Curative van known as “Western Garfield free COVID testing” to utilize nasal swab testing for symptomatic people only

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced earlier this week that it will no longer use Curative testing for residential facilities due to concerns regarding test accuracy.

Garfield County utilizes a Curative mobile van listed on the Garfield County testing site as the “Western Garfield free COVID testing,” that travels weekly to New Castle on Sundays and to Parachute and Rifle on Mondays.

The state raised concerns that the “oral swab” Curative tests were yielding false negative results. In light of this issue, the mobile van traveling to Garfield County has secured “nasal swab” tests, which are more accurate, to use in tests with symptomatic patients at the Curative mobile testing sites.

Asymptomatic people may also receive false negative results. This is because the type of test that Curative uses is not sensitive enough to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic people. If you are concerned that you have been exposed to COVID-19 and may be asymptomatic, use any of the other testing providers in Garfield County listed on the COVID-19 testing site; which includes primary care doctor’s offices and the Roaring Fork COVID testing sites.

There are no additional safety concerns with Curative testing.

A list of COVID-19 testing sites in Garfield County can be found on the Garfield County COVID-19 testing site.

Curative van known as “Western Garfield free COVID testing” to utilize nasal swab testing for symptomatic people only

Gov. Polis provides update on Colorado’s COVID-19 response & vaccination progress

DENVER – Today, Governor Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the State’s efforts to vaccinate Coloradans. Governor Polis was joined by Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director of CDPHE, and Rick Palacio, Strategic Consultant to the Governor. 

“Colorado is rapidly and successfully ensuring all doses of the lifesaving vaccine are quickly put into arms – not sitting on shelves. That is why we are in the top tier of states when it comes to administering the vaccine and we continue to call for more to be deployed to our state.  Since the state received the very first doses of the vaccine, we have been focused on distributing them in a way that is equitable, saves the most lives, and ends the public health crisis as soon as possible,” said Governor Jared Polis. “ We are making a deliberate effort to meet Coloradans in their communities. No matter where you live, who you are, or what you do – we want to make sure that you can get the vaccine quickly and efficiently when that time comes.”

Like the rest of the country, Colorado is dependent on the federal government for our weekly supply of this life saving and crisis ending vaccine.

“We want everyone to know the vaccine is free, so income, immigration status, and health insurance should not be barriers. It is important that every adult who can get the vaccine does get vaccinated, so when you get the chance, please take it” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director of CDPHE. 

Colorado has partnered with community organizations to stand up drive-through vaccination clinics in San Luis, Center, Alamosa, Aurora, Denver, and more to make connections with Coloradans who may not otherwise have a place to receive the vaccine. Through events like these we have vaccinated hundreds of Coloradans 70 and older, and the State is looking to hold even more events like these moving forward. These types of venues will help ensure that Coloradans who might not have access to a health care provider will still have access to the vaccine. The State has also taken steps to ensure that the inability to present a photo ID plays no part in whether or not someone can get the vaccine. 

“We need to end this crisis that has been brought on by this pandemic. We know this virus will be with us for some time, getting the vaccine into arms can end this crisis,” said Rick Palacio, Strategic Consultant to the Governor. 

Governor Polis provided an update on how Coloradans who are 70 and older can sign up to receive the vaccine through the State’s major health care providers. Coloradans who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine can still sign up through the State’s health care providers to receive vaccine alerts and sign up for a spot on a provider’s vaccine waitlist. All major providers have also provided toll-free numbers where people can call to make an appointment and find out more information about the vaccine. Coloradans do not have to be a current member of any major health care provider to receive the vaccine. 

View today’s presentation and press conference

View the videos featured in today’s press conference in English and Spanish.

Gov. Polis provides update on Colorado’s COVID-19 response & vaccination progress

CDPHE: State adds new data metrics to vaccine dashboard

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) announced that as of 4 p.m. today the vaccine data dashboard will include additional metrics. The dashboard will now include vaccine administration by race/ethnicity, age group, and sex.

The data available for race and ethnicity represents 78% of individuals receiving one or more doses because providers have not historically been required to report that data on all patients to the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS).

The state has now asked providers to collect race/ethnicity data when administering the vaccine, if the patient willingly gives the information. CDPHE will issue a public health order, providing further specificity about data collection as soon as next week. The goal of the data collection is to use it to inform an equitable vaccine distribution process and ensure accountability. 

“Our commitment to providing public information in the form of data continues, especially during this historic moment in the pandemic with limited supplies, as vaccines are distributed right off the conveyor belt. To be as equitable as possible, we must make decisions based on data and be intentional in assuring that no one is left behind. In time, everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one– regardless of their zip code, income, insurance status, or race and ethnicity,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director, CDPHE and Co-Chair of COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Taskforce.

“Equity doesn’t happen by accident. We have to be deliberate about achieving it. The Vaccine Equity Task Force and the administration as a whole are dedicated to equitably distributing the vaccine, and we’ve brought together the top equity and community experts in the state to get it done. This virus has disparately devastated our communities of color. This is our opportunity to get it right and get historically marginalized communities life saving vaccines,” said Rick Palacio, Strategic Advisor to Governor Jared Polis and Co-Chair of COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Taskforce.

The state has several strategies to achieve greater equity in vaccine distribution, acknowledging that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on historically marginalized populations. Some of the strategies include: 

  • Partnering with counties to host community clinics in Center, San Luis, Aurora, Pueblo, Alamosa, Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Denver, Lake County, Clear Creek County, and Park County. The state will continue to plan more.
  • Establishing community partnerships with the goal of reaching communities of color. For example we have worked with Salud, an organization that operates 13 clinics in underserved communities around the state.
  • Coordinating with transportation providers to assist Coloradans with mobility barriers or without personal vehicles.
  • Ensuring that the ability to present a photo ID is not a barrier to getting vaccinated. 
  • Facilitating the Champions for Vaccine Equity program to provide information to communities of color about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, plus utilizing Promotoras, service providers, and crisis counselors to support vaccine literacy.
  • Running a vaccine media marketing campaign featuring medical professionals from diverse backgrounds and engaging influencers and local public health agencies to help get the word out to hard-to-reach communities. 
  • Having a goal of a community based clinic that has vaccines available in 50% of the top 50 census tracts for high density of low income and minority communities.
  • Establishing a COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach Team to ensure we are meeting our goals.

The race/ethnicity categories in the data visualization align with those used by the U.S. Census, which is standard for intake forms used by healthcare providers. 

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

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El estado agregó nuevas métricas al tablero de datos de la vacuna

REMOTO, (22 de enero, 2021): El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE, por sus siglas en inglés) anunció que a partir de las 4 p.m. de hoy, el tablero de datos de la vacuna incluirá nuevas métricas. Ahora, el tablero tendrá información de la administración de la vacuna según raza/etnicidad, edad y sexo. 

Los datos disponibles de raza y etnicidad representan un 78% de las personas que recibieron una o más dosis, debido a que los proveedores no eran requeridos a reportar esta información de los pacientes al Sistema de Información de Inmunización (CIIS, por sus siglas en inglés). 

El estado le está pidiendo a los proveedores que guarden la información de raza/etnicidad al administrar las vacunas, si es que el paciente da consentimiento para compartir esta información. El CDPHE publicará una orden de salud pública, tan pronto como la semana que viene, que dará más información acerca de la recolección de datos. El objetivo de esto es utilizar esta información para poder asegurar un proceso de vacunación equitativo y asegurar la responsabilidad.

“Nuestro compromiso de proveer información del público a través de datos continúa, especialmente durante este momento histórico durante la pandemia y los recursos limitados, las vacunas están siendo distribuidas inmediatamente después de su producción. Para ser lo más equitativo posible, debemos tomar decisiones basadas en los datos y asegurar que nadie es excluido. En su momento, todas aquellas personas que quieran una vacuna, podrán obtenerla–  sin importar su código postal, ingreso, con o sin seguro médico, raza o etnicidad”, dijo Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Directora Ejecutiva del CDPHE y Copresidenta del Equipo de Equidad de la vacuna contra el COVID-19.

“La equidad no ocurre por accidente. Debemos reflexionar acerca de cómo lograrlo. El Equipo de Equidad de la Vacuna y la administración, en su conjunto, están dedicados a distribuir la vacuna equitativamente y hemos reunido a los mejores expertos de equidad y comunidad dentro del estado para lograrlo. Este virus ha devastado a nuestras comunidades de color de manera desigual. Esta es nuestra oportunidad de hacer las cosas de la manera correcta y brindarle a estas comunidades marginadas esta vacuna vital”, dijo Rick Palacio, Consejero Estratégico del Gobernador Jared Polis y Co-presidente del Equipo de Equidad de la vacuna contra el COVID-19.

El estado tiene varias estrategias para poder lograr una equidad mayor de la distribución de la vacuna, reconociendo que la pandemia ha tenido efectos desproporcionados en estas comunidades históricamente marginadas. Algunas de las estrategias son:

  • Asociaciándonos con condados para brindar clínicas comunitarias en los condados San Luis, Aurora, Pueblo, Alamosa, Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Denver, Lake County, Clear Creek County, y Park. El estado continuará planeando más clínicas.
  • Estableciendo asociaciones comunitarias con la meta de alcanzar comunidades de color. Por ejemplo, hemos trabajado con “Salud”, una organización que opera 13 clínicas en comunidades de pocos recursos en el estado.
  • Coordinando con proveedores de transportación para dar asistencia a habitantes de Colorado que tienen obstáculos de movilidad o sin vehículos personales.  
  • Asegurando que la habilidad de presentar una identificación con foto no sea un obstáculo para ser vacunado.
  •  Facilitando el programa Champions for Vaccine Equity (Campeones por la Equidad de la Vacuna), para proveer información a comunidades de color acerca de la seguridad y eficacia de vacunas, utilizando Promotoras, proveedores de servicio y consejeros de crisis para apoyar la educación de vacuna.
  • Operando una campaña de mercadeo de la vacuna para medios de comunicación presentando profesionales de medicina de diversos ambientes y comprometiendo personas de influencia y agencias de salud pública locales para ayudar a correr la voz a comunidades difíciles de alcanzar.
  • Estableciendo una meta de una clínica basada en una comunidad que tiene vacunas disponibles en 50 por ciento superior en las primeras 50 secciones censales para comunidades de alta densidad de bajo ingreso y minoría.
  • Estableciendo un Equipo de Comunicación del COVID-19 para asegurar que estamos alcanzando nuestras metas.

Las categorías de raza/etnicidad en la visualización de datos se alinean con los que son usados por el Censo de EE.UU., el cual es el estándar para formularios de admisión usados por proveedores de atención médica.  

Continúe manteniéndose informado visitando covid19.colorado.gov

CDPHE: State adds new data metrics to vaccine dashboard

Roaring Fork Schools: Carbondale Middle School transitions 5th grade to distance learning

A student or staff member at Carbondale Middle School tested positive for COVID-19 resulting in the quarantine of almost all of the 5th grade class because the entire grade and its teachers are considered a cohort. 

CMS parents and students received notice that 5th graders would transition to distance learning before school started on Friday, January 22. This cohort will quarantine through January 31 and return to in-person learning on February 1. 

Roaring Fork Schools: Carbondale Middle School transitions 5th grade to distance learning

CDPHE: 5 Star state certification funding

To support counties and municipalities in the planning and implementation of the 5 Star State Certification Program, the state is making funding available to administrative committees that oversee the program locally.   Administrative committees can apply for up to $50,000, which can be used to support or strengthen an existing program or to plan and develop a new program. 

Who can apply?
Counties interested in this funding must be eligible to apply for the 5 Star State Certification Program, or have a current certification, and be in compliance with the requirements of the program. For more information on eligibility, see the 5 Star State Certification policy framework document or the funding FAQ.

How are awards decided?
A review panel at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will review all applications and will score the application based on the technical aspects of applications, the soundness of the applicant’s approach, and the applicant’s understanding of the requirement. 

CDPHE will also utilize a Financial Risk Rating in Evaluation. Prior to final evaluation, the risk rating determined from the submitted Risk Assessment Questionnaire or FRMS rating shall be applied in the form of a deduction from the final evaluation total score according to the table outlined in the FAQ. Award considerations will then be based on the adjusted total score.

Key dates

January 19
Applications accepted starting January 19, 2021.

  • Applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Once a complete application is received, the applicant will be notified within 10 business days of the award decision.

April 1
5 Star State Certification funding application deadline.

June 30
Final funding financial report is due.
All 5 Star State Certification Grant funds must be spent by June 30, 2021.

To view the application and learn more, please click here.

CDPHE: 5 Star state certification funding

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, COLO. – The following are updated statistics from Valley View:

Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats – 1/21/21:
Specimens collected thru Valley View: 18,817
Positive results: 1,577
Pending results: 45
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 208
Admitted patients discharged: 183

Definitions:

Specimens collected: These are specimens collected by Valley View providers that are tested by Valley View’s laboratory in Glenwood Springs or sent to an outside laboratory to conduct COVID-19 testing. This is a cumulative number.

Positive results: These are the number of positive COVID-19 results returned from the Valley View specimens tested. This definition is updated on April 21 to clarify that the positive results represent positive patients. This is a cumulative number.

Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outreach began: Patients with a positive COVID-19 test who have been hospitalized at Valley View. This is a cumulative number.

Admitted patients discharged: Of admitted patients with a positive COVID-19 test, number who have been discharged from Valley View Hospital. Patients may be discharged to recover at home, to hospice or to psychiatric care. This is a cumulative number.  

Additional questions:

“From whom is Valley View collecting specimens?” Valley View is testing:

  • Patients who are symptomatic and have been referred by their primary care provider.
  • Patients undergoing medically necessary surgery.
  • Patients undergoing designated procedures that are high risk for aerosol generation.
  • Patients with a referral from their primary care provider for a test needed for work or travel.

“What kind of PCR test does Valley View offer?” Currently, Valley View has a nasopharyngeal PCR test. For the nasopharyngeal swab, a special swab of the nose occurs, it is then placed in a tube and sent for testing. 

“What is the difference between the number of patients admitted and number of patients discharged?” The difference between the number of patients and admitted patients discharged represents current hospitalized patients, patients transferred to other hospitals or those who have passed away. For example, if there are 21 patients admitted and 16 discharged, the difference is five. This is a cumulative number representing the entirety of Valley View’s efforts caring for COVID-19 patients. Therefore five total patients are hospitalized, have been transferred to a hospital as they need a higher level of care or, unfortunately, have passed away. Valley View will not offer additional details so as to protect their privacy.

“What is the turnaround for test results?”  At this point, Valley View is receiving test results same-day to 48 hours. The variability in time is due to the type of test ordered by the provider. For example, an individual experiencing a medical emergency may require a rapid test.

“The number of positive tests is not the same as admitted patients. Why?” Not all positive patients require hospitalization. For patients with mild symptoms, his/her doctor may recommend that they recover at home with specific instructions (e.g. isolation, monitor symptoms). Other positive patients may be very ill and need hospitalization.  

“What is the status of these individual hospitalized patients?” Per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Valley View will not speak to the specific status of an individual patient.

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

CDPHE to discontinue Curative testing for residential care facilities and other congregate settings

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will no longer be using Curative testing effective, today, Jan. 21 in residential care facilities — as well as in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and other congregate settings. The decision comes after the FDA cited additional concerns about the accuracy of the Curative assay and collection methods.

Curative testing may still be used at some community testing sites, but should only be used on symptomatic persons with anterior nares or nasopharyngeal swabs, not oral. If an individual is asymptomatic, we advise that they seek testing at a non-Curative site. The state does expect it will transition away from Curative testing at community testing sites, as well, in the coming weeks. In the interim, people who got tested at a Curative site on or after 1/13/2021 with an oral swab and received negative results should be retested using an anterior nares swab.

CDPHE announced on Jan. 12 that it was closely monitoring the Curative testing administration in Colorado, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first issued a safety alert about the potential risk of false-negative results for the tests. After monitoring closely and getting additional guidance from FDA earlier this week, the state made the decision to cease testing in congregate settings immediately.

Nearly 1,000 congregate facilities are affected by the decision. Curative recently averaged about 70,000 tests per week during its contract with the state which started in November.

“We are committed to providing all Coloradans with access to reliable tests,” said Sarah Tuneberg, testing and containment manager for the COVID-19 response. “It’s clear that with the FDA’s most recent guidance, we need to move away from using Curative testing at congregate facilities. We have a transition plan that will allow us to move quickly with minimal disruption to testing, which is a critical tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19. We remind Coloradans that testing, while critical, is just one tool in our toolbox. We all need to continue to follow public health protocols, like mask wearing, avoiding large gatherings, and physical distancing.”

CDPHE is in close contact with residential care facilities and others affected by the change. Learn more about the transition away from Curative through our FAQ.

CDPHE to discontinue Curative testing for residential care facilities and other congregate settings

Governor Polis signs bills into law

DENVER – Following the temporary adjournment of the 73rd General Assembly, Governor Jared Polis signed two bills into law. This legislation allows the Legislature to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor signed the following bipartisan bills into law:

HB21-1003: Legislative Proceedings During Disaster Emergency – Sponsored by Representative Adrienne Benavidez and Senator Steve Fenberg.

HB21-1001: Remote Participation In Party Committee Meetings – Sponsored by Representatives Daneya Esgar & Hugh McKean, Senators Fenberg & Chris Holbert.

Governor Polis signs bills into law

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for January 21, 2021

RIFLE, COLO. – The following are updated statistics from Grand River Health:

Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats – 1/21/2021:

Number of individuals tested: 6,290
Positive results: 1,037
Pending results: 62
New positives since 1/19/21: 5
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 40
Patients Transferred: 12
Patients Discharged: 27

Reported numbers are from Grand River Health only and could change at any time.

Seniors 70+ vaccinations: To know when Covid 19 vaccines become available, please watch the Grand River Health Facebook page and the website at www.grandriverhealth.org. There are no walk ins at this time. All vaccinations will be done by appointment only. We appreciate your patience.

All clinic services, hospital and specialty services are open. All patients will be screened appropriately and patients with current symptoms will be scheduled for appointments in the respiratory clinic.
All appointments can be made by calling 625-1100. Patients are asked to wear an ear loop mask while in the facility (no gators, bandanas or buffs please).

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for January 21, 2021

Governor Polis takes action in response to COVID-19 pandemic

DENVER – Governor Polis took action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor extended an executive order requiring hospitals and freestanding emergency departments that have reached capacity or are reasonably anticipated to reach capacity to notify the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and providing CDPHE with authority to direct those facilities to cease admitting new patients and/or transfer patients.

Governor Polis takes action in response to COVID-19 pandemic