Published on March 04, 2022
The city and County of Denver provided the following COVID-19 status update. Going forward, this status update will be sent every other week.
Newly updated online toolkits to assist community partners in educating their constituencies about COVID-19 and the benefits of vaccinations and boosters are now available on the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment website. Over two years into the pandemic, we’ve learned a lot about how to better help our neighbors navigate COVID-19. Specifically, we’ve seen the critical role trusted community partners play in educating the public about the importance of being fully vaccinated and where to find vaccination locations. While nearly 80% of eligible Denverites are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and over 44% have received their booster shot, vaccine disparities still exist, particularly among communities of color.
The online toolkit includes materials for Denver’s Hispanic, African American, AAPI and Native American communities. Content is currently available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Within the toolkit, community partners can find talking points to help guild conversations, as well as printable posters, flyers, door hangers and palm cards.
The online toolkit can be accessed at: denvergov.org/Government/COVID-19-Information/Guidance-Resources/Community-Outreach-Toolkits.
The online toolkits are part of a larger campaign the City and County of Denver activated to reach and support communities of color as it relates to education about and access to COVID-19 vaccines. In recent months, through work with community partners, the city hosted online and in-person information sessions and several neighborhood vaccination events. Efforts will continue to reach communities experiencing lower vaccination rates.
Denver’s Public Health Order requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all City and County of Denver employees and contractors, as well as private-sector workers in high-risk settings, will be lifted tonight, March 4 at 11:59 p.m. The mandate was put in place in the fall of 2021 to increase the vaccination rate to protect our community, as well as the health of our hospital system, during the Delta and Omicron surges.
At this time, the one-week positivity rate of COVID-19 cases in Denver has dropped below 4% and modeling suggests lifting the vaccine mandate will not have a negative impact on this trend. There is a high level of community protection as a result of the high percentage of people who are vaccinated and recently boosted, and people who were recently infected during the Omicron surge. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment estimates 90% of Coloradans are immune to the Omicron variant and most are protected against severe disease.
These improved community outcomes, in addition to vaccinations and boosters being free and widely available to the public, now make it possible to transition to a longer-term approach that treats COVID-19 as an endemic disease and reserves public health orders for urgent situations.
Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters, is the best way to protect against severe disease. DDPHE continues to urge everyone to be mindful and take precautions when going about their daily lives.
Metro Denver residents can now pick up free rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits at Denver Recreation Centers as part of the State of Colorado’s test distribution efforts. Denver Parks and Recreation has received 15,000 kits for distribution at 29 locations around the city. COVID-19 tests will be available for pick up during regular operating hours at all Denver Recreation Centers (except for La Alma, which is currently closed). Each test kit contains two tests and residents are eligible to receive up to two free test kits while supplies last.
While testing is an important tool, vaccines are the 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. DDPHE strongly recommends all those ages 5 and older should get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine and stay up to date with boosters.
More tools than ever are available to prevent COVID-19 from placing further strains on communities like Denver. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a new tool to help Denverites decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest, local data. COVID-19 Community Levels can be low, medium or high and can be used to determine the degree of precautions Denverites should take. According to the dashboard, Denver’s level is LOW and means residents should stay up to date with vaccinations (including boosters) and get tested if they have symptoms. People may choose to wear a mask at any time, while those with symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask. Precautions increase with levels.
The CDC stresses the COVID-19 Community Levels do not apply to health care settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Health care settings should continue to follow CDC guidance for health care workers.
Get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19. All residents have access to free community testing locations throughout the city and testing is readily available.
The Colorado Vaccine Equity Project hosts several free vaccine clinics every week throughout the Denver-metro area at schools, community centers and bus stops. Pre-registration is required for many locations. For more information about these clinics, contact Children’s Hospital Colorado.
In addition, there are several free mobile vaccine clinics with varying vaccine availability located in the Denver-metro area. Appointments are recommended.
Information about where to find a vaccine is available at Denvergov.org or by texting your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish, to get the contact information of three nearby locations with available vaccines.
*Numbers represent data as of Friday, Mar. 4 and are subject to change.
(7-day average of cases per 100,000 population)
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Published on March 04, 2022