CDPHE: Colorado’s COVID-19 epidemic curve should continue to decline in the weeks ahead

Colorado Department of Public Heath and Environment

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Colorado School of Public Health released an updated statewide modeling report suggesting the current curve has begun to decline and should continue to do so in coming weeks, though Colorado is still experiencing a very high level of SARS-CoV-2 disease transmission in the state. 

“It is encouraging to see this modeling report suggest we have moved beyond the peak of our omicron surge, and that we should continue to see declining COVID-19 transmission in Colorado in the coming weeks,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist. “There are still high levels of COVID-19 circulating in the state, so we ask Coloradans to remain cautious and continue to follow public health guidance to help protect themselves and others — get vaccinated, get a third dose as soon as it is time, wear a mask in public, and avoid large gatherings. Together we can work to ensure case rates continue to decrease in Colorado.”

Immunity to omicron is high and rising, and the modeling estimates that 80% of the state population will be immune to omicron by mid-February. Based on Colorado data, the Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Group estimates that one in 19 Coloradans is currently infectious. The report notes that while there is uncertainty around this estimate, all evidence indicates infection prevalence has been at unprecedented levels in January 2022, but the model projects this prevalence will decline in coming weeks, potentially to below 1% by the end of February.

The latest modeling projections are based on COVID-19 hospital census data through January 23, 2022, and vaccination data through January 14, 2022.

The Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) assembled the expert group that works with the state on modeling projections. The group includes modeling scientists at ColoradoSPH and the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, as well as experts from the University of Colorado Boulder, University of Colorado Denver, and Colorado State University.

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

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Se espera que la curva epidémica de COVID-19 en Colorado siga disminuyendo en las próximas semanas

La infección causada por la variante ómicron permanece en niveles elevados

DENVER (26 de enero de 2022) — El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado (CDPHE) y Colorado School of Public Health publicaron un informe actualizado de modelización a nivel estatal, el cual sugiere que la presente curva epidémica ha comenzado a disminuir y debería seguir bajando en las próximas semanas, si bien aún se observa en Colorado un nivel muy alto de transmisión de la enfermedad SARS-CoV-2.

La Dra. Rachel Herlihy, epidemióloga estatal, expresó: “Es alentador constatar que este informe de modelización sugiere que hemos superado el pico de la oleada de la variante ómicron; se espera que la disminución de la propagación de COVID-19 en Colorado continúe en las próximas semanas. Todavía hay altos niveles de COVID-19 circulando en nuestro Estado, es por eso que le pedimos a los habitantes de Colorado que sigan siendo cautelosos y continúen acatando las recomendaciones de Salud Pública a efectos de protegerse a sí mismos y a los demás; entre estas se incluyen: vacunarse, recibir una tercera dosis tan pronto como les corresponda, usar un cubrebocas en público y evitar las reuniones muy concurridas. Trabajemos juntos para garantizar que las tasas de casos de COVID-19 sigan disminuyendo en Colorado”.

La inmunidad contra la variante ómicron ya es elevada y va en aumento; la modelización estima que el 80% de la población del Estado será inmune a esta variante a mediados de febrero. Basándose en los datos del Estado, el Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Group estima que uno de cada 19 de nuestros habitantes puede a la fecha contagiar a otros. El informe señala que, pese a que existe incertidumbre en torno a esta estimación, todos los datos indican que la prevalencia de la infección ha alcanzado niveles sin precedentes en enero de 2022. Dicho esto, la modelización prevé que esta tasa de incidencia disminuirá en las próximas semanas, pudiendo situarse por debajo del 1% a finales de febrero.

Las últimas proyecciones están basadas sobre los datos del censo hospitalario del COVID-19 recabados hasta el 28 de junio y datos de vacunación recogidos hasta el 14 de enero de 2022

Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) estuvo a cargo de reunir el grupo de expertos que se ocupa de modelar estas proyecciones junto con el gobierno estatal. El grupo incluye a científicos de modelos de ColoradoSPH y de la Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad de Colorado en el Campus Médico Anschutz de la UC, así como expertos de la Universidad de Colorado Boulder, la Universidad de Colorado Denver y la Universidad Estatal de Colorado.

Continúe manteniéndose informado visitando covid19.colorado.gov.

CDPHE: Colorado’s COVID-19 epidemic curve should continue to decline in the weeks ahead

CDPHE reminds parents and all Coloradans age 12 and older to get third dose of COVID-19 vaccine five months after receiving their primary series

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

The state of Colorado continues its COVID-19 vaccination campaign with vaccine clinics throughout the state and a reminder that all Coloradans age 12 and older should receive a third vaccine dose five months after receiving their primary series. A third vaccine dose provides the highest level of protection against the COVID-19 virus and its variants.

The CDC recently updated the recommended timeline for when people can get a third Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine dose, shortening the minimum interval from six months to five months. The CDC also updated their recommendation for a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech to include adolescents age 12 to 17.  At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for adolescents aged 12-17.

Many vaccine clinics offer everything the family needs to get the highest level of protection: first and second doses, pediatric doses, and the important third dose. Flu vaccines may also be available and it is safe to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine on the same day. A complete listing of where you can get vaccinated is here.

There are a number of large community vaccine sites throughout the state including:

  • Mesa County Public Health (510 29 1/2 Road, Grand Junction, CO 81504)

This clinic is in addition to the more than 1,800 vaccine providers across the state

Vaccines are the safest, most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and its variants and to help avoid the worst outcomes (severe illness, hospitalization, and death) among those who do become infected. State health officials stress that all Coloradans ages 5 and older should get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Coloradans should get a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to ensure the highest level of  protection against the virus if they:

If you are immunocompromised and got three doses of Pfizer or Moderna in your primary series, you should get a fourth dose six months after your third dose. Additionally, the CDC recommends that moderately or severely immunocompromised 5– to 11-year-olds receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second dose of Pfizer pediatric vaccine.

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

CDPHE reminds parents and all Coloradans age 12 and older to get third dose of COVID-19 vaccine five months after receiving their primary series

CDHSEM: Polis administration providing free KN95 and surgical-grade masks to Colorado libraries and community centers

Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Free surgical-grade mask program builds upon state efforts to distribute millions of free masks to schools

DENVER — In support of the State of Colorado’s ongoing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to assist in the mitigation of virus spread, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) will offer KN95 and surgical grade masks for free at public libraries, fire stations, recreation centers, VFWs, YMCAs, and high traffic community centers that have agreed to be local redistribution points. Masks will be available later this week and distribution sites are listed at covid19.colorado.gov/freemasks

This is part of an ongoing effort by the state to provide high quality personal protective equipment to Coloradans who might be especially at risk during the pandemic and future public health emergencies. With the ongoing surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant, the state recommends people upgrade from cloth masks to medical-grade masks like KN95 or surgical  masks.

“We are on a mission to help Coloradans keep themselves safe, and free medical grade masks are far more effective in preventing infection than cloth masks. By making free medical grade masks available at libraries across our state and soon for home delivery, we are giving Coloradans a powerful tool to avoid infection. We will continue to meet Coloradans where they are at when it comes to accessing the doctor approved vaccine, free testing at community sites, free tests delivered to your home and now providing free, surgical grade masks directly to communities,” said Gov. Polis.

“Colorado is leading the nation in COVID-19 response starting with our free at-home testing program and now or free distribution of high quality KN95 and surgical-grade masks,” Kevin Klein, Director of the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said. “We are meeting the moment by ensuring that Coloradans have access to these masks to protect themselves and stop the spread of the virus.”

“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve prioritized equity and making sure all Coloradans have access to vaccines and other resources to protect themselves, their families, and communities. This mask program is another example of our commitment to end this pandemic,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, CDPHE. “Wearing a mask and following public health protocols provides additional protection for Coloradans on top of getting the life-saving vaccine.”

Vaccination and mask wearing are the two most important tools Coloradans can use to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now that all Coloradans age 5 and older have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, masks are only required in certain places for people who are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. However, Coloradans, who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, may choose to protect themselves by wearing masks in public indoor places. 

Local communities and businesses may have additional mask restrictions. CDPHE encourages all Coloradans to keep masks with them in public and wear them if asked.

Everyone age 2 and older must still wear masks on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. This is required by federal law for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

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

CDHSEM: Polis administration providing free KN95 and surgical-grade masks to Colorado libraries and community centers

State extends Public Health Order 20-38

Colorado Department of Public Health

STATEWIDE (Dec. 30, 2021) — Today, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment extended Public Health Order 20-38

There are no substantive changes to Public Health Order 20-38 beyond this extension. The order includes limited requirements to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado. It requires face coverings in some settings. The Order also includes hospital reporting requirements to provide the state with critical information to assess the statewide capacity to provide necessary medical care and services to Coloradans.

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


El gobierno estatal extiende la vigencia de la Orden de Salud Pública 20-38

El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado

COLORADO (30 de diciembre de 2021) — El Departamento de Salud Pública y Medio Ambiente de Colorado prorrogó la Orden de Salud Pública (PHO) 20-38.

No ha habido modificaciones importantes en la PHO 20-38 aparte de la prórroga. La orden incluye ciertos requerimientos a los efectos de atenuar la propagación del COVID-19 en Colorado y exige el uso del tapabocas en algunos entornos, Además, indica que los hospitales deben reportar datos a fin de proporcionar al gobierno información de fundamental importancia que le permita evaluar los recursos disponibles en todo el Estado para brindar atención y servicios médicos necesarios a los habitantes de Colorado.

Continúe manteniéndose informado visitando covid19.colorado.gov.

State extends Public Health Order 20-38

CDPHE updates COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance to align with CDC

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

STATEWIDE (Dec. 27, 2021) — Today, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updated guidance to match new recommendations from CDC regarding COVID-19 isolation and quarantine for healthcare workers and the general population.

People who live or work in residential or congregate living settings should continue to follow the isolation and quarantine guidance for their setting to mitigate the risk of transmission within the facility.

This updated guidance reduces the recommended time in isolation for those in the general population with COVID-19 from 10 to five days, if asymptomatic on day five, followed by an additional five days wearing a mask when around others. This change is based on data showing that the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness. 

For those who have been exposed to COVID-19, CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by mask use for an additional five days for people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second Pfizer or Moderna dose (or more than two months after the J&J vaccine) and have not yet received a third dose (or second dose if receiving J&J). Alternatively, for those persons for whom a five days quarantine is not feasible, wearing  a well-fitting mask around others for ten days is acceptable.  People who have recently completed their primary vaccination series (within six months of their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or within two months of their J&J dose) or who have received their third dose (or second dose if receiving J&J) do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  Regardless of vaccination status, CDC recommends testing on day 5 after exposure or immediately if symptoms develop.

The new guidance also recommends asymptomatic health care providers who have received all recommended vaccines — three doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of J&J with a second dose more than two months after the initial vaccine — no longer need to be excluded from work after a higher-risk COVID-19 exposure. Residential care facility staff should continue to follow current CDPHE guidance, when applicable.

Colorado has seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and high community transmission as the omicron variant becomes the prevalent virus circulating.  Protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask in public, washing your hands, and testing before you gather with others.

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

CDPHE updates COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance to align with CDC

CDPHE: CDC expands COVID-19 vaccine booster recommendation to include teens age 16 and 17

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officially expanded COVID-19 Pfizer booster recommendations for everyone 16 and older to help broaden and strengthen the protection against omicron and other variants. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 16 and 17. Coloradans who have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose are 47.5 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who haven’t been vaccinated at all. Those who are eligible should get their booster dose as soon as possible and prior to holiday gatherings. It takes two weeks for a booster dose to build maximum protection.

Coloradans should get a booster dose if they:

  • Are 16 or older and received their second dose of Pfizer at least six months ago.
  • Are 18 and older and received their second dose of Moderna at least six months ago.
  • Are 18 and older and received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

The state has enough vaccine supply for providers to manage any increased demand and provide eligible Coloradans with a booster dose immediately.

In addition to visiting one of Colorado’s more than 1,800 vaccine providers across the state, Coloradans can get booster doses at several large community vaccination sites. Many of these sites can accommodate up to 1,000 doses per day on weekends. Additionally, all community vaccination sites also offer pediatric Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

More information can be found at covid19.colorado.gov/vaccinefinder. Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov.

CDPHE: CDC expands COVID-19 vaccine booster recommendation to include teens age 16 and 17

CDPHE adds omicron to variant of concern monitoring on data dashboard

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Today, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will add the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) to all monitoring data for variants of concern on the CDPHE data dashboard

On Nov. 30, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labeled the omicron variant as a variant of concern. This variant was detected in mid November 2021 in South Africa, and to date, two cases have been identified in Colorado through whole genome sequencing of positive COVID-19 patient samples. CDPHE has also detected key signatures of the omicron variant in wastewater in Boulder. All data dashboard updates for monitoring omicron as a variant of concern will take effect at today’s regular 4 p.m. data update.

The CDC defines a variant of concern as

A variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g.,  increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures. 

There is still a lot to learn about omicron. Due to some of the mutations on the spike protein of the virus, it is possible that omicron might be more transmissible, or immune response may not be as effective. 

Vaccines are still the safest, most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, as well as help avoid the worst outcomes (severe illness, hospitalization, and death) among those who do become infected.  State health officials stress that all Coloradans ages 5 and up should get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, and everyone ages 18 and up should get a booster dose six months after their final dose of Moderna or Pfizer, or two months after a dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All Coloradans (ages 6 months+) should also get vaccinated with the flu vaccine to protect the health care system.

It’s particularly critical that Coloradans heed caution as the state braces for another variant of concern and follow basic public health guidance — stay home if sick, wash hands frequently, get tested if you are feeling ill or were exposed to someone with COVID-19, and wear a mask in public indoor spaces. 

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

CDPHE adds omicron to variant of concern monitoring on data dashboard

CDPHE: COVID-19 omicron variant confirmed in Colorado

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has confirmed its first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Colorado. The case was identified in an adult female resident of Arapahoe County who had recently traveled to Southern Africa for tourism. She is experiencing minor symptoms and is isolated and recuperating at home. She had been fully vaccinated and was eligible for the booster vaccine but had not received it yet.

The Colorado State Public Health Laboratory conducted genome sequencing on the specimen and confirmed the presence of the omicron variant. The specimen had the signature S gene target failure diagnostic test profile that has been identified in omicron cases. Colorado became the third state to detect the omicron variant and was the first in the nation to identify the Alpha variant last December thanks to the sophisticated team of CDPHE epidemiologists and scientists at the Colorado State Laboratory.  

ABOUT THE CASE:

This case was identified following a positive test result through routine case investigation by Tri-County Health Department, CDPHE’s epidemiologists flagged it for follow-up because of recent travel history. CDPHE sent a team to collect an additional specimen for genome sequencing and has been working closely with Tri-County Health Department on case investigation. People who have recently traveled internationally should be tested 3-5 days after their return with a molecular or PCR test, regardless of symptoms or vaccination history. 

CDPHE has issued an isolation order for this case and close contacts in Colorado have tested negative. CDPHE is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate this case. CDC is coordinating all travel-associated interstate and international contact tracing efforts and will work with airlines to identify all potentially exposed passengers. 

Omicron (B.1.1.529) is a new variant that was first detected in November in South Africa, and may be responsible for an increase in cases in that country. CDC announced that the California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health confirmed the first case of omicron variant in the United States yesterday and a second case was identified in Minnesota earlier today. There is still a lot to learn about the omicron variant, but due to some of the mutations on the spike protein of the virus, it is possible that omicron might be more transmissible, or immune response may not be as effective. The World Health Organization has classified this variant as a variant of concern. 

CDPHE has multiple, sophisticated monitoring programs to detect the presence of variants in the state. The CDPHE Laboratory and some private laboratories conduct genetic sequencing of human samples that are positive for SARS-CoV-2 from around the state.

State health officials want to restate that all Coloradans (ages 5+) should get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone 18 or older who has received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna at least six months ago or who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for their initial dose is encouraged to get a booster dose as soon as possible. In addition, all Coloradans (ages 6 months+) should get vaccinated with the flu vaccine to protect the health care system. 

It’s particularly critical that Coloradans heed caution and get vaccinated, get a booster dose, wear a mask in indoor public spaces, limit large gatherings, wash their hands frequently, get tested if they have symptoms or were exposed, and practice physical distancing. People who have recently traveled internationally should be tested 3-5 days after their return with a molecular or PCR test, regardless of symptoms or vaccination history. Anyone, regardless of vaccination status, who develops symptoms should get tested immediately and isolate. There are more than 140 free community testing sites across Colorado

Continue to stay up to date by visiting covid19.colorado.gov. All detected variants of concern in Colorado are listed on the data dashboard and the CDC has a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 variants.

CDPHE: COVID-19 omicron variant confirmed in Colorado

CDPHE: State releases new and updated public health orders

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment extended Public Health Order 20-38 today.

There are no substantive changes to Public Health Order 20-38 beyond this extension. The order includes limited requirements to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado. It requires face coverings in some settings. The order also includes hospital reporting requirements to provide the state with critical information to assess the statewide capacity to provide necessary medical care and services to Coloradans.

In addition, CDPHE rescinded the restrictions on cosmetic procedures in Public Health Order 21-02 on Nov. 19, 2021. 

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

CDPHE: State releases new and updated public health orders

CDPHE: State of Colorado monitoring for omicron variant

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is closely monitoring for the omicron variant and is in contact with the White House, Centers for Disease Control, and Association of State and Territorial Health Officials about the new variant of concern.  

There are currently no confirmed cases of the omicron variant in Colorado, but the state has several mechanisms to detect the virus. 

  • The state lab, along with private and commercial labs, conducts genome sequencing on samplings of tests. Genome sequencing allows scientists to detect the variants. Colorado is fourth in the nation for percentage of cases genome sequenced, based on recent CDC surveillance data. 
  • The state leads a wastewater monitoring collaboration with wastewater utilities, to monitor levels of COVID-19 virus particles found in wastewater. Studies have shown that almost half of individuals who develop COVID-19 have detectable virus particles in their stool before, during, and after their infection, including people without symptoms. The state lab looks for genetic markers in wastewater and is able to identify markers consistent with the presence of COVID-19 variants, including omicron, through wastewater monitoring. 

“Pandemics aren’t easy. The virus is tricky and trying to survive us at every turn, but we know what to do to help stop it,” said Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer, CDPHE. “We need everyone to do what they’ve done in the past and continue to take precautions. Protecting yourself against other variants, like the delta variant, as well as the flu, will help us be ready for if/when the omicron variant arrives here.”

State health officials want to restate that all Coloradans (ages 5+) should get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, and all Coloradans (ages 6 months+) should get vaccinated with the flu vaccine to protect the health care system. It’s particularly critical that Coloradans heed caution as the state braces for another variant of concern and follow basic public health guidance. Stay home if sick, wash hands frequently, and wear a mask for extra protection. 

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

CDPHE: State of Colorado monitoring for omicron variant