerte en el certificado de defunción. Ese es un número mayor. El número menor refleja a personas que tenían COVID-19 como causa de la muerte.

Latest Colorado COVID-19 News:

April 12, 2021
State Enters Fourth Wave of Coronavirus

Colorado is now in its fourth wave of COVID-19 as more contagious variants of the disease have become the dominant form spreading across the state. Hospitalizations are at their highest level since mid-February and cases have risen sharply in recent weeks, though not among Coloradans 50 and older, who have mostly been vaccinated.

As of Sunday, 421 people were hospitalized with the virus and the seven-day moving average of the rate of positivity tests increased slightly to over 5.6%. It’s estimated that almost half of new cases in Colorado are among the strain of coronavirus first identified in the U.K., which is believed to be far more transmissible. Another 20% of cases are thought to be among the California variant, also believed to be more transmissible.

The Boulder County health department reported 55 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, but no new deaths. There were 20 people in the hospital in the county as of Friday due to COVID-19. And also on Friday, the University of Colorado Boulder reported seven positive tests.

In a statement Saturday, Governor Jared Polis said that more than 2 million people in the state have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Meanwhile, Centura Health said in a statement over the weekend that it will no longer offer the one-shot, Johnson and Johnson vaccine at three mass vaccination sites. The health provider said the decision to stop offering the one-shot vaccine was based on a national shortage and eleven adverse reactions that were reported last week at a vaccination site.

April 8, 2021
COVID-19 Cases Are on the Rise Again in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment reported increased hospitalization rates Wednesday, April 7th with 450 people currently hospitalized for the virus. That’s the highest number since mid-February. The increase comes despite more vaccinations and may be connected to more contagious variants as well as relaxed restrictions in some counties.

Boulder County reported 127 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday along with seven additional hospitalizations. There were no new deaths from the virus in the county. Coronavirus variants continue to spread among Boulder County residents. To date, county officials report 66 variant cases detected. Most of those cases are the B 117 variant. At a briefing Wednesday, a Boulder County Public Health representative said cases are again spiking among student-age residents 18-22 years old.

April 1, 2021
Boulder County Reports 100 New Cases of COVID-19

Boulder County reported on Wednesday that the 100 new coronavirus cases were the largest number of daily cases since March 13.

The Daily Camera reports that CU Boulder students can register for fall classes starting Monday. CU Boulder students will be choosing from classes that are around 70% in person, 10% hybrid, with the remainder being remote.

The university has an online vaccine sign-up form available for students, faculty, and staff and they feel that there will be enough vaccine supply available for those wanting one.

They are estimating that at the beginning of the fall semester 75% of the campus population will have immunity to COVID-19, either through vaccination or through prior infection.

Currently, there is no requirement to be vaccinated in order to be on campus. Campus officials are evaluating the legal and ethical implications for such a requirement.

On Friday, the state will open up COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to anyone 16 and older. According to the state’s Wednesday weekly report, the number of active COVID-19 cases decreased again but correctional institutions saw increases.

Four jails in the state reported COVID-19 outbreaks. Clear Creek, Summit counties, the Delta Correctional Center and Denver Women’s Correctional Facility involved outbreaks of fewer than 20 new cases.

March 31, 2021
COVID-19 Mask Mandate Set to Be Modified

Boulder County public health officials say they’re not sure yet what the governor’s new mask order will look like. The state’s mandate is set to expire on Saturday, and the Daily Camera reports that a spokesperson for Governor Jared Polis said he intends to sign a new 30-day order that will account for where we are in the pandemic.

The news comes as county officials said yesterday that the average number of new COVID-19 cases “has ticked up a bit in the last week,” though, hospitalizations haven’t followed the trend. Boulder County reported 70 new cases Tuesday. The seven-day average of the number of cases in the county was almost 63 this week and just over 52 last week. Mike Stratton, Boulder County Public Health spokesperson said that the uptick is not large, but it’s something to watch.

Low Vaccination Rate of State Prison Staff Leads to Monetary Incentive

In related news, the Colorado Department of Corrections is now offering a $500 incentive to staff members to get a COVID-19 vaccine. KDVR reports that more than half of Colorado’s state prison workers have not received any COVID-19 vaccine, despite being eligible for months. Currently, there are active COVID-19 outbreaks at seven different state prisons.

March 29, 2021
All Coloradans to be Eligible for Vaccine Starting April 2

Gov. Polis announced today that all Coloradans will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting Friday, April 2. Everyone 16 and older is eligible for the Pfizer jab, Polis said, while those 18 and up are eligible for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson doses.

State COVID Positivity Rate Increases Slightly

As of yesterday, there are 323 people hospitalized with the coronavirus in the state. The seven-day average of positivity has increased slightly to close to 4 percent. Positivity is an important indicator of the status of the pandemic in the state. The World Health Organization recommends that the positivity rate be lower than 5 percent.

Nearly 1,600,000 people in Colorado have received at least one dose of vaccine with close to one million being fully vaccinated.

March 24, 2021
COVID Dial Update to Less Restrictive Category

The latest update to Colorado COVID-19 Dial goes into effect today. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Dial 3.0 will make it easier for counties to move into Level Green, the least restrictive level on the dial. It will also remove many of the restrictions that currently apply at that level. Restrictions for bars, retail establishments, offices, and non-critical manufacturing facilities would also be relaxed under Level Blue.

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of CDPHE, said that while this is still a time for caution, these changes to the Dial better reflect where we are in the pandemic today, and the balance they are trying to strike between disease suppression and economic hardship.

CDPHE said the updates reflect the increasing number of Coloradans who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, including nearly 80% of people 70 and older.

Fully vaccinated residents at residential care facilities can have close contact with visitors under updated guidance released this week by the CDPHE.

Boulder County Public Health on Tuesday reported no new deaths, one new hospitalization and 69 new COVID-19 cases. The University of Colorado Boulder said there were no positive test results Monday.


March 19, 2021
Colorado Makes Progress in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Starting today, the last sub-group of Phase 1B becomes eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The1B subgroup includes anyone in Colorado who is 50 or over, as well as frontline workers in higher education, food service, journalism, manufacturing, public transit, public health, human services, faith communities, some state, and local government divisions, and services to homeless populations. Once that group has come forward, the general public can start getting the vaccine, which Governor Jared Polis has said would start next month.

Restaurant Workers Get COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

The Denver Mayor’s office announced Thursday that local restaurant workers in Colorado will get their own COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Four sites in Summit, Larimer, and El Paso counties will hold clinics on Tuesday, March 23 and there will be one site in Denver on two days, the first on Monday, March 22, and the second on Tuesday, March 23. There are nearly 300,000 restaurant workers in Colorado.


March 18, 2021
Colorado Opens Mass Vaccination Sites

Colorado opened two mass vaccination sites Wednesday, one in Colorado Springs and the other in Grand Junction. These are the state’s first permanent mass vaccination locations. Three other mass vaccination locations will open Monday: one at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, one at The Ranch in Loveland, and another at the state fairgrounds in Pueblo.

Another site—at the Ball Arena in downtown Denver, will open on April 1. Colorado is expanding vaccine eligibility starting Friday. As of tomorrow, anyone over 50 is eligible as well as a broad category of front-line workers, including employees in food service, higher education, manufacturing, public health, public transit, human services, faith communities, media, and services to people experiencing homelessness.


March 16, 2021
Studies of CU Students Show Many COVID-19 Patients May Not Be Contagious

CU Boulder has done two studies on the Covid-19 virus and how contagious it is. The first study found that about half of COVID-19 infected people may not spread the virus but you won’t be able to judge who is doing the transmitting just looking at the symptoms.

Researchers looked at weekly COVID-19 tests that were given to 1400 CU Boulder students living in dormitories and who tested positive but weren’t showing symptoms, compared with people who’d been hospitalized with the virus.

For Professor Sara Sawyer, the senior author of the study, this means that some asymptomatic people are carrying a viral load as high as someone who is on a ventilator in a hospital bed.

A second study, using the same data found that students with higher amounts of the virus in their saliva were more likely to have infected their roommates. Just 20% of students who tested positive had passed it on to a roommate.

These results could let universities tell if they can continue offering on-campus housing with roommates.

Professor Sawyer said that both studies show that most people with COVID don’t get other people sick, but a few people get a lot of people sick.

Both studies have yet to be reviewed for potential mistakes or omissions.
March 12, 2021
BOCO Vaccine Clinic Canceled

Boulder Valley School District COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Boulder Community Health has been canceled for Saturday in anticipation of the winter storm. Additionally, Boulder County Public Health on Wednesday said drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Lyons and Nederland are closed Friday. In a BVSD email, the announcement said people who had an appointment to get their second shot would be rescheduled for the week of March 15. Public health officials encouraged people to look online for updated testing information at boco.org/COVIDTesting.

Denver COVID Commemoration

One in eight Colorado deaths in the past year involved COVID-19. More than 700 residents have died from COVID-19 in Denver alone, about 250 in Boulder. To end a week of remembrance for those who have died, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is asking Denver residents, visitors, and businesses to observe a moment of silence on Friday at noon. The moment of silence will happen after the chiming of twelve bells at the City and County Building, one for each month of the pandemic thus far.


March 8, 2021
COVID-19 Variant Detected in Colorado

For the first time, three cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Colorado. State officials announced last night that two staffers and one inmate at the Buena Vista Correctional Complex have tested positive for the variant that was first identified in South Africa.

The Denver Post reports that 81 other cases of the South African variant have been detected in 20 jurisdictions across the U.S. It’s believed to spread more easily and quickly than other versions of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public health officials worry that highly contagious strains could take off before enough of the population is inoculated against the virus — or that some variants could prove more resistant to the new vaccines.
After detections of the three cases at the Buena Vista prison, the state health department plans to sequence all positive COVID-19 specimens from the facility to look for variants. The prison is undergoing its third outbreak and as of last week included three inmate infections and 11 staff cases.

Meatpacking Plant Shuts Down to Vaccinate Workers

In Greeley on Friday, the JBS meatpacking plant – that saw a deadly coronavirus outbreak last year – suspended operations so that workers could receive COVID-19 vaccines on-site.

The Colorado Sun reports that workers received their shots in a temporary clinic set up in a hallway. More employees were due to be vaccinated Saturday in a partnership with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, which represents about 3,000 workers at the plant.

The union said it expected as many as 350 people per hour to get shots. Doctors and nurses were on hand to monitor vaccine recipients for any adverse reactions.

March 3, 2021
Colorado’s Supply of Vaccines to Increase

Officials in Colorado are expecting the weekly supply of COVID-19 vaccines to increase significantly by next month. The state’s weekly vaccine allotment will grow from about 260,000 doses next week to just over 400,000 doses in early April.

The state will get its first doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, but, there will a drop-off in shipments of that vaccine due to production hurdles.

During a media briefing yesterday, Governor Jared Polis said that they are excited to add that vaccine to the arsenal of weapons that will allow the state to defeat the deadly virus.
The governor said that he is confident that summer will be very close to normal based on the predictions of vaccine supply and that people who want the vaccine will be able to get it in April and May.

The state will move to the next phase of its vaccination rollout on Friday — Coloradans age 60 to 64 and people with two or more chronic health conditions — after the state hit its goal of inoculating 70% of those over 70 by the end of last month.

Boulder Council Discusses Equity Strategy in Vaccine Distribution

Following the good news about more vaccines on their way to Colorado, Boulder City Council got a local update from the County’s Public Health Department last night.

In his final presentation to council prior to retirement, Executive Director Jeff Zayach announced there were fewer deaths in February than in previous months, and an 84% decrease in deaths in long-term care facilities. But Zayach spent most of his presentation emphasizing the ramp-up in vaccine availability.

Zayach: “We have capacity now for 20 to 25,000 vaccines per week. We’re still getting only around 7,000 to 8,000 and we are building capacity to closer to 35,000 per week. So there’s been a lot of work that’s been happening with the anticipation that we are going to be receiving a significant amount more of vaccine towards the end of March and the early part of April.”

Zayach said almost 60,000 Boulder County residents have received the vaccine, including 84% of those 70 and older, while half of those ages 65 to 69 have had at least one dose.

Indira Gujral, with the health department, said there remains a wide gap in the percentage of White residents who have received the vaccine compared to those who are Latinx and Asian, despite the county’s equity strategy to eliminate vaccination disparity. She also cited a survey that addressed vaccine gender issues, saying there is a trust factor based on concerns and rumors.

“We knew that the willingness to be vaccinated varied with race, ethnicity, and gender, and women, in particular, are less likely to have trust in the vaccine as compared to men. And we see this with African Americans and the LatinX community where some of it is down to almost 50 percent. And Out Boulder presented a similar survey that they did locally and their LGBTQ survey did show very similar results with this same kind of gender variation.”

Friday, March 5th is the one-year anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Colorado. Boulder Mayor Sam Weaver announced that in an effort to acknowledge what he called the community’s “collective grief,” Boulder will light up both the municipal building and Boulder Bandshell at Canyon and Broadway, as well as other city buildings including police and fire stations.

March 2, 2021
Coronavirus Cases Rise in Colorado

Cases of COVID-19 rose in Colorado last week — the first increase since the holidays. The Colorado Dept. of Public Health and the Environment reported almost 7200 new cases for the week ending Sunday. That’s up from about 6600 cases the previous week. The Denver Post reports that it’s not clear if the increase represents the start of another surge or a plateau. Vaccination rates are increasing but more contagious variants are spreading.

State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said Monday says that overall Colorado is still doing okay in controlling the spread. So far, the state has identified 100 cases of the B 117 variant and 54 cases of the California variants. State officials warned against relaxing personal virus precautions.


March 1, 2021
Colorado Moves to Next Phase of Vaccination Plan

Colorado will move into Phase 1B.3 of its COVID-19 vaccination plan this Friday. About 1 million people will become eligible to receive a vaccine including those who are over 60 years old, and frontline workers in grocery stores and agriculture.
Governor Jared Polis announced the move into the next phase on Friday.

Also starting the end of this week, people age 16-59 with two or more pre-existing conditions such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes, or others will be eligible.
9News reports that People in the 60+ age group should go through their healthcare provider or a health system. State officials said they will provide an update this week with more information about the best way for this age group to sign up.
Meanwhile, the state’s goal of vaccinating 70% of those over 70 years old by the end of February was met in at least 21 counties in Colorado.

In Denver on Saturday National Jewish Health held a vaccination clinic geared toward this group.
Denver7 reports that some people over 70 have had trouble obtaining a vaccination appointment.

Over the weekend a third vaccine was approved–this one made by Johnson and Johnson. It requires only one shot. Governor Polis released a statement saying that the approval was great news.


Feb 26, 2021

Colorado Ending February With Improved COVID-19 Numbers

New COVID-19 data out from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as of Thursday shows the seven-day, moving average positivity rate decreased to 3.62%. At the same time, about 824,000 people have been vaccinated with one dose of the vaccine as of Feb. 24, and 411,000 have received two doses. Both vaccines currently authorized are about 95% effective and require two doses to achieve immunization. Colorado is approaching 6,000 deaths from COVID – with more than half among people over age 80; 24% of deaths occurred in people between ages 70-79, and 12% were in people ages 60-69.


Feb 25, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Inequity Continues to Challenge Boulder County

Boulder County Public Health Emergency Management Planner Chris Campbell revealed that community ambassadors will help educate minority communities about the virus and vaccinations.

The Daily Camera reports that the community ambassadors will be trained in vaccine safety and effectiveness. They will also support the minority community to find mobile and vaccine clinics.

Campbell said the key issues about the vaccine in these communities is that mistrust is deep-seated in political influence, the rush in creating the vaccine, side effects, and long-term effects.

BCPH Executive Director Jeff Zayach said that the county reported 64 new COVID-19 cases but no new deaths or hospitalizations and the county is trending down into the blue zones on the state dial.

The county also announced that the new mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics will provide less than 250 coronavirus inoculations a week for those with limited mobility, which includes those in independent living accommodations and mountain communities.

Information for residents with limited mobility in need of transportation to COVID-19 appointments can be found at the Boulder County website.


Feb 23, 2021
Vaccine Eligibility to Expand Next Week

Colorado state health officials announced today that starting late next week more Coloradans will become eligible to receive a vaccine.  The Colorado Department of Health and Environment says it is expecting to move into Phase 1B.3 of its COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan “on or around March 5.”

Currently, anyone who is 65 or older, as well as first responders, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, and those working with the public in health care, child care, or K-12 education are eligible for vaccines.

The new phase will open eligibility to “essential frontline workers” in the following industries:
Grocery stores
Food and agriculture
Manufacturing
U.S. Postal Service
Public transit
Public health
Human services (including services to homeless populations)
Faith communities
Journalism


Feb 17, 2021
Vaccine Deliveries to Colorado Delayed

The severe weather across the country has delayed the delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses that were expected to arrive in Colorado this week. The winter storm impacted a distribution hub in Tennessee, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Over 130,000 doses were expected to arrive between Tuesday and Thursday; but, the Denver Post reports that it’s unknown when they will get here.

The state health agency said it is working with vaccine providers and local public health departments to make sure appointments and clinics for the shots aren’t canceled this week.

Boulder County Cancels Wednesday COVID-19 Virtual Meeting

Boulder County Public Health canceled its weekly virtual COVID-19 community meeting scheduled for today. The agency cited a lack of new information to share.

The weekly virtual meeting is expected to return next Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Boulder County yesterday reported two new COVID-19 deaths and 36 new cases. And officials said it’s uncertain if the weather could impact the next delivery of COVID-19 vaccine doses in the county. The University of Colorado Boulder announced on its dashboard that during testing on Monday, there were 12 positive test results.


Feb 16, 2021
COVID Hospitalizations Continue to Drop

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to decline statewide. 462 people were in hospital Monday for confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The Denver Post reports that the number is the lowest for hospitalizations since Oct 19. Overall case numbers are also at their lowest levels since October. Many counties loosened some of their virus restrictions around business capacity in early February…but health officials say it takes two to three weeks after a policy change to see what impact it’s had on the number of people sick…so it’s too early to tell if the more relaxed rules will translate to more cases. Boulder County on Monday reported 17 new COVID cases and one death.

And state health officials have confirmed 67 cases of more contagious COVID variants in Colorado.


Feb 10, 2021
More Vaccines to Arrive in Colorado

Colorado will receive more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in its weekly allocation starting next week. Gov. Jared Polis announced yesterday that the federal government will increase the amount by 9,000 over a three-week period.

The Denver Post reports that the state was receiving about 70,000 does a week but has received more than expected recently.

So far, about 660,000 people in Colorado have received their first dose of vaccine and more than a third of those have received their second shot.

The governor also said he has rejected a request from the city of Denver to speed up vaccinations for people experiencing homelessness.

Mayor Michael Hancock and the city’s joint task force sent a letter to state officials last week presenting a vaccine strategy that would target people living and working in shelters, motels, managed campsites or unsanctioned encampments, no matter their age. The letter cited a hospitalization rate for people experiencing homelessness at three times that of the general population.

But the Governor did not approve:
Polis: “It would cost lives to divert the vaccine from people that are in their seventies to younger healthier people just because they happen to be homeless. We give the same prioritization for homeless as we do for any Coloradan who has a home. That is everybody who is 70 and up who’s homeless is already eligible. [They] should have been vaccinated. If they are 65 and up they are now eligible whether you have a home or don’t have a home.”

9News reports that homeless advocates in Denver are upset with what they believe is a lack of consideration for an especially vulnerable population.


Feb 9, 2021

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Decline Statewide

COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decline in Colorado. State health department data released on Monday showed 535 people hospitalized for the virus in the state. That’s about a quarter of the people who were in the hospital for COVID-19 in December. But it’s still considerably higher than last summer’s low hospitalization rate.

There were also about 8400 reported cases of the virus statewide as of Sunday…the lowest weekly total since October. Health officials attribute the decline to people observing the recommendations on wearing masks, washing hands, and limiting face-to-face interactions. The reduction in hospitalizations and overall cases led to easing of some restrictions in Boulder, Denver, and other metro area counties. But officials warn that continued caution is required, particularly as new more contagious variants of the virus spread.


Feb 8, 2021

Metro Area Moves to Level Yellow

On Saturday businesses, including bars and restaurants around the metro area started operating at the less restrictive Yellow Level on the state’s COVID-19 dial. Establishments in Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, and Jefferson counties are now allowed to operate at 50% capacity up to a maximum of 150 people.

Eligibility for Vaccine Increases Today But Availability Limited

As of today, more than 400,000 people have become eligible for a coronavirus vaccination in Colorado.

People aged 65 to 69, workers in K through 12 education and child care, and a small number of government officials are included in what the state is calling Phase 1b.2 of its vaccination plan.

The Colorado Sun reports that these new groups add to the more than 800,000 people who are already eligible for a vaccination. This means that more than a quarter of Colorado’s adult population is able to get the shot.

But being eligible to get the vaccine does not mean one can get it – people need to have an appointment, and the supply of vaccines in the state is still limited. Colorado is expecting 90,000 doses to arrive this week. And, while the state is roughly two-thirds of the way to the goal of vaccinating 70% of those 70-and-older by the end of the month, that still leaves more than 100,000 people in that high-risk group looking for their shots.

The state has a list of vaccine providers by county, but people can also cross county lines to get vaccinated. Health officials have been encouraging everyone to sign up online instead of using the telephone, if able to do so.

Vaccination Event Overrun on Saturday

A COVID-19 vaccination event in Denver was overrun Saturday. It was focused on giving shots to people of color and low-income seniors in the neighborhoods around the National Western Complex.

Then Jefferson County Public Schools alerted 14,000 of its employees that 200 extra doses of vaccine were available to those who could get to the complex within an hour.

The Denver Post reports that hundreds of people rushed there. Traffic backed up at exits and into Interstate 70. Some people leaped from their cars and ran the final stretch to the building.
About an hour after the first notification, the Jeffco district sent another message, telling anyone who was not already in the building to go home. As many as 500 district employees may have received the vaccine.


Coors Field Vaccination Event Draws Thousands

Nearly 10,000 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 over the weekend in a parking lot at Denver’s Coors Field.
The drive-through clinic was open by appointment only to people 70 and older along with some remaining health-care workers.

UC Health spokesperson Richard Zane told 9News the shots were administered over 6 hours each of the two days, and he hopes the playbook that they and their partners created over the weekend could help future mass vaccination sites.

Governor Polis Announces Those 65 and Older and Teachers To Be Vaccinated Starting Next Week

On Friday, Gov. Jared Polis said that Coloradans 65 and older, as well as teachers and child care workers, will have access to the coronavirus vaccine starting a week from today.

Polis, said it was an “easy call” to move the age group up in line to receive the inoculation.

The Colorado Sun reports that people ages 65 to 69 were initially in Phase 2 of Colorado’s vaccine distribution plan, set to begin in the spring; however, they are now in a newly formed Phase “1B.2”.

The governor estimated it will take about two or three weeks to administer first doses to all K-12 educators who want to be vaccinated. School support staff, like bus drivers, will also have access to the vaccine starting next week.

Scott Bookman, Colorado’s coronavirus incident commander, said educators and child care workers will sign up to receive the vaccine through their employers.

Polis said 90% of health care workers and first responders have been vaccinated.

State Legislators Vaccinated

Colorado state lawmakers, their staffers and the journalists who cover them at the Capitol received early access to COVID-19 vaccines in January.

The Denver Post reports that the state sent 240 doses of the vaccine to UCHealth to vaccinate legislators and their staff, however the governor’s office does not know how many actually received the shots. A governor’s spokesperson said that the legislature’s ability to conduct its session safely as soon as possible is necessary to the state’s successful response and recovery.


Sluggish COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout in Colorado

As of Thursday, 410-thousand Coloradans had received one vaccine for COVID-19. Another 109,000 have had two vaccines. That leaves a couple million of eligible state residents without a jab, as new strains of the virus believed to more infectious are discovered. Colorado’s vaccination plan has three phases. Frontline healthcare workers were the first to receive vaccines, followed by Coloradans over the age of 70. Essential workers, including teachers and grocery store employees, are next in line, followed by Coloradans over age 60 and those with preexisting conditions. The general public isn’t expected to begin receiving vaccines until the summer.


Hospitalizations Dropping in Colorado

The Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment reported Monday that 706 people are hospitalized for the virus. That is about one-third the number who were hospitalized in early December.

New cases of COVID are also at about one-third the number reported back in late November. Although the declining numbers are good news, health officials cautioned that those numbers are still three times higher than they were last summer when cases were at their lowest. State epidemiologist Rachel Herlihey told the Denver Post that Coloradans need to continue with precautions while the push to vaccinate continues.

Boulder County Will Receive Less Vaccines This Week

Boulder County will receive fewer doses of the Covid-19 vaccine this week and the state reports that teachers and child care workers will be the first to be vaccinated among essential workers.

Boulder County Public Health reported Monday local COVID-19 vaccine providers will only receive 800 vaccine dosages from the state instead of the typical 3,000 weekly doses. Meanwhile, the county reported six new deaths, 56 new cases, and 10 new hospitalizations. The deaths were residents in their 70s and 90s.

The Daily Camera reports that no explanation was given for the vaccine shortage but that 800 doses will be enough for residents who need their second dose this week.

The same allocation of 800 doses is expected for the next three weeks but is supposed to increase by mid-February.

The Denver Post reports that the state has prioritized vaccinating people 70 and older but that the first essential workers to be vaccinated will be teachers and childcare workers.

The consensus about prioritizing teachers and child care workers in the essential worker groups was based on the importance of reopening child care, preschools, and K-12 schools.

If the state meets its goal of vaccinating 70% of the Coloradans who are 70 or older by Feb. 28, essential workers could begin getting their shots in late February or early March.


Vaccinations at Coors Field on Sunday

In a parking lot outside Coors Field in downtown Denver on January 24, about 1,000 people over the age of 70 received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19.

The effort was part of a UCHealth drive-thru event that served as a practice run before a much bigger effort planned for next weekend when they hope to vaccinate as many as 10,000 in two days.

The Denver Post reports the vaccine is given to those with appointments, and others who show up are turned away.

The trial run went smoothly with traffic flowing steadily to 18 individual tents where drivers were vaccinated.


White Coloradans More Likely to Have Been Vaccinated

Meanwhile, state health officials released new data on Friday that shows Coloradans who are white are more likely to have received a coronavirus vaccine than those who are Black or Hispanic.

White Coloradans have accounted for close to 70 percent of those receiving at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine so far. That’s roughly equal to white representation in the state’s overall population.
But the Colorado Sun reports that Black and Hispanic Coloradans have been under-represented in vaccinations so far. Nearly 4% of Colorado’s population is Black, but they account for less than 2 percent of those vaccinated. The state’s Hispanic population represents nearly 22% of residents, but just over 4 percent have received the vaccine.

The numbers are incomplete because some vaccine providers had not been recording pertinent data. About 1 in 5 vaccinations have been recorded as having “unknown” race or ethnicity — meaning it’s possible the state’s racial and ethnic disparities could be even wider than the new data show. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has now begun asking providers to collect racial and ethnic information.

Governor Jared Polis said Friday that it’s clearly unacceptable to have this kind of disparity here in Colorado.

Local health officials have begun expressing concerns that communities of color are being left behind in the state’s vaccination drive.

The Metro Denver Partnership for Health is calling for the identification of under-vaccinated neighborhoods and expanding vaccination sites to target those areas. It also called for more tailored communication approaches to reach often-overlooked populations.

Jill Hunsaker Ryan, the executive director of the CDPHE, said her agency is working to do exactly those kinds of things. She said they are working to identify neighborhoods that could be “vaccine deserts” because they have no medical facilities or pharmacies where vaccines would traditionally be dispensed.

Boulder County reported 64 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, but no new deaths. CU Boulder reported there were 12 positive results found during Friday testing.


Resources: 

  • Call the Colorado Health Emergency Line (toll-free hotline) for the latest public health information with reliable, consistent, and accurate information in many languages. The CO HELP numbers are 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 or email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English.
  • Coloradans can also visit the CDC and CDPHE websites for more information on best practices
  • If you have upcoming travel plans, visit the CDC’s website for the latest travel information
  • MORE RESOURCES HERE

COVID-19 Información En Español:

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