News Bites January 7, 2020
- Total Cases: 15,277 (+815 from last week)
- Total Cases in Berthoud: 621 (+19 from last week)
- Deaths: 139 (+19 from last week)
- New positive cases in 24 hours: 86
- 14-Day Case Rate per 100k: 344 (-5 from last week)
- COVID patients in hospital: 911
- Hospital Utilization: 78%
- ICU Utilization: 88%
- 14-Day test positivity rate: 7.2
- Risk Score: High
- 4.2% of the population of Larimer County has been reported to have contracted the virus. Deaths attributed to the virus comprise 0.91% of reported cases. Of reported deaths 25% were age 75 to 84 and 51% were 85 and older.
*State of Colorado
- New positive cases in 24 hours: 3,246
- COVID patients currently hospitalized: 1,086 (-157 from last week)
- Number of facilities anticipating staff shortages: 16%
- Total cases: 328,408 (+18,485 from last week)
- Total hospitalizations: 18,818
- Deaths: 3,803 (+118 from last week)
*Numbers as of January 6, 2020
During a news conference Wednesday morning, Gov. Jared Polis announced that most of the state will complete phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and will move on to phase 1B by the end of the week.
Changes in phase 1B were made last week to the state’s plan which now includes front line workers and those Coloradans who are 70 and older. The state reports that 78% of deaths in Colorado were in those 70 years and older making them a priority in the vaccine distribution. The state estimates phase 1B includes 125,000 moderate-risk health care workers and first responders including police and firefighters, and 562,000 additional people 70 and older.
In this phase partnerships with Walgreens and CVS will provide vaccines to nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state for staff and residents.
The governor also announced that major health care systems across the state, including Banner Health and UCHealth, have begun contacting individuals who have accounts within their system age 70 and up with information about signing up and scheduling a time to receive the vaccine.
The governor said he also anticipates hospital systems will have online portals in the coming days were as the phases of vaccination continue in the coming months all Coloradans who want to receive the vaccine can go and sign up. Gov. Polis said, “Everyone who wants a vaccine will eventually be able to get one.”
Additionally, the state will have a site in the coming days that functions as a hub for all the locations around the state where vaccines will be administered.
Monday, Jan. 4, The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment allowed local public health agencies with counties in the Red level on the state’s dial to move to the Orange level. Counties however have the option to continue to operate with more restrictive guidance. The state’s decision to move the counties provides greater flexibility for local jurisdictions. CDPHE notified counties of the decision last week.
“Our goal is to empower counties to operate with the least restrictions possible, while at the same time ensuring protection of the public’s health and Colorado’s hospital capacity. We are closely monitoring disease transmission while working to provide much-needed economic relief by allowing businesses to operate with fewer restrictions,” Jill Hunsaker Ryan, Executive Director of CDPHE, said.
Colorado’s dial framework standardizes different levels of “openness” at the county level and enables counties to balance, to the greatest extent possible, controlling the virus with social and economic needs. The dial framework has five levels that guide a county’s response to COVID-19. Capacity restrictions for businesses, restaurants, schools, and other things vary based on a county’s dial level. A county’s dial level is determined by three metrics, as well as other public health considerations:
- Number of new cases. The case count provides information on how prevalent the virus is circulating in communities.
- Percent positivity of COVID tests. The percent positivity is a clear indication if enough testing is being done.
- Impact on hospitalizations. Hospitalization data provides information about health care capacity.
CDPHE released an amended public health order Monday, Jan. 4, that provides updates to the COVID-19 dial framework.
The new changes will expire in 30 days unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing.
The main changes include:
Adding the 5 Star State Certification Program to the order. The program requires businesses to implement safety measures beyond what is already required by public health orders and guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19. In doing so, certified businesses can expand operations.
Depending on the county’s level and metrics, certified businesses may be eligible for less restrictive capacity limits. A 5 Star certification reassures employees and customers that businesses are adhering to enhanced guidance in other areas. The program is completely voluntary for local governments.
Counties that moved from the Red to Orange levels this week will need to maintain a seven-day Orange Level average incidence trend to operate under Yellow Level restrictions. Counties must engage in a consultation process with CDPHE, which may entail moving to a more restrictive level, when they are out of compliance with any of the metrics for more than seven days.
5 Star certified businesses currently in Orange Level counties may be eligible for less restrictive capacity limits outlined in Yellow Level, after engaging in a consultation and approval process with their local public health agency.
Additional flexibility for professional performing arts in Level Red.
Increases the capacity restrictions for gyms, aligning with restaurants.
Review the summary of changes.
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