CDPHE, Governor’s Office Update Black & Latino Caucuses on Vaccine & Request Support for Ongoing Efforts

DENVER – Today, Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and Rick Palacio, Strategic Consultant to the Governor sent a letter to the Black Democratic Legislative Caucus of Colorado and the Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus. 

“We reach out today to update the Caucuses on our recent actions to quickly administer vaccines to our most vulnerable populations and to ask for your partnership to inform our ongoing efforts as well as your help as we pursue a $6 million dollar budget request to increase our ongoing commitment to achieving health equity in Colorado. We not only request your support for this budget amendment, but request your thought partnership in reimagining the work that CDPHE does to address health inequities in a more comprehensive way than the department has been resourced to do in the past,” Director Ryan and Palacio wrote in the letter to the legislative leaders. 

Last week, Governor Jared Polis and Jill Hunsaker Ryan Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) sent a letter to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield urging the CDC to allocate a portion of the funds designated in the CARES Act Unemployment Extension (H.R.113) for high risk and under-served populations to the state of Colorado.

Director Ryan and Palacio highlight this action in their letter to the lawmakers and point out that the state is not waiting for the CDC to release these funds to begin the work of reaching these communities and added: “if granted, we will quickly direct the funds towards our goal to vaccinate all Coloradans, especially vulnerable populations.”

“We are proud to say that some of the first seniors in the state of Colorado to receive the vaccine, did so through our pop-up vaccination clinics administered by our community partners in the towns of Center, San Luis and in the City of Denver at Zion Baptist Church. Piloting these pop up community-based vaccine clinics has not only resulted in over 500 seniors receiving the vaccine close to their homes, but we have gained invaluable experience regarding how to execute these vaccine clinics, and are using this knowledge to scale up these efforts. Moving forward, we will be dedicating a portion of each week’s vaccine supply to enhance these efforts. These types of clinics are specifically tailored to serve areas with the lowest income and highest number of senior populations of color in the state. Likewise, it is our goal to reach 50% of communities ranked as such with pop-up clinics by February 28th,” the letter continues.

The work of equitable distribution, and therefore equitable health outcomes, must also include full and transparent data from our hospital systems and retail pharmacies, where over 50% of vaccines are administered each week. Therefore, we will be requiring these providers to report the age, zip code, and patient-volunteered race and ethnic data to the state, each week. As retail pharmacies are added to our statewide vaccine program, we have requested that our large pharmacy partners use their best efforts to double their staff qualified to administer vaccines in low income and communities of color throughout the state,” the letter concludes. 

CDPHE, Governor’s Office Update Black & Latino Caucuses on Vaccine & Request Support for Ongoing Efforts

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 Dr. Kit Kieling, President & COO of Orderly Health. 

In an effort to continue making the free COVID-19 vaccine as accessible as possible, today Governor Polis signed an Executive Order ensuring that the vaccine is free for Coloradans, and insurance status will not be used to deny or deprioritize any patient from getting the vaccine. The state wants to ensure there are no barriers to accessing the vaccine. The executive order directs the Colorado Division of Insurance to enact a rule regarding rates for COVID-19 vaccine administration. 

“The vaccine is free and there should be no barriers to receiving it when that time comes,” said Governor Polis. “Vaccines are the path back towards the Colorado we all know and love, and to ensure that can happen as quickly and easily as possible, our State must make sure the vaccine is accessible to all.” 

“We should all be proud of Colorado for hitting our target goal of vaccinating the majority of those in Phase 1A, meaning that a majority of our State’s high-risk healthcare workers have received at least their first dose of the vaccine,” said Governor Polis. “This victory means that our front line healthcare workers who have worked day in and day out to care for COVID patients have the protection they need to continue their commendable work until all of Colorado is vaccinated. Our State has also made significant efforts towards vaccinating our seniors ages 70 and older, who are at the greatest risk of dying from COVID and they now become our top focus.”

Governor Polis provided an update on how Colorado businesses experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic can receive the support they need. The Colorado Department of Local Affairs is continuing to manage the Small Business Relief Program. Through this $35 million program, local governments have been able to distribute grants to small businesses hurt by the pandemic. Small businesses that are interested but haven’t applied should reach out to their local government soon, as most applications are closing at the end of January. Visit for more information.

“Orderly Health received $130,000 in funding through the Paycheck Protection Program and with that, we took five full-time employees and expanded our company by hiring more Coloradans and creating a diverse talent pool,” saidDr. Kit Kieling, President & COO of Orderly Health. “Governor Polis, I appreciate the opportunity to share our experience and am thankful for the Paycheck Protection Program.” Orderly Health is a provider of a data management system that helps clients improve the accuracy of their healthcare data. 

Applications for the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) reopened earlier this week. Colorado’s Office of Economic Development is working with the federal government to make sure our State’s businesses are getting access to these funds. Businesses can visit for more information on how to apply. 

View today’s presentation and press conference. 

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

Updated Grand River Health COVID-19 cumulative stats for January 14, 2021

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

Grand River Health COVID-19 Cumulative Stats – 1/14/2021
Number of individuals tested: 6,180
Positive results: 1,013
Pending results: 43
New positives since 1/5/21: 26
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 39
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  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 14, 2021

CDPHE to add variant case updates to data dashboard; confirms fifth case of the B.1.1.7 variant

Colorado Department of Public Health Environment has confirmed five cases of the B 1.1.7 variant and will add variant case totals in the case summary snapshot on the COVID-19 data dashboard. Starting tomorrow, CDPHE will update the information every day at about 4 p.m., providing additional data transparency and allowing Coloradans to more closely track disease transmission in the state.

“Our state lab was the first in the country to identify a B 1.1.7 variant case through sophisticated analysis of testing samples,” Scott Bookman, incident commander, COVID-19 response, said. “Scientists believe this variant is far more contagious, so I’m pleased we are adding this information to our website to help keep Coloradans informed of disease transmission trends in our state.” 

The state lab is now routinely screening all samples submitted to the state lab for COVID-19 diagnostic testing for the S drop out profile associated with the B 1.1.7  variant and using a well-established genome sequencing program to characterize mutations using a number of advanced molecular detection techniques.

CDPHE is doing about 5-10% of the statewide testing analysis and has also asked other labs in the state to submit batches of positive tests so they, too, can be screened. So far, the state lab has confirmed five cases of the B 1.1.7 variant. 

The most recent case involves an individual from Boulder County in their 20s. A private lab discovered the variant, and the state lab confirmed it. 

Scientists in the United Kingdom believe the B.1.1.7 variant to be more contagious than previously identified strains of the SARS-CoV-2 variant, though no more severe in symptoms. In addition, the currently authorized vaccines are thought to be effective against this variant.

Coloradans can protect themselves from the B.1.1.7 variant in the same ways they can protect themselves from the prominent SARS-CoV-2 strain by following public health protocols– hand washing, mask wearing, physical distancing, and avoiding gatherings. Quarantine guidance for those exposed to the variant is more strict. Continue to stay up to date by visiting

CDPHE to add variant case updates to data dashboard; confirms fifth case of the B.1.1.7 variant

Connect for Health Colorado® is operating Colorado’s COVID-19 call center

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is partnered with Connect for Health Colorado® to provide Coloradans with a call center that has support services for COVID-19 testing and containment results. The “COVID Results” Call Center opened on Nov. 19, 2020 and has placed more than 228,000 calls.

“We are eager to do our part to help manage the COVID public health crisis,” said Connect for Health Colorado’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Patterson. “We are proud to be a trusted resource for Coloradans when it comes to their health and help the State be successful in combatting the pandemic.”

The COVID-19 Call Center staff provide outbound call support to deliver COVID-19 test results. The call center is also open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and provides information and guidance in English and Spanish, as well as in other languages using an interpretation service. 

Outbound calls originate from an 888 number and the caller ID appears as “Colorado COVID Results.” Call center staff also identify themselves as representatives from Colorado COVID Results in partnership with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. Callers then confirm the patient’s name and date of birth before releasing their test results, but our call center staff will never request other personal information such as social security numbers or bank/credit card information. If you are contacted by someone without an 888 number or who asked you for more information than listed above, hang up, and report the incident to CDPHE.

Connect for Health Colorado® is operating Colorado’s COVID-19 call center

Garfield County Public Health: Silt adds new COVID testing site; Rifle/Parachute testing sites have a permanent time change

Garfield County, CO – Roaring Fork COVID testing will add a Silt testing site location beginning Monday January 18. The new site will be in the parking lot behind the Silt Library and Town Hall, at 600 Home Ave. The Silt site testing will be open from 7 am – noon Monday through Friday. Appointments are made online and are necessary to be tested.

The Western Garfield County Curative testing sites in Rifle and Parachute have new permanent hours. Parachute hours are 8 am to 10 am, and the Rifle hours are 11:30 am to 3 pm on Mondays.

Testing is at no cost, does not require a doctor’s note, identification, or insurance.

Roaring Fork Valley free COVID testing
By appointment only.
Locations in Silt, Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, El Jebel, Snowmass and Aspen
See website for days, hours and locations

Elk Creek Elementary School – mobile van
Sundays 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., January – March
804 W Main St., New Castle, 81647

Bea Underwood Elementary School – mobile van
Mondays 8 a.m. – 10 a.m., January – March
0741 Tamarisk Trail, Parachute, 81635

Garfield County Fairgrounds- Mobile Van
Mondays 11:30 – 3:00 p.m., January – March
1001 Railroad Ave., Rifle, 81650

Curative offers an oral-fluid swab testing — an alternative method to nasopharyngeal or brain swabs in testing for COVID-19. It is an observed and directed, self-collected test, which minimizes the in-person contact and risk of transmission for all site visitors and testing professionals. Results are returned to patients within 48 hours upon receipt at the lab.

Anyone who has symptoms should get tested immediately and isolate for at least 10 days from onset until they are fever-free for 24 hours (without the help of medication), and their symptoms are improving. Anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should get tested 5 to 7 days after exposure and quarantine.

Garfield County Public Health has a list of testing sites on the COVID-19 testing page. Symptoms include:

Fever or chills
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Muscle or body aches
New loss of taste or smell
Sore throat
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting

While testing is an important tool in the COVID-19 response, the state cautions that a negative test doesn’t mean it’s OK to meet in large gatherings or bypass other public health orders, like wearing a mask. All Coloradans need to mask up, physically distance, interact only with members of their own households, wash hands and stay home while sick.

How can I stay up to date on Garfield County COVID testing, vaccine information and data?

Garfield County Public Health is posting frequent updates in the news media, on Facebook @garfieldhealth, and on our website on the COVID & Public Health page. To navigate to the COVID & Public Health page from the main Garfield County site, click the red COVID & Public Health rectangle at the top of the page. Sign up to be notified about Garfield County COVID news at


Se agrega nuevo sitio para pruebas de COVID en Silt; también hay cambios permanentes de horario en los sitios de prueba en Rifle/Parachute

Condado de Garfield Pruebas de COVID del Roaring Fork agregará una ubicación para pruebas en Silt a partir del lunes 18 de enero. El nuevo sitio estará ubicado en el estacionamiento detrás de la biblioteca y de las oficinas del pueblo de Silt, en el 600 Home Ave. y estará abierto de 7 am al mediodía de lunes a viernes.

Los sitios de prueba del Western Garfield County Curative (por sus siglas en Ingles) en Rifle y Parachute tienen nuevos horarios. El horario de Parachute será de 8 am a 10 am y el horario en Rifle será de 11:30 am a 3 pm los lunes.

Las pruebas no tienen costo, no se requiere una nota médica, identificación o seguro.

Prueba COVID gratuita de Roaring Fork Valley
Solo por cita.
Ubicaciones en Silt, Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, El Jebel, Snowmass y Aspen

Visite el sitio web para conocer los días, horarios y ubicaciones
Escuela Primaria Elk Creek – En el estacionamiento
Domingos de 9 a.m. A 3 p.m., De enero a marzo
804 W. Main St., Castillo Nuevo, 81647

Escuela Primaria Bea Underwood – En el estacionamiento
Lunes 8 am – 10 am, enero – marzo
0741 Tamarisk Trail, Paracaídas, 81635

Recinto ferial del condado de Garfield: En el estacionamiento
Lunes 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm, enero – marzo
1001 Railroad Ave., rifle, 81650

Curative ofrece la prueba de cotonete de fluido oral, un método alternativo a los cotonetes nasofaríngeos o cerebrales en la prueba de COVID-19. Es una prueba que se auto-recopila por el individuo, la cual es dirigida y observada, que minimiza el contacto en persona y minimiza el riesgo de transmisión para visitantes del sitio y profesionales que hacen pruebas. Los resultados se devuelven a pacientes dentro de las 48 horas después que el laboratorio recibe la prueba.

Cualquier persona que tenga síntomas debe hacerse la prueba de inmediato y aislarse durante al menos 10 días desde el inicio de síntomas y hasta que esté libre de fiebre durante 24 horas (sin la ayuda de medicamentos) y que sus síntomas hayan mejorado. Cualquier persona que haya estado expuesta a alguien con COVID-19 debe hacerse la prueba 7 días después de que se expuso y cuarentena.

Salud Pública del Condado Garfield tiene una lista de sitios que ofrecen pruebas en la página de Pruebas COVID-19. Los síntomas incluyen:

Fiebre o escalofríos
Falta de aire o dificultad para respirar.
Dolores musculares o corporales
Dolor de cabeza
Nueva pérdida del gusto u olfato
Dolor de garganta
Congestión o secreción nasal.
Náuseas o vómitos

Mientras las pruebas son una herramienta importante en la respuesta de COVID-19, el estado advierte que una prueba negativa no significa que esté bien reunirse en grandes reuniones o pasar por alto otras órdenes de salud pública, como usar un cubrebocas. Todos los habitantes de Colorado deben usar cubrebocas, distanciarse físicamente, interactuar solo con los miembros de su propio hogar y quedarse en casa mientras están enfermos.

¿Cómo puedo mantenerme actualizado sobre las pruebas de COVID, información y los datos sobre vacunas del Condado Garfield?

Salud Pública del Condado Garfield publica actualizaciones frecuentes en los medios de comunicación, en Facebook @garfieldhealth, y en nuestro sitio web en la página de COVID Y Salud Pública. Para navegar a la página de COVID y salud pública desde el sitio principal del condado de Garfield, haga clic en el rectángulo rojo de COVID y salud pública en la parte superior de la página. Regístrese para recibir notificaciones sobre las noticias de COVID del Condado de Garfield en 

Garfield County Public Health: Silt adds new COVID testing site; Rifle/Parachute testing sites have a permanent time change

Updated Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats

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

Valley View COVID-19 cumulative stats 1/14/21:
Specimens collected thru Valley View: 18,229
Positive results: 1,524
Pending results:   43
Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began: 200
Admitted patients discharged: 173


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 helps increase flu vaccinations, decreasing flu cases this season

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has prioritized the importance of flu vaccination this flu season, as requested by Governor Polis, as a way to minimize additional stress and burden on Colorado’s health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic. CDPHE implemented activities to leverage existing and new partnerships to expand access to flu vaccination, performed targeted programming to increase flu vaccination rates, and implemented policies that promoted increased vaccine access and patient engagement.

As of January 12, 2021, more than two million Coloradans have gotten their flu vaccine, a 16.3% increase from the same time last year. The increased number of flu vaccinations, in conjunction with public health protocols that mitigate the spread of COVID-19, correspond to an overall drop in the number of people presenting with flu-like illness at outpatient clinics and emergency departments. These contributing factors have also resulted in a significant decrease in flu-related hospitalizations. 

Outpatient clinics have reported that 0.71% of their patients have had flu-like illness this season, well below the seasonal baseline of 5.05%. Similarly, emergency departments have seen flu-like illness in just 0.62% of patient visits, with a baseline of 2.54%. So far, only 18 patients have been hospitalized with the flu this season compared to 3,546 flu-related hospitalizations reported between September 29, 2019 and May 23, 2020.

“The impressive numbers from this flu season so far show that Coloradans have been taking necessary actions to protect their health and the health of their communities,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). “But while flu activity is unusually low at this time, it may still increase in the coming months. It’s not too late to get the flu shot, and it’s more important than ever so we can maintain our hospital capacity through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. We recommend everyone age 6 months and older get the flu vaccine if they have not done so already. It’s the best way to protect against the flu and its potentially serious complications, and prevent further strain on our health care systems. ”

The flu season lasts from late September to May, and typically peaks around February or March. CDPHE believes that a combination of higher flu vaccine uptake and adoption of public health protocols has been limiting transmission of the flu this season, and experts note that it is not circulating as predominantly as in previous years.

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. It’s important to get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or if you think you may have been exposed. For more information about getting tested, see CDPHE’s Testing for COVID-19 webpage.

To find out where you can get a flu vaccine, visit

Continue to stay up to date by visiting

CDPHE helps increase flu vaccinations, decreasing flu cases this season

CDPHE: Colorado reports record number of MIS-C cases in children

In December 2020, Colorado hospitals reported the highest number of reported Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) cases of any month since the COVID-19 pandemic began, which tracks with the rise in COVID-19 cases that occurred during October and November. Though research continues to show that children most often have asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 infection, there is still a risk for severe illness requiring hospitalization, including MIS-C. Colorado currently has 29 cases of MIS-C that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed, and we expect this number to grow as December cases continue to be reviewed– and compared alongside COVID-19 data. The state has had two MIS-C deaths, both reported in the spring of 2020. 

“There’s still a lot we don’t know about MIS-C and the notable increase in cases is a clear reminder that our children are also at risk of serious complications from COVID-19,” said Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer, CDPHE. “As in-person learning resumes, it’s important that students continue to take measures to decrease the spread of COVID-19, such as masking, practicing physical distancing, hand washing, and staying home when they are ill.”

MIS-C is a rare but serious condition where different parts of the body  can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. The cause of MIS-C has not yet been determined, but many children with MIS-C have either had the virus that causes COVID-19 or had been around someone with COVID-19 and likely undiagnosed. 

Parents and caregivers should contact their child’s health care provider if a child is showing symptoms of MIS-C, including fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. Parents and caregivers should seek emergency care immediately for potentially life-threatening symptoms of MIS-C including trouble breathing, chest pain, new confusion, inability to stay awake, blue lips or face, or severe abdominal pain.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) continues to recommend that children of all ages be evaluated for COVID-19, including through testing, whenever they develop COVID-19 symptoms. Individuals who develop COVID-19 symptoms should be tested as soon as possible after symptoms develop.

Because in-person learning is a priority for our communities and is subject to potential COVID-19 transmission, it is important that children attending school be tested both when they develop symptoms of COVID-19 and following close contact with a COVID-19 case (even if asymptomatic). CDPHE recommends testing asymptomatic contacts of COVID-19 cases no sooner than 5 days after their last exposure and within 48 hours of the end of quarantine if using the test-based option to shorten quarantine. Symptomatic contacts should be tested as soon as possible following the onset of symptoms.

Continue to stay up to date by visiting

CDPHE: Colorado reports record number of MIS-C cases in children