DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis will hold a press conference Friday to update Coloradans on the state’s coronavirus response.
Joining Polis for the update will be CDPHE Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eric France, CDPHE Incident Commander Scott Bookman, and Colorado’s lead epidemiologist, Dr. Rachel Herlihy.
The update comes as Colorado prepares to end the statewide COVID-19 dial next week, giving control over health orders to local governments.
“Colorado has made tremendous progress vaccinating those 50 and older, which ensures our most vulnerable population has the protection they need, but we can’t stop there. Make sure to get the vaccine as soon as you’re able to, and until that happens, continue taking precautions to protect yourself, even if you think your age and health make you less likely to be hospitalized or lose your life,” said Governor Jared Polis. “The end of this terrible pandemic is in sight, Colorado, but we can’t let our guard down now.”
FULL PRESSER HERE:
Governor Polis was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, who provided an update on the state’s COVID-19 case rate and what the 4th wave could look like in Colorado. Cases and hospitalizations are rising for Coloradans aged 50 and under, but that trend can be reversed as more people get the vaccine, and if those still waiting on the vaccine continue to be cautious and protect themselves from this virus.
“Until we get to a point where more Coloradans are vaccinated and cases are going down, we need to be cautious and continue practicing social distancing and mask-wearing,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist. “We have the opportunity to blunt the impacts of this wave, but it’s going to take all of us doing what we can to protect ourselves and each other.”
Governor Polis announced that free, at-home COVID-19 tests, via Binax At-Home, will now be offered to all public-facing workers. Anyone who is required to interact with the public as part of their employment, including but not limited to events and hospitality industry workers, delivery and truck drivers, gym staff, and real estate agents, can now receive an at-home COVID test.
If you’re a public-facing employee, you can get your at-home test by filling out this Google form. Once complete, you will receive a confirmation email from CDPHE within one business day, which will include a link to order a kit, free of charge, directly to your home. When you get your kit, log onto a telehealth portal and receive guided instruction by a trained representative from eMed. Telehealth services are available in English and Spanish.
Binax At-Home tests have been offered to educators and other student-facing employees since February and will continue to be available to those who want one.
Governor Polis also announced the launch of a new vaccine information and outreach campaign run by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment called Power the Comeback. The goal of this campaign is to ensure everyone in Colorado has the facts about the vaccine and knows how to get it. Coloradans can also now opt into receiving the latest COVID-19 vaccine information by texting “Vaccine” for English or “Vacuna” for Spanish to 1-855-355-4566.
Governor Polis was also joined by Dr. Eric France, Chief Medical Officer, who reassured Coloradans that all available vaccines, including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, are safe and effective after several people experienced an adverse reaction to the J&J vaccine at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Community Vaccination Site.
“These reactions are not a cause for concern, but are instead the typical reactions people can have with vaccinations. If you can do your part and make sure you’ve had something to drink before you arrive or a snack, that will help health care workers better manage going forward,” said Dr. Eric France, Chief Medical Officer.
Governor Polis was also joined by Scott Bookman, Incident Commander, CDPHE, who shared details on how Colorado has creatively managed its own supply chain of PPE equipment and testing supplies.
“We have learned an enormous amount over the course of this pandemic and we know that we always have to be prepared to meet the healthcare needs of our health care workers and all Coloradans. That’s why Colorado has set up long-term contracts with suppliers and long-term leases with two warehouses to rotate supplies to make sure we have everything to always support Coloradans,” said Scott Bookman, Incident Commander, CDPHE.