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Yesterday afternoon, Governor Jared Polis and other state health officials declared and supported a move from emergency response to the “next chapter” of the COVID-19 pandemic in Colorado.
Healthy Coloradans who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations can return to life as normal. “We’re proud of Colorado. Our response story is one of resilience, innovation, problem solving, and agility,” said Governor Jared Polis in a press conference. “Finally, for the first time in two years we’re seeing a semblance of normality as resistance to the virus has reached over 91% of Coloradans through either prior infection or full vaccination according to our latest epidemiological data.”State health officials developed a “roadmap” which comprises four key elements to prepare for any future surge of COVID-19, including preparing our hospitals to rapidly increase capacity in case of a future surge, monitoring through surveillance at the local level, building up the healthcare workforce and addressing steps the federal government can take to help states prepare no matter what the future brings.The roadmap also includes guidance for behaviors dependent on vaccination status as follows:• If you are fully vaccinated, especially if you are up to date with all three doses – and if your household is fully vaccinated, then you should feel comfortable living life as normal. • If you are vaccinated but immunocompromised or high-risk, you should continue taking necessary steps to protect yourself and proactively speak with a healthcare provider about a potential fourth dose of the vaccine, preventative treatment options, and what to do if you test positive.• If you are not fully vaccinated, get fully vaccinated with three doses – you are still at risk. To echo the tone of Colorado state health officials, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced “COVID-19 Community Levels” yesterday, a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest COVID data such as caseload, hospitalization rates, and severity of symptoms due to infection. The three levels, low, medium, and high, help inform the precautions individuals should take to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 based on localized data. “The state of the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to improve in San Miguel County, but it is not over,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “While we continue to observe low rates of infection, slowing transmission, and less severe disease, we recognize the passing of another member of our community this week from complications due to COVID-19. As we learn to live with the virus and its variants without restrictions, closures, requirements, and mandates, it remains imperative that each of us take special care to protect ourselves and others from the worst possible outcomes of infection with COVID-19.”Individuals are encouraged to evaluate their unique risks with their healthcare provider and pay close attention to COVID activity on the local level moving forward. To learn more about the county’s current COVID-19 metrics, including demographic and residency data for local cases, please visit the SMC COVID-19 dashboard. To determine recommended prevention steps based on the COVID-19 Community Level in your area, visit the CDC’s COVID by County Dashboard.